Los Angeles Department of Water and Power General Office Building (aka The John Ferraro Building), Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #1022
Built: 1965 Declared: 09/21/2012
The DWP Building’s prominent site places its Modern design on one of the most visible locations in Los Angeles. Because of the significant role of water and the DWP in the history of Los Angeles, the building becomes one of the most effective symbols and landmarks of the city. It is truly a civic gem in its setting, and the design of the building takes full advantage of this prominence. The design of the building itself is only a part of its significance; ‘its size, design, exterior, and siting are intentionally influenced by its position in a larger urban design for Bunker Hill and the Los Angeles Civic Center. As the first high-rise building on top of Bunker Hill, it occupies the key site on the west side of the major civic axis balanced by, yet not overshadowing, City Hall (for which the Albert C. Martin firm was part of the project team almost forty years before). Its high-rise form is also balanced by the Music Center adjacent to it, with its lower monumental buildings for the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (completed in 1964 and constructed concurrent to the DWP Building) and the Ahmanson Theater (completed in 1967) set perpendicularly to the main Civic Center axis. This ensemble is one of the largest cultural/civic centers in the United States of its time, and expresses many of the Modem ideas in urban planning for center cities.