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Los Angeles

Theme Building

This landmark structure at Los Angeles International Airport is an Observation Tower in the Westchester neighborhood of the city. Opening in 1961, it is an example of the Mid-Century modern "Populuxe" design school. The distinctive white building resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs and was designed by a team of experts headed by William Pereira and Charles Luckman.

While earlier tourists could take the elevator up to the Observation Level of the "Theme Building", after the September 11 attacks this has remained closed. The appearance of the building as a single homogenous structure is a cleverly constructed illusion. The building`s two crossed arches actually consist of four steel-reinforced concrete legs extending about 15 feet above the ground. This singular building has been designated as a cultural and historic monument.