Near 1st and Broadway, just south of the criminal courts building, are the remains of a structure. An iron gate looks like it leads belowground. Was this a jail?


Photograph courtesy

That was formerly the 13-story State Office Building. It was built in 1931, in the Public Works Administration moderne style, but five years after it sustained irreparable damage from the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, it was demolished. The State of California owns the empty lot and has no plans to develop it. There was never a jail here; according to a Los Angeles Times article, lighting fixtures, artwork, and artifacts were locked in the basement when the building was torn down. Let’s dust off our miner’s lamps!