It’s been more than a year since I wrote a news story. Suddenly I’m back to being a reporter, working for the Beverly Hills Courier. I love doing this job and maybe I was kidding myself to think I was done with it.

For my first story I got an exclusive tour of the tower at BH City Hall which has been closed for decades. It was pretty cool to climb up there and get a bird’s eye view of the city.

Here is an excerpt:

From the ninth floor of the tower at Beverly Hills City Hall, the traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard is quiet. Rodeo Drive and the surrounding shopping district look tiny.

Inside the tower the ninth floor is stripped to bare walls and deserted. The iconic tower was closed in 1989 and has stood abandoned for more than 30 years. Now that is about to change.

A multi-phase project to reoccupy the tower with city offices is underway and key to the restoration is a seismic retrofit slated to start in the next few weeks. It is expected to take 9 to 10 months and cost about $9 million.

“It’s a very exciting project for me,” said Beverly Hills city architect Mandana Motahari who is leading the project. “It’s a historic building. Architecturally it’s a gorgeous building, and bringing life to those abandoned floors is very rewarding.”

Read The Full Story

Check out a few photos of Beverly Hills Civic Center architecture:

The original city hall building was designed by architects William J. Gage and Harry G. Koerner and built in 1932. It’s done in a California Churrigueresque style which was a type of Spanish Revival. Later additions in post-modern style came in the 1980’s to create the entire Beverly Hills Civic Center architecture.

Beverly Civic Center Charles Moore

Designed by architect Charles Moore, the civic center in Beverly Hills is worth a visit if you are in the LA area. Its Escheresque design with twisty catwalks and stairways, and its intricate carvings make it feel more like a museum than a bureaucratic institution. Not to mention some great art installations on the grounds and inside the buildings, plus Beverly Hills City Hall parking is pretty cheap and walking distance from Rodeo Drive.

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