Best Mini Museum - 2012
the L.A. Times building's Globe Lobby
Step inside the magnificent Globe Lobby in the Los Angeles Times building in downtown L.A. and travel back to 1935, the era of art deco. That year, artist Hugh Ballin painted 10-foot-high murals in the lobby, illustrating the significance of industry and media in the country's preeminent cities. (Ballin's murals, considered some of the city's finest of the era, also adorn the Griffith Observatory.) Complementing the murals, the Times outfitted the entrance with a rotating globe, 5½ feet in diameter, surrounded at its base by bronze bas-reliefs representing industry, religion, science and art. For a look further into the past, note the bronze eagle stationed in the marbled elevator bank. The mascot topped earlier Times headquarters, and survived a 1910 bombing. Until recently, access to the lobby was limited. Now you can drop in weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. After admiring the art deco splendor, check out a linotype printing machine (used from 1893 to 1974) and displays that chronicle the newspaper's history since its first front page in 1881. 202 W. First St., dwntwn. (213) 237-5757, latimes.com/about/mediagroup/latimes/tour/ .
—Daina Beth Solomon