Herald Examiner Building

Location

Downtown Los Angeles

Owner

The Georgetown Company & Arizona State University

Architect

Gensler

Project Size

135,950 SF

Originally designed by Julia Morgan, architect to William Randolph Hearst, this historic building has stood in downtown LA since 1914 and became a cultural monument in 1977. MATT’s team is undertaking an extensive core and shell construction and seismic retrofitting to adapt and update the structure.

The repurposed space will hold mixed-use offices, restaurant retail and a satellite campus of Arizona State University’s School of Journalism. Construction will entail an exterior renovation, the addition of an elevator and restroom facilities, the leveling out of uneven spaces, and adding new entrances, new shear walls, safety upgrades and a new LADWP yard alongside a full buildout for ASU.

Historic preservation is a high priority. The lobby’s original tiles hail from Italy, with large windows, railings, columns and pillars adding the grandeur of a cathedral to the space. Elaborate woodwork, molding and details on the roof provide additional opportunity to maintain the character of the original building. Over 80% of the refurbished space is dedicated to ASU’s facilities, including classrooms, a two-story events area and a raised third-floor open kitchen cafe and admin area set beneath refurbished skylights.

The existing building’s layout and tight urban location make it challenging to get materials in and out. The team is using the grand arch storefront windows, which were boarded up many years ago, to create easier access for material traffic without damaging the integrity of the building. Breaking equipment into smaller pieces and assembling it inside the structure mitigates limited laydown and storage area.