Parker Center was the headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department from 1954 until October 2009 and is located in downtown LA. Often called "The Glass House", the building was named for former LAPD chief William H. Parker. Originally called the Police Administration Building (PAB), groundbreaking for the center began on December 30, 1952, and construction was completed in 1955. The architect was Welton Becket. The building combined police facilities that had been located throughout the Civic Center area. The location was previously home to the Olympic Hotel.
On July 16, 1966, Chief Parker had a fatal heart attack. Soon afterward, the Los Angeles City Council renamed the building "Parker Center". The building was one of the sites of unrest during the 1992 Los Angeles riots following a not-guilty verdict for the four police officers in the Rodney King matter.
On January 29, 2015, a city panel, The Cultural Heritage Commission, nominated Parker Center for historical status. The final decision rests with the city council, which has three months to consider it. A tentative date for the ruling was set for April 28, 2015. However, the ruling was postponed until May 5, 2015.
With time, the Parker Center became outdated and was in need of expensive seismic retrofits. After considering a number of downtown sites for a new facility, the city council selected a property directly south of City Hall, Caltrans' former Los Angeles headquarters. Ground was broken for the new building in January 2007, which was dedicated on October 24, 2009.
Both the Old Parker Center and the new headquarters have heliports. The Old Parker Center heliport is marked with a number '5', while the new center is inscribed with an 'H'.
The LAPD Robbery and Homicide Division still operated from an annex of the Old Parker Center.
On January 15, 2013, the City of Los Angeles permanently closed Parker Center.
Parker Center appears in many episodes of the television drama Dragnet, beginning with the fifth season in 1955. It also appears in several establishing shots for the Perry Mason TV series between 1958 and 1966. The popular NBC drama Hunter also used the Parker Center in the sixth and seventh seasons. Parker Center is also the location of the Priority Homicide Division, and later, Major Crimes on the television series The Closer.
Parker Center was also featured in the 1970-set 2014 film Inherent Vice.
Parker Center is often mentioned in the novels of the Harry Bosch series written by Michael Connelly and the Shane Scully series written by Stephen J. Cannell. Parker Center and its closure is also mentioned in the Joseph Wambaugh novel Hollywood Hills.
- Nakagawa, Martha (11 June 2008). "Little Tokyo’s Bronze Age". Discover Nikkei. Los Angeles, CA: Japanese American National Museum.
- Schreiber, John (January 29, 2015). "LAPD's old Parker Center headquarters could get historical status". MyNewsLA.com (CalNews Inc.). Retrieved January 31, 2015.
- "Commission Nominates Parker Center for Historical Status". Los Angeles Downtown News (Civic Center News, Inc.). January 30, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
- The Times Editorial Board (17 April 2015). "Raze or rehabilitate Parker Center? City must make a decision soon". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- Sklar, Debbie L. (28 April 2015). "Could former LAPD HQ be designated a historic landmark?". MyNewsLA.com (CalNews Inc.). Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- Villacorte, Christina (14 January 2013). "End of an era: LAPD closes Parker Center, iconic headquarters". Los Angeles Daily News.
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