Capitol Records Building
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|Capitol Records Building|
|Alternative names||Capitol Records Tower
|Architectural style||Googie architecture|
|Location||1750 Vine Street
Los Angeles, California
|Antenna spire||46 m (151 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Welton Becket and Associates|
|Designated:||November 15, 2006|
The Capitol Records Building, also known as the Capitol Records Tower, is a Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District building that is located in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The building is a thirteen-story tower that was designed by Welton Becket and is one of the city's landmarks. Construction occurred soon after British company EMI acquired Capitol Records in 1955 and the building was completed in April 1956. Located just north of the Hollywood and Vine intersection, the Capitol Records Tower houses the consolidation of Capitol Records' West Coast operations, and is also home to the recording studios and echo chambers of Capitol Studios. The building is included on the List of Registered Historic Places in Los Angeles.
The wide curved awnings over windows on each story and the tall spike emerging from the top of the building only coincidentally resembles a stack of records on a turntable. The rectangular ground floor is a separate structure, joined to the tower after completion. The tower incorporates 13 stories, to conform to the 150-foot (46 m) zoning height limit that was in place at the time of its construction.. Earthquake height restrictions were later lifted in 1964. The 13th floor of the tower is the "Executive Level" and is represented by an "E" in the building's two elevators.
The blinking light atop the tower spells out the word "Hollywood" in Morse code, and has done so since the building's opening in 1956. This was an idea of Capitol's then president, Alan Livingston, who wanted to subtly advertise Capitol's status as the first record label with a base on the west coast. The switch was initially activated by Leila Morse, the granddaughter of Samuel Morse. In 1992 it was changed to read "Capitol 50" in honor of the label's fiftieth anniversary. It has since returned to spelling "Hollywood". A black and white graphic image of the building appeared on the albums of many Capitol recording artists, with the phrase, "From the Sound Capitol of the World".
Capitol Studios 
The building houses the Capitol Studios, a recording facility which includes an echo chamber engineered by guitarist Les Paul. It would also be known as "The House That Nat Built" due to the vast amounts of records and merchandise Nat "King" Cole sold for the company. The first album recorded in the tower was Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color.
In popular culture 
- On Tiny Toon Adventures, the building is seen in the episode called Hollywood Plucky where Plucky Duck and Hamton Pig are walking in L.A.
- In Earthquake starring Charlton Heston, the building is destroyed by the quake. A clip of this scene is reused in the pilot episode of Galactica 1980, as Cylon spacecraft fire on the building.
- In Life After People, the building collapses after 175 years without maintenance. The echo chambers underneath the buildings survive intact for many years after the main tower collapses.
- In Hancock, the title character pierces a car through the building's pinnacle at the start of the film.
- There is a mission in Tony Hawk's American Wasteland were you have to take down the building's needle.
- In The Day After Tomorrow, the building is destroyed by a tornado.
- In Against All Odds (film), the building is across the street from the Palace nightclub, and an aerial view is shown after the notorious race scene down Sunset Boulevard between the characters played by Jeff Bridges and James Woods.
- The building is present in GTA: San Andreas, known as Blastin' Fools Records in Los Santos (modeled after)
Current disposition 
In September 2006, owner EMI announced that it had sold the tower and adjacent properties for $50 million to New York-based developer Argent Ventures. The studio currently claims that it is threatened by noise from construction of a condominium and underground parking lot by building firm Second Street Ventures that would have heavy equipment working within 18 feet (5.5 m) of its renowned underground echo chambers, which are themselves over 20 feet (6.1 m) below ground level. According to the CBS Evening News of July 31, 2008, the developers deny this, and Second Street Venture's co-owner David Jordon says they have arranged construction work outside the hours of Capitol's recording schedules, and that they have also arranged for soundproof materials to be placed between the underground parking lot and Capitol's underground echo chambers. A senior record producer in the recording industry, Al Schmitt, says it would be "heartbreaking" if it came to pass that the company could no longer use the echo chambers, which he says are, "the best in the business."
- Capitol Records Building at Emporis
- Capitol Records Building at Glass Steel and Stone
- Capitol Records Building at SkyscraperPage
- Christopher Hawthorne (29 May 2011). "Critic's Notebook: Hollywood landmark at a crossroads". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- Huell Howser; Sue Satriano (1988). Exploring L.A. with Huell (mp3) (video). Hollywood, California: KCET. Archived from the original on 20071208. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- Bob Pool (June 18, 2008). "Capitol Fears For Its Sonic Signature". Los Angeles Times. p. B2.
- Steve Barnett to lead Capitol Music Group
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