Capitol RecordS

1750 N.Vine St.

Hollywood, CA 90028

North of Hollywood Blvd., South of Yucca

 

Built in 1954 by architects Welton Becket & Associate., the Capitol Records Tower was marketed as "the world's first round office building." The landmark symbolizes a stack of records topped by a stylus and is representative of Programmatic architecture on an epic scale. This Hollywood historic icon is 150 feet high with a 90 foot spire and a beacon constantly blinking out HOLLYWOOD in Morse Code. The round shape is repeated in curved, angled awnings, and cylindrical light fixtures; glass walls, terrazzo floors, and stainless steel elevators are typical of the period. Below ground are echo chambers and recording studios, the first ever built for high fidelity recordings. Though the exterior is virtually unaltered, the interior offices and studios have undergone numerous remodellings. Inside the lobby is an astounding array of gold records, spanning the entire history of rock and roll. In December, the tower is lit to create Hollywood's tallest Christmas tree. Occasionally, the tower is decorated with various promotional ornaments. Past "dress ups" have included various flags on the rooftop, covering the circular Capitol Records sign with images of the Beatles, and recently a Beatles Yellow Submarine giant postage stamp was stuck to the side of the building. Since the tower is clearly visible from most of Hollywood and the busy 101 Freeway, the tower acts as the company's most recognizable billboard.  At the base of the building's southern face (overlooking a parking lot) is a wall mural by artist Richard Wyatt, titled "Hollywood Jazz". The mural features large portraits of Capitol Recording jazz legends Nat King Cole, Billy Holiday, Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, and Miles Davis.  The Beatles and many others recorded in the studios in this building. Live concerts have also been performed in the parking lot over the years, including acts such as Duran Duran and others.