The Art Decco Tower of Richfield



I was just about to lie down and take my old man nap, when I picked up my cellphone. One more question, please! Who is Paul Hastings who is a partner of David Hamsher, who I just sent an insolent e-mail to?

(gulp!) Talk about David going up against Goliath! But, I am an old man now, an ancient Nazarite like Samuel, John, and Samson. What chance do I have? Who was behind the tearing down of the Richfield Tower? Since I have been looking at the defunct California Barrel Company, I have the impression these law firms exist to destroy the little people, the old man who wants the old stuff – preserved! There are guys like me all over the world – who dare stand in the way of progress! They battle windmills!

I am getting a vision of Paul and David raging around the office overlooking Los Angeles, wondering who will rid them of this meddlesome Nazarite Priest!

The Battle of Bohemia, has begun! I own the story they never want told, the movie they never want made, the truth they do not want to see………..the glorious light of day!

John Presco

‘Nazarite Judge’

Paul Hastings’ first office was founded in Los Angeles in 1951 by Lee Paul, Robert Hastings, and Leonard Janofsky.

The firm’s expansion beyond Los Angeles was part of the founders’ vision for the firm. In 1974, Paul Hastings first ventured outside of Los Angeles to nearby Orange County, California. From there, the firm continued to expand its size and geographic reach to better meet the needs of clients. In the 1970s, Paul Hastings began moving into the Asia-Pacific region, gaining a foothold by helping Japanese clients set up US operations, distribution, and joint ventures. In the following decade, the firm opened its Tokyo office, performing M&A and financing work for clients in the region as well as picking up new Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese clients.

The current skyscraper complex was built as the ARCO Plaza, with a pair of 213.3 m (700 ft) 52-story office towers. One became the new world headquarters for the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), the present day Paul Hastings Tower.[9] An underground shopping complex was accessed by open escalators from the street level plaza.

Upon completion in 1972,[10] the ARCO Plaza towers were the tallest buildings in the city for one year before being overtaken by Aon Center, and were the tallest twin towers in the world until the completion of the World Trade Center in New York City. The towers are the tallest twin buildings in the United States outside of New York City, where the 55-floor Time Warner Center stands at 750 ft (230 m).

Richfield Tower, also known as the Richfield Oil Company Building, was constructed between 1928 and 1929 and served as the headquarters of Richfield Oil. It was designed by Stiles O. Clements and featured a black and gold Art Deco façade. The unusual color scheme was meant to symbolize the “black gold” that was Richfield’s business. Haig Patigian did the exterior sculptures.[1] The building was covered with architectural terra cotta manufactured by Gladding, McBean, as was typical of many west coast buildings from this era. In an unusual move, all four sides were covered since they were all visible in the downtown location.

The 12-floor building was 372 feet (113 m) tall, including a 130-foot (40 m) tower atop the building, emblazoned vertically with the name “Richfield”. Lighting on the tower was made to simulate an oilwell gusher and the motif was reused at some Richfield service stations.[1]

The company outgrew the building, and it was demolished in 1969, much to the dismay of Los Angeles residents and those interested in architectural preservation, to make way for the present ARCO Plaza skyscraper complex. The elaborate black-and-gold elevator doors were salvaged from the building and now reside in the lobby of the new ARCO building (now City National Tower).[3]

Frodo of Fremondt

I have wondered about Rena Christensen’s almond eyes. I suspected she had Persian blood. Today, while looking at the genealogy of Frodo, I am convinced Rena is a Halfdan kin to the Parthians who came to adore the infant Jesus who has been compared to Mithras who my Frodo is kin to. Did these Parthians come from Toxandria, in Holland – on ships? The Armenian royalty is found here who begat Pharamond and Frodo. Did the prophet Mani come to Holland? There is a Helena Flavi who may be kin to Emperor Constantine. Why this mix with the Kings of Sweden. My ex-wife is a descendant of Eric the Red. The Rosemondt family of Holland appear to be Counts of Toxandria.

On November I founded the New Nation of Fromond, or, Frodomond. I foresaw what a disaster Trump’s presidency was going to be. Today elections are being held in California in hope to wash the Trumpire down the drain. I plan to turn back the hands of time just before Christianity was rooted amongst the Armenians. Mithras is the worship in most of th known world. The Tocharian’s are bringing this teaching into China. The Hittites, whom Alexander the Great employed as his navy when he invaded India, are setting sail for a strange land that lie due East. Frodo is on board.

Rosamonde is the Queen of the Parthians and Vikings in Toxandria. She heads due West to look for the Lost Kingdom of Yonkers, where live an advanced people whose island sunk under the sea.

It is my intent to establish free trade between California, Oregon, and Washington, and the known world. The religion that Mithras established will create neutral ground for millions of people. All the Peoples of the World can live in peace and harmony.

I will be contacting the Estate of Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, to see if they want to help compile my tribology, and produce a movie from my three books.

For years the Richfield Building dominated the downtown Los Angeles skyline, an art-deco neon-topped masterpiece that is still considered one of the city’s most beloved buildings.

But in 1969, the new downtown — with its modern high-rises — meant the end for the Richfield Building. It was torn down to make way for the Arco twin towers.

In April 1969, The Times wrote about some of the unlikely refugees of the Richfield Building’s demise:

For 40 years they stood guard over the black-gold fortress at Flower and 6th Sts. that was the Richfield Building.

From 15 floors they watched Los Angeles around them grow from simple order to smoggy complexity. They saw the gaudiness of their own building turn to art.

Now they lie strewn about a Cleveland Wrecking Co. yard like a defeated army.

Soldiers? Is that what these mysterious creatures were supposed to be? Soldiers with golden wings?

Maybe angels. But angels with Roman helmets and breastplates?

“I don’t know what the heck they’re called,” an employee at Cleveland Wrecking said Wednesday while poring over invoices.

“I know we’re selling ’em for a hundred bucks each. It cost us that to tear ’em down.”

He said they were hauled into the yard at 3170 E. Washington Blvd. about a month ago. There are 40 of them.

Workmen arranged them in several rows, some sitting straight up like a Harvard crew, some lying on their backs. A few have fallen forward, their gold-colored Roman noses buried in asphalt.

Other than being ripped from the building at waist level, the figures suffered few casualties — a broken nose here, a clipped wing there. Two were decapitated

After 40 years in sun and rain their brilliant gold glaze remains only in recesses, their eye sockets, their navels, the insides of their wings.

During all that time they faced only one real test as guardians of the Richfield Building. And they blew it.

The Cleveland Wreckers picked them off easily, one by one.

“It took about two weeks,” said Dick Laws, superintendent of the job. “We put a choke around the neck and one around the waist and just cut away the concrete.

“I’ll say this, they came down a lot harder than they went up.”

Laws didn’t know what the figures were supposed to be called. “They usually call those things gargoyles, don’t they? At least they served that purpose,” he said.

Neither did Mickey Parr, a public relations man at Atlantic Richfield.

“I guess nobody around here has ever bothered to ask,” he explained. However, he dug out a 1930 copy of Arts and Architecture and read the following caption:

“Heroic in size, impressive in conception, are the sculptural figures designed by Haig Patigian which crown the main walls with a fairly regal procession of silhouetted torsos.

“This figure is a highly conventionalized suggestion of motive power.”

“I don’t know what it means either,” said Parr.

“Perhaps the oil executives of the day considered them merely expansive hood ornaments.”

A few of the guards have survived. In 2010, The Times wrote about one man who snagged a piece of the building for himself:

For his first 40 years he looked down on 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles. For the next 40 years he looked down on a frontyard in Santa Ana.

Now the stone-faced figure wearing a Roman soldier’s helmet and breastplate and angel’s wings is gazing upon the polished concrete floor of Eric Lynxwiler’s Los Angeles loft.

The 1½ -ton terra cotta sculpture is one of the few surviving remnants of the Richfield Building, a black-sided, gold-trimmed landmark that was topped by an oil-derrick tower and served as a monument to petroleum.

Ornate elevator doors from the Richfield are on display in the courtyard between the twin towers.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to The Art Decco Tower of Richfield

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    Seer John has spoke about the doomsday clock,

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