AKA: Los Angeles Flood Control District, Office Building, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings

Designers: Risley and Gould, Architects (firm); Stanley R. Gould (architect); Winchton Leamon Risley (architect)

Dates: constructed 1953-1954

2 stories, total floor area: 90,000 sq. ft.

Los Angeles, CA

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Los Angeles architects Winchton L. Risley (1887-1975) and Stanley R. Gould (1906-1991), designed this 90,000-square-foot headquarters for the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, completed in 07/1954. The building had a reinforced brick structure resting on concrete foundations and footings on compacted earth and several caisson piles. The building was built for $14.90 per square foot or about $1,341,000. A long drafting room occupied a large portion of one building in the complex. Wide roof overhangs cut the amount of glare admitted to the drafting area.

In late 1955, the Los Angeles County Flood Control District Office Building won the First Prize in Los Angeles Beautiful's Architectural Design Competition, for the best new industrial-commercial-institutional building. A contemporary article in the Pacific Architect and Builder said of the design: "The primary purpose of a building such as this one--as it should be with all such public structures--was to house the necessary functions of the body economically and well, with as few frills as possible but with an eye to good taste and the ethereal qualities of design that are inspirational to the public and to its workers. It is not always easy to do this within the budgetary limitations. Here the architects took their longest look at the operating and maintenance budgets of the client. They selected materials--brick, cast stone, aluminum, terrazzo, asphalt tile--that would require little if any maintenance in the years to come. They put the money into first costs, so that savings would mount up over the life span of the structure. Then they took these materials, noted for ruggedness and durability, and contrived a treatment that brings out the best in multi-colored brick, in the clean lines of shining aluminum sash, an in the low, thin lines that are possible with cast stone and concrete trims." (See "Low maintenance costs dictate prize-winning design," Pacific Architect and Builder, 61:12, 12/1955, p. 14.)

PCAD id: 4596