Building L.A.: Architect John Parkinson’s Influence On Los Angeles’ Landscape

In his new book, author Stephen Gee commemorates the life and works of John Parkinson, who designed more landmark buildings in Los Angeles than any other architect

You may not recognize John Parkinson’s name, but you’ll surely recognize his handy work.

The English-born architect, who designed L.A.’s first fireproof, steel-framed structure (the Homer Laughlin Building) and its first “skyscraper” (Braly Block), is also responsible for some of our city’s most beloved and distinctive edifices—think Union Station, USC’s Coliseum, Los Angeles City Hall, and Bullock’s Wilshire.

In his new book Iconic Vision: John Parkinson, Architect Of Los Angeles (Angel City Press, July 1), author Stephen Gee biographizes Parkinson through both verbal and visual portraiture. Below, find a slide show of some of Parkinson’s most celebrated and enduring construction, from watercolor renderings to finished products.

    • Page 1The Coliseum: exterior

    • Page 1The Coliseum: interior

    • Page 1The Coliseum: original construction

    • Page 1Coliseum detail

    • Page 1Union Station

    • Page 1Braly Block: rendering

    • Page 1Braly Block today

    • Page 1Hotel Alexandria

    • Page 1Stearns residence

    • Page 1Engine House 18

    • Page 1Los Angeles City Hall