Pomona Civic Center | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Pomona Civic Center

In the late 1960s, Pomona decided to revitalize its city center with a new Civic Center and a downtown pedestrian mall. It planned a complex of twelve buildings, but only six were actually built, meaning we will never get to see the auditorium, monorail station, heliport, or residential high-rises that might have been.

The six constructed buildings, completed by 1969, are notable in that they represent the largest concentration of Welton Becket and Associates-designed architecture in the nation.

Becket was renowned for his Modern designs and for his adherence to the concept of total design, exerting control over every aspect and detail of a project. The City Hall, Council Chambers, Public Library, Police Department, Superior Court, and Public Health buildings are all carefully related to each other and feature similar building materials, especially exposed aggregate concrete.

They are largely New Formalist in style, with features like thin columns, overhanging roofs, and a pavilion-like feel. City Hall and the Council Chambers building are an interesting pair, both designed by B. H. Anderson for Welton Becket and Associates. City Hall is monumental, with two rectangular volumes joined by a central glass pavilion with a dramatic overhanging roof. The Council Chambers building is small and circular, like a miniature version of the Forum in Los Angeles.

Spatial variation in the complex is created by a unifying pedestrian plaza that changes levels and ties the complex together; it features broad walkways and park-like plantings to soften the more severe lines of the government buildings. The complex once included reflecting pools, now drained, that reportedly were stocked with trout for fishing contests.

Federal Building
Photo by Nigel Lo

Federal Building

Clad in white concrete onto which public service messages were once projected including appeals for purchase of savings bonds, this cold-war era jewel exemplifies Corporate Late Modernism at its finest.
Car Wash
Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

Car Wash

Originally known as the Auto Laundry, this Googie-style Ventura Boulevard gem is one of few that retains its spectacular original details that unmistakably advertise it as a car wash.
Lakeside Car Wash
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Lakeside Car Wash

Standing out with its unusual ranch house-meets-Googie coffee shop style, Lakeside Car Wash hides dirty cars from view while showcasing shiny and clean cars out front.