SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

July 07, 2008 20:29 ET

Contract Awarded for Reconstruction of Historic Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - July 7, 2008) - The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners today approved a $9,358,000 contract to Tower General Contractors, Sun Valley, Calif., to reconstruct the stucco "skin" and improve seismic resistance of the landmark Theme Building located in the heart of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The contract calls for reconstruction of all four arch facades to match the historic shape and texture of the futuristic structure. The central core walls and the perimeter screen wall will be seismically strengthened, the parapet walls will be reconstructed, and mechanical ventilation will be installed inside the four arches. The plans also include recoating the building and arches, installation of a seismic damping system, new arch bracing, and strengthening of the basement and first floor concrete shear walls to improve seismic resistance. This project also includes upgrades for the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The 12-month reconstruction work is expected to begin early August.

In February 2007, a 1,000-pound, five-foot by 10-foot section of stucco coating detached from an upper arch of the Theme Building and fell onto the roof overhang above the Encounter Restaurant, with a portion falling to the ground adjacent to the building's main entrance. After engineering building inspectors determined a public safety hazard existed with possible detachment of other stucco sections due to water seepage on the topside of the upper arches, all of the stucco sections on both the upper and lower arches were removed under a $1.8-million emergency contract to CSA Constructors, Inc., Paramount, Calif.

In addition, a $1.1-million contract amendment for the restoration was awarded last year to Gin Wong Associates, Los Angeles, to provide a new engineering design for the Theme Building arch system, including complete plans, specifications and design services during reconstruction.

The Theme Building was completed in August 1961 at a cost of $2.2 million. Architects Pereira & Luckman Associates, Welton Becket & Associates, and Paul R. Williams designed the building's 135-foot-hight parabolic arches to symbolize the optimism of a futuristic Los Angeles in the space age. In 1992, the Los Angeles City Council designated the Theme Building a cultural and historical monument.

The building houses the Space-Age themed Encounter Restaurant, offices, a public cafeteria and a commissary where food is prepared for all of the airport's food/beverage concessions.

The popular Encounter Restaurant, overlooking LAX's airfield from the Theme Building, was closed for eight months last year during the removal of the stucco sections on the upper arches. Prior to reopening last November, restaurant operator Delaware North Travel and Hospitality Services performed significant interior renovations to the restaurant, including new carpeting, repair or replacement of its iconic lava lamps, and updates to other fixtures. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and for dinner Thursday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Nancy Suey Castles
    (310) 646-5260