Iconic Architecture: The Capitol Records Building

DPP Real Estate June 14, 2023


Iconic Architecture: The Capitol Records Building

Located just north of the famed intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the Capitol Records Building was completed in 1956 and became the first circular office building in the world. Designed by Louis Naidorf of Welton Becket & Associates, it swiftly rose to prominence as a Los Angeles landmark, mirroring the innovative spirit of the music industry it housed.

The 13-story tower features wide curved awnings over windows on each story and the tall antenna spire emerging from the top of the building resembles a stack of records on a turntable with the spindle pointing skyward. The building's 90-foot rooftop spire is topped by a blinking red light that spells out "Hollywood" in Morse code. 

With a recording facility that includes eight echo chambers engineered by guitarist Les Paul and three main studios (A,B, and C), the building has been home to legendary music artists. The first album recorded in the tower was Frank Sinatra Conducts Poems of Color - the microphone he carried with him is still there, often used for studio sessions. Home to another jazz legend, the tower is often referred to as "The House That Nat Built" due to the number of records Nat King Cole recorded on site. The Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, and many more celebrated artists have laid down tracks at Capitol Studios. 

Designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2006, the Capitol Records Building stands as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between music and architecture. Its pioneering circular design, combined with the striking spire and record-inspired grooves, make it an architectural gem that captures the essence of the entertainment industry.

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