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New LAPD HQ Opens Today in Downtown
The Los Angeles Police Department's new home in Downtown is a state-of-the-art facility that has been the topic of much praise and scrutiny since construction began in 2007. Today, however, the building, which has yet to be graced with an official name, will be opened in a public ceremony helmed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and outgoing Chief William Bratton. "At the 10 a.m. ceremony, Bratton will welcome the public to tour the new building," notes abc7, which is thought to be the most expensive and modern police facility in the country.The new LAPD HQ replaces the ailing Parker Center, which sits just 4 blocks from the new LEED-certified building at 100 W. First Street. Although some may casually refer to the new building as "New Parker Center," it has been made clear that the LAPD does not want to carry the moniker, bestowed on their 1955 Welton Becket-designed and crumbling edifice to honor Chief William H. Parker, over; many consider such a transfer of names would indicate the LAPD's unwillingness to move forward from its darker days.
Although not all LAPD get to move into the new building (it's too small, and Bratton isn't bothering to set up digs), the facility is something of a marvel. World Architecture News explains:
[The building] includes below-grade parking for 700 cars. It will have areas dedicated to police administration and investigative operations and feature large assembly areas including a Police Commission hearing room, conference center, state of the art Compstat Command Center, a 200 seat cafe and a 450 seat auditorium located outside the building footprint on Main street to stimulate the street level and serve building occupants as well as serve the general public. Integrated into the design are generous public spaces, civic plazas, and lush gardens to promote a sense of openness and community between the LAPD and surrounding neighborhoods.
Parker Center, however, is most likely slated for demolition.