November 18, 2007


The Theme Building at LAX is arguably the most iconic building of Los Angeles. It developed out of original airport plans to have one central terminal building with administration offices, the control tower, concessions, even a movie theater along with elevated walkways that radiated out to individual airline terminals surrounding it. That airport concept never flew, but the architects retained the need for a central theme building to focus and symbolize the rest of the airport. Its only purpose in the final design was as an observation deck and restaurant. In February, a chuck of concrete fell from one of the arches. Further inspection revealed rust and decay that was worse than originally expected, and the Encounter restaurant was shut down while repairs were made. The restaurant re-opened last week, but some scaffolding remains through early next year. You can see in the last couple pics above taken last week that the arches are only steel columns at that point. Some pics of the restaurant can be found in this post from a year ago:
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