This Architect Gave LAX Its Futuristic Theme Building

Jet set meets Jestsons.

Ask someone to drop you off for a flight at LAX and you may need to coax them with more than a free coffee to comply. But while Los Angeles’ crowded and congested airport might cause consternation among travelers, the recognizable Theme Building survives as an iconic symbol of the jet set age. And with new improvements coming to LAX, including more renovated terminals and the much-awaited automated people mover, the airport looks to once again reclaim with modern momentum.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “the unusual-looking circular structure was sometimes mistaken as the LAX control tower. A year after it rose, the futuristic animated show “The Jetsons” aired for the first time.

“That was the plan, according to the man who directed the design of the $2.2-million structure through a partnership with three major architectural firms: Pereira & Luckman and Associates, Welton Becket and Associates, and Paul R. Williams.

“Architect Gin Wong set out to create a futuristic building that would both reflect its relationship with aviation and stand the test of time.

“It did the latter for 47 years. But in 2007 a half-ton chunk of stucco fell from the upper portion of the eastern arch and smashed into pieces when it hit the restaurant roof. That prompted a three-year, $14.3-million repair and seismic-upgrading project financed by airport revenue funds.”

While the restaurant remains closed, you can still visit the observation deck. Read more about the evolution of LAX here.

More Stories
Farm + Table

Do I Detect a Note of Smoke in My Chardonnay?

How the wildfires may affect the California wine industry.

Life Outside

Titans of Surf Come to Play with Giants of Swell at Mavericks Beach

A surf photographer checks a bucket list item while shooting the epic waves of the infamous NorCal coast.