Richfield Tower's Art Deco Doors - Atlas Obscura

Richfield Tower's Art Deco Doors

City National Plaza

Though the original building has been demolished, these massive bronze doors were saved. 


As if they were left behind when an Art Deco TARDIS failed to fully teleport, these huge, elaborate elevator doors stand proud near the rear of the twin tower skyscraper complex.

The complex, which is located in downtown Los Angeles, opened in 1972 and was constructed on the site of the gold and black Richfield Tower. The Richfield was demolished in 1968—save for these two grand elevator doors.

The two skyscrapers constructed were 52 stories high and were two of the tallest buildings in the United States at the time. The two massive buildings are home to an architectural firm, a bank, and several restaurants. Between the low building and the northern tower reside the fanciful doors.  

At the center of the plaza is a low fountain with a striking orange sculpture called “Double Ascension” by Herbert Bayer. The buildings and plaza were featured in The Omega Man (1971), Marathon Man (1976), Blue Thunder (1983) and as recently as 2015’s San Andreas, when the towers swayed, then collapsed.

Originally called the Arco Towers, the complex was renamed the City National Plaza in 2005, and it’s worth taking a walk through the plaza to seek out these oddities saved from a long-gone building.

Know Before You Go

The doors can be found at the back of the City National Bank Plaza.

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September 4, 2019

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