The most famous buildings in Los Angeles

Building the City of Angels

In a town where you’re likely to pass a movie star on the streets, the bricks and mortar really have to compete to be seen. Luckily LA is populated by some of America’s most innovative and memorable architecture. And then there’s those buildings that might not mean much to the naked eye, but are filled with mystery, myth and movie star magic. For anyone flying to Los Angeles, we run through some of the locations that have built up Los Angeles’ reputation as one of the world’s most exciting cities.   

The Getty Center

A hilltop acropolis, the Getty Center incorporates the modern design of architect Richard Meier, with stunning gardens, open spaces, and incomparable views of LA Set atop the Santa Monica Mountains, visitors can take in all the pieces which make Los Angeles an oasis. Take in the Pacific Ocean, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the vastness of the city all from this travertine and white metal-clad pavilioned complex.

Address: 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Designed by Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown LA was meant to look like a ship sailing down Grand Avenue with its giant silver sails blowing in the wind. This is an awe-inspiring piece of architecture, not least because it invites you to climb all over it. There are stairways and walkways that allow you to go up and walk around those great sails and get some impressive shots for the Insta.  You can explore on your own or take a free tour.

Address: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Griffith Observatory

Easily one of LA’s most recognisable and famous buildings, Griffith Observatory sits atop Mount Hollywood as an art deco beacon. Overlooking the Los Angeles basin and acting as an observatory for the planets and stars, the serenity of the setting and the sleekness of the design makes it no wonder that the building has appeared in films such as La La Land.  

Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Chateau Marmont

Located on one of the world’s most famous streets, Sunset Boulevard, this (in)famous landmark was loosely based on a French royal retreat, the Chateau d’Amboise. Obviously fit for a royal and slap bang in the heart of Hollywood, the Chateau Marmont’s legacy is just as anchored on what happened inside as it is the eye-catching exterior. From James Dean jumping through one of the windows to Hollywood legend Jean Harlow using the rooms to carry out her affairs, the Chateau has been the scandalous location for everyone from Marilyn to Lindsay Lohan.

Address: 8221 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Capitol Records

A true landmark, this building captures the very spirit of LA, and Hollywood. In fact, the antenna rod at the top of the building constantly spells out ‘Hollywood’ in morse code! A 13-story tower designed to resemble a stack of records, this was the world’s first circular office building when it was built in 1955. Rich in showbiz history, this is where Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Nat "King" Cole, Sir Paul McCartney, and many more musical icons recorded some of the most famous bodies of music in history.

Address: 1750 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Beverly Hills Hotel

Marilyn was a favourite. Elizabeth Taylor famously spent most of her honeymoon here. The Beverly Hills Hotel is entrenched in the DNA of LA With famous peachy pink, green and white colours, this hotel has often been described as something of a mirage. A bright, proud establishment set amongst the Californian heat.  

Address: 9641 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Pico House

Surviving since the days of Los Angeles being a relatively small, Southern-Californian town, Pico House was commissioned to be built by Pio Pico, the last Mexican Governor of Alta California. Designed by Ezra F. Kysor, the extravagant hotel was meant to emulate the classical architecture of Italianate style. Three storeys tall and housing over 80 bedrooms, the hotel was a success in its time, but is now kept as a Californian Historical Landmark.

Address: 424 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012