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People & Places

Best View of Downtown L.A. and Beyond Los Angeles 2011 

Tom Bradley Room

The City of Los Angeles government and all of its buildings are owned by the residents (aka taxpayers) of L.A. That means we own City Hall. It's a public building, but we just went to the city's home page and couldn't find anywhere where our city welcomes us to visit and tour City Hall, arguably the most historic, and inarguably the most filmed, building in our city's illustrious history. If you haven't been, the rotunda on the third floor, the ornate council chambers and Public Works hearing room all are gorgeous and worth playing tourist in your own city, even if you don't wish to sit in on a council meeting and be befuddled by the people you elected and whose salaries you pay. Nor does the website make mention of the Tom Bradley Room, perched atop City Hall on the 27th floor. You can walk the 26th-floor "entry room," where all the mayors in the history of L.A. stare back at you from their oversized portraits. Ascend the stairs to the 27th floor into an open room that's used sporadically for special events or luncheons (just not yours). Mayor Villaraigosa is a frequent visitor to the insider events as they showcase the spectacular views to the north, south, west and east (OK, the view east kinda sucks). An observation deck wraps around all four sides, ideal for photo taking and enjoying one of the best views of your city you can find anywhere. It's open to you, Joe Public, during City Gall (see what we did there?) hours of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. But you'd never know that, because your City of Los Angeles didn't invite you. We did. 200 N. Spring St., dwntwn.; lacity.org.

—Daniel Drennon

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