Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Topping Out Ceremony


Los Angeles, CA


Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles


House & Robertson Architects

Construction Manager / Owner's Rep

S.L. Leonard & Associates

Project Size

34,280 SF


Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Celebrates Topping Out

For 88 years, the Legal Aid Foundation has served Los Angeles’ most under-supported citizens, providing legal aid to veterans, seniors, immigrants, the homeless, victims of domestic abuse and those unable to afford a lawyer.

worker preparing steel beam for crane lift los angeles legal aid foundation topping out

A milestone for Legal Aid Foundation’s new home

In the fall of next year, the new home of the Legal Aid Foundation opens in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles. After years of effort, LAFLA’s clients will have safe and welcoming place to go for help – a place where they matter.

Last week, the project celebrated a major milestone at the topping out ceremony. On a hot sunny day, the crew lifted the final piece of structural steel into place at the top of the fourth floor board room. As the beam sailed upwards, it carried with it an American flag and a small evergreen tree. The tree is “a European tradition to appease the tree spirits displaced by construction. It is also a symbol of a safe project, good luck and a new building,” said MATT project manager Nathan Miller.

rob fleece gives speech at legal aid foundation of los angeles topping out ceremony

Along with project architect House & Robertson, founder Paul Matt, SVP of Operations Dan Stafford and project executive Stephen Montoya were on hand to represent MATT Construction at the celebration. Before the beam was raised, Rob Fleece, foreman for Anderson Charnesky Structural Steel thanked the guests. As Rob shared the morale-boosting effect the acknowledgement has for him and his crew, he underscored the importance of marking this major milestone for everyone involved. The crane then lifted the beam into the sky towards two of the crew who guided it securely to rest. LAFLA’s team buoyantly cheered before everybody retreated into the shade to enjoy food from Pasadena’s Pie N’ Burger.

steel beam lifted by crane onto legal aid foundation of los angeles building

A space to serve LAFLA’s community

When the building is complete, it will provide much-needed meeting space for the community. It will also serve as a concrete connection between Legal Aid and the people they serve, displaying mosaic murals featuring mandalas the community and LAFLA employees helped design. In addition, the new building will be much better suited to accommodate the needs of veterans with PTSD, parents who need to be able to watch their children while at the same time have a private legal conversation, and clients who have security concerns, among others.

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