The circular stack of 13 floors topped by a tall spike has long been viewed as a turntable of 45’s stacked near Hollywood and Vine – a perfect design for Capitol Records – though the design was more coincidental than intentional. The building has a storied history, sometimes known as “The House That Nat Built” due to all the money that Nat King Cole made for the company in the early years, and as the location where Frank Sinatra recorded his first album.
Though many of us drive by the iconic 1956 tower on a regular basis, few of us have had the opportunity to roam the interior. Curbed LA got inside last week however, and shot some great photos of the curved lobbies, wrapped windows and low-hanging sun visors as seen from inside. The views may soon be blocked by the Millennium Hollywood development, so enjoy these virtual views while you can.
A few other fun facts about the Capitol Records Tower: it was designed by Welton Becket Associates’ lead architect Louis Naidorf who had no idea the client would be a record label and designed it for cost-efficiency (not to mimic a record stack); the building was designated a Historical Cultural Monument in 2006; and its three recording studios beneath the tower were the first high-fidelity recording spaces. Known as the reverberation chambers, the recording studios were designed by guitar pioneer Les Paul.
If you really want to impress your friends – tell them that according to Wikipedia, the beacon on the spire emits a morse code signal spelling out the word Hollywood.
LA Conservancy: Advocacy Issues and the Capitol Records Tower
Curbed LA: Inside Hollywood’s Legendary Capitol Records Building
Curbed LA: First Plans Released for Huge Towers Next to Capitol Records
About Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.