Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Lunch atop Los Angeles City Hall

Lunch atop Los Angeles City Hall

Aug. 16, 1950: Workmen putting stainless steel covering atop Los Angeles City Hall take a lunch break.

A short L.A Times article on May 10, 1950, explained the project:

Bids were called yesterday on the “highest” repair job ever planned in Los Angeles.

It is the replacement of 50 tons of concrete slabs with sheet metal atop the City Hall’s 465 foot tower. The 27-story structure is the tallest in the Southland.

The City Council allocated $22,000 for the work on which bids will be opened by the Board of Public Works.

Many of the slabs have become loose and some have slipped as much as six inches, creating a potential hazard in event of an earthquake. In addition, water has seeped into the tower’s observation room, damaging its ornamental ceiling.

This photo by retired staff photographer Paul Calvert was published as stand alone art on the Aug. 17, 1950, Los Angeles Times local news section front.

See also ‘then and now’ photos of the view from Los Angeles City Hall in 1951 and 2009.


  1. January 10, 2013, 12:56 pm

    Where are their safety harnesses? OSHA would have a fit!

    By: Wind Gust
  2. January 10, 2013, 6:41 pm

    That street on the lower left must be 1st street and in the area above it (sloping up) must be part of Bunker Hill. 62 years is not that long ago and the city has changed dramatically. I bet those five workers were WWII vets. Good picture, thanks.

    By: greytv
  3. February 25, 2013, 12:04 am

    I got to hand it to these guys. They're handling all that heavy stone and steel works that high up – and they don't even have any safety harnesses I can see. I just hope the steel was made to be corrosion-resistant. Otherwise, it would've been a waste of time, effort, and risks taken.

  4. March 28, 2017, 4:46 pm

    These guys are the real deal when it comes to building at heights.. Most people don't have the stomach to even go that high up, let alone walking around with tools and lifting heavy beams and stones without any major protection. Then to top it off – they casually eat lunch on a 12" plank of wood 400 feet up with nothing under them.. Wild!

    Lunch Near Me Now

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.


Required, will not be published

Browse All Photos »