Compare and Contrast: Pasadena City Hall vs. Los Angeles City Hall

In California, there are lots of magnificent buildings and works of architecture, people have to pay their attention to. Numerous museums, city halls, churches, and skyscrapers – all these buildings amaze people with their sizes, colors, and history.

To my mind, one of the brightest symbols of American power and beauty are the two city halls in California, such as Los Angeles City Hall and Pasadena City Hall. These two buildings were created at the end of the 1920s and now, attract the attention of tourists and even local citizens. Power and beauty, eternity and greatness, protection and patriotism – these are the major characteristics of these two works of architecture.

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It is impossible to say for sure whether Los Angeles City Hall or Pasadena City Hall is better: their similarities make them the members of one team that aims at eulogizing the United States of America and demonstrating it power and freedom, and their differences make them unique and interesting to people and prove that imagination of American designers can be quite different.

Pasadena City Hall is one of the most brilliant examples, which demonstrate the qualities of the California Mediterranean style. It was designed by Bakewell and Brown firm from San Francisco and built in 1927; more than $3 million were spent in order to start building this city hall.

In 2004, Pasadena City Hall was closed for seismic retrofit, and in 2007, it was open again and improved in accordance with all the necessary modern standards. Nowadays, this architectural treasure is considered to be a place for numerous weddings and even film makings.

Now, it is high time to live Pasadena for some time, and move to the largest city of California, Los Angeles. In this city, another magnificent city hall can be found. Los Angeles City Hall is known as the highest building with base isolated structure in the whole world from 1928 till 1964.

This City Hall is one year younger than Pasadena City Hall, however, its popularity spreads over numerous countries, and this year of difference does not really play a significant role. 38 floors and 138 m high – this is a true size of the building. On the one hand, it is not that much, and many other buildings exceed these numbers, however, the point that this is a base isolated construction makes many people admire how powerful and properly designed this city hall is. This building took several awards in 2001 and 2002.

John Parkinson with two more designers, Albert Martin and John Austin, presented the design of this building, and in 1928, it was presented to people.

These two masterpieces passed through the years of wars, unpredictable weather conditions, and terroristic attacks. They truly may serve as the most powerful sights of the United States of America and symbolize its power and might.

Analyzing these two magnificent buildings, it is necessary to admit that Los Angeles City Hall’s and Pasadena City Hall’s differences and similarities do not make one them better or worse. The peculiar feature of this differences and similarities is that people get a chance to enjoy the beauty of these constructions, designers’ imagination and possibilities to unite such issues like love, care, power, and protection within buildings.

In spite of the fact that these City Halls were built for some governmental purposes like councils, international meetings, and marriages, they represent artistic approaches of the creators, multi-faceted opportunities, and centuries-old memory.

To my mind, one of the similarities of these two buildings may be found in their bases of the structure: Pasadena City Hall measures 242 feet (west-east) and 351 (north-south), and Los Angeles City Hall measure 250 feet (west-east) and 476 (north-south).

Of course, the number are not quite similar, however, in general, these measures create the similar view and visual effect. These buildings were both under seismic retrofit: Pasadena City Hall in 2004, and Los Angeles City Hall in 1998. And finally, these two buildings are widely spread in media, and specially, in film making. For example, Pasadena City Hall appeared in The Walk in the Clouds (1995) and The Great Dictator with Charlie Chaplin in 1940; and Los Angeles City Hall can be observed in Adventures of Superman and Alias.

And finally, these two greatest constructions survived after numerous earthquakes, and much money had to be spent to renovate them and present people one more chance to enjoy the beauty of these halls.

One of the first differences, which can be mentioned, is the general view of these city halls. The rounded red roof of Pasadena City Hall make people find themselves at the beginning of 1920s. This building is not that tall in comparison to Los Angeles City Hall, this is why its roof attracts much attention. The roof of Los Angeles City Hall reminds a huge pyramid, the end of which is hard to find out. It seems that the end of this building may bring a person to the clouds.

To my mind, another difference that lies between Los Angeles City Hall and Pasadena City Hall is various approaches of the designers. John Parkinson was eager to create a really magnificent and powerful building that attracted people’s attention.

Parkinson’s teams did not want to focus on ornamentation; their goal was size and greatness, this is why more than 8,000 tons of steel was used to create this building. The team of Bakewell and Brown, who created Pasadena City Hall, tried to take into consideration such details as ornamentation and warm surroundings.

Lion head and garlands make the City Hall in Pasadena as a real shelter for those, who are looking for support and protection. Square windows of Los Angeles City Hall make this building as one more business center of the city; and nice half-oval windows of Pasadena City Hall underlines the warn and care, this building symbolize.

In general, the city halls under consideration provide people with a chance to analyze how one year may influence the style of architecture. Los Angeles City Hall and Pasadena City Hall were created with one year difference, however, so many distinctions can be found.

Without any doubts, these architectural works should be regarded as the most powerful examples of America’s nature. Los Angeles City Hall represents the modernity and style of the United States of America; and Pasadena City Hall helps to observe America’s kindness and warm. In spite of the fact that Los Angeles City Hall and Pasadena City Hall were created by different people by means of different approaches, they are considered to be significant parts of American history, American power, and American beauty.


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