The Parker Center, depending on who you ask, is either a midcentury icon, or a powerful symbol of Los Angeles' racist past. Located downtown, the building was home to the LAPD up until 2009 when they relocated due to expensive retrofits needed on the site. Designed by Welton Becket—the architect behind some of LA's greatest identifiers such as the Capitol Records Building, the Theme Building and the Cinerama Dome—the former LAPD headquarters is seen by historic preservationists, particularly the LA Conservancy, as a historical landmark due to its midcentury stylings. ... After a three-year back and forth between the LA Conservancy, whom wanted to keep the building largely intact, and the City Department of Public Works, whom, along with the Bureau of Engineering, argued for the razing of the site, the City of LA finally voted unanimously to destroy the building and replace it with a tower that would consolidate offices of city employees. Key to this decision was the argument, hard-fought by residents of Little Tokyo and City council member José Huizar, that the building's ties to some of LA's darkest chapters outweighed any architectural significance.
With the Parker Center well on its way towards demolition, LA Magazine points our attention to four other mid-century icons that are at-risk of erasure.