Valley Plaza Tower | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Valley Plaza Tower

On its completion in 1960, the Los Angeles Federal Savings and Loan Tower became an integral and highly visible part of the Valley Plaza Shopping Center, not to mention the tallest building in the San Fernando Valley.

Designed by prominent local architects Douglas Honnold and John Rex in the Corporate International style, it was one of the first skyscrapers built in Los Angeles after the 1957 repeal of a 150-foot height limit ordinance. The tower dominated the low-rise landscape of North Hollywood for years after its construction, and remains a distinctive Valley landmark.

The twelve-story, 165-foot-tall tower is distinguished by its narrow profile, a skin of glass curtain walls and cast concrete panels, and an exterior structural system of tall crossbeam-connected steel girders rising above the roof like giant handles.

The western side of the building is covered with an enormous mural depicting the history of Los Angeles; this is the latest of several massive murals that have decorated the tower over the years, honoring subjects like the 1976 Bicentennial, the 1984 Olympics, and the since-departed Los Angeles Raiders football team.

Valley Plaza, developed between 1951 and 1965, was an early and highly influential regional shopping center that re-oriented building entrances to face large rear parking lots instead of streets and sidewalks and emphasized vehicular access from new freeways rather than from existing boulevards. It included office buildings as well as retail and service businesses, representing a new type of commercial development for the rapidly expanding Valley. The Los Angeles Federal Savings and Loan Tower beckoned consumers near and far to come to Valley Plaza, where modern ideas were changing the face of Los Angeles from the outside in.

Photo by Larry Underhill

American Cement Building Lofts

Built to house the American Cement Company's headquarters and to showcase the strength, construction advantages, and architectural possibilities of concrete.
Photo by Annie Laskey/Los Angeles Conservancy

City National Plaza

Completed in 1972 for the headquarters of Atlantic Richfield Company, these dark towers flanking a striking plaza typify the corporate architecture of the time.