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A (very) brief history of the L.A. Times building

June 27, 2008 | 10:32 am

End_of_an_era The news hole is shrinking, the staff is vanishing and now the L.A. Times' building is up for sale. What does it mean? And, in this brave new digital world, does it even matter? Cara Mia DiMassa packs as much history as she can into the space she is now allowed:

There was a time when the Los Angeles Times' presence in downtown Los Angeles was a symbol of the possibilities of a burgeoning city.

Ten-foot-high murals in the building's Globe Lobby, commissioned by the Chandlers, touted the role of industry and the newspaper in the life of great cities. "The newspaper is a greater treasure to the people than uncounted millions of gold," a caption underneath reads. "There is no dimming. No effacement."

That was 1935 -- at the peak of downtown Los Angeles' role as the undisputed power center of Southern California. The murals are still there, but today, the mood inside the Globe Lobby is dimmer.

The announcement this week that Tribune Co., which owns The Times, is considering selling the paper's downtown offices is the latest sign of a decades-long corporate disappearance from the city center.

Cara's full story is here. We've got photos, too. Meanwhile, Sam Zell appeared on CNBC this morning.

--Veronique de Turenne


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