AKA: Equitable Airport Center, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Becket, Welton D., and Associates, Architects (firm); Welton David Becket (architect)

Dates: constructed 1962-1964

12 stories

LAX, Los Angeles, CA

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This 12-story office tower was located at an entrance to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX); originally called the McCulloch Center (located on land owned previously by the McCulloch Company), it was the first building in a projected $50 million complex of seven 9 and 12-story office buildings (containing 1,615,000 square feet), called the "Del Webb Center." Del Webb, the developer, said of the the McCulloch Building in 04/1964: "The desire of large corporations to locate near a major air terminal is illustrated by the tenants leasing space in the new structure: Bendix Corp., McCulloch Oil Co., General Electric Corp., Boeing Aircraft Co., Booz-Allen, and Applied Research Corp." The Del E. Webb Corporation, too, planned on obtaining space in the building. (See "First Phase Completed at $50 Million Center," Los Angeles Times, 04/12/1964, p. I34.) The article described the complex: "Planned, designed and engineered by Welton Becket and Associates, architects and engineers for the entire development, the building rises from an open court overlooking a broad sunken plaza at the northeast corner of Century Boulevard and Vicksburg Ave. A circular Security First National Bank rises from the center of the plaza." Another office building was planned in 1964 to be situated north of the plaza, and another five-building complex was to be constructed around a plaza at Century Boulevard and Airport Boulevard. The 13-story International Hotel, a 650-room facility also designed by Becket and Associates, lay to the west of the McCulloch Center. The hotel was created to act as a meeting facility for businesses in the office towers.

Like most modern office buildings of the era, the interior was designed to be reconfigurable; Becket laid out the interior on a 5-foot module, structural members being 25 feet apart. Each module received lighting and HVAC delivery via ducts in the suspended ceiling. Thin windows admitted inside as little jet engine noise as possible; research done by Becket found that interiors remained peaceful if windows made up less than 40% of the exterior wall area. Reinforced concrete composed exterior walls, while spandrels were clad in white, tan and gold ceramic tiles.

PCAD id: 5978