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A View from Los Angeles City Hall

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The Los Angeles River School Youth Voices students visited L.A. City Hall to learn more about where and how they could continue to pursue their community causes. The goal of the trip was to explore how they could extend their conversation about revitalizing vacant lots, the Los Angeles River, San Fernando Road, and the Riverside Figueroa Bridge to the pertinent City Departments and the City Council. Where are the points of entry for residents like themselves who are working to make their neighborhoods better? Their journey took them through different areas of City Hall, where they had an opportunity to see some of the inner workings of local government and catch a glimpse of a part of the city that most Angelenos rarely see.

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The bus dropped off the students on First Street between Main Street and Spring Street, allowing the students to walk around the newly landscaped City Hall Park Center and enter through the Main Street entrance. After going through security on the first floor, the students headed up the stairs to the East Lobby on the third floor where the tour was scheduled to begin. The third floor of City Hall is home to the Mayor's Office, the City Council Chambers, and beautiful architectural designs throughout. This was the main floor the students explored and the one that, with the assistance of their tour guide, provided most of the answers to their questions regarding community engagement. A surprise came near the end of the tour when the students were whisked up to the 26th floor to see the city in a very new way.

Students stand outside the visitors entrance on Main Street
Students stand outside the visitors entrance on Main Street
The students met their tour guide Mark, who pointed out the murals on the ceiling and other artistic elements
The students met their tour guide Mark, who pointed out the murals on the ceiling and other artistic elements.
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Tour_CHEast_Ceiling2_web, by klxadm
As the students were guided towards the Mayor's office, they passed the reception desk framed by a colorful tiled wall and one of the many elaborate windows
As the students were guided towards the Mayor's office, they passed the reception desk framed by a colorful tiled wall and one of the many elaborate windows.
Students visited and learned about the Press Room near the Mayors' Office, where in addition to press conferences the Mayor and other public officials hold both public and private meetings
Students visited and learned about the Press Room near the Mayors' Office, where in addition to press conferences the Mayor and other public officials hold both public and private meetings.
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The colors of the flag of Los Angeles represent olive trees (green), orange groves (gold), and vineyards (red)
The colors of the flag of Los Angeles represent olive trees (green), orange groves (gold), and vineyards (red).
Third floor elevator lobby
Third floor elevator lobby.
The other ceiling panels are decorated with subjects representing Motion Pictures, Industry, commerce, agriculture and art.
The other ceiling panels are decorated with subjects representing Motion Pictures, Industry, commerce, agriculture and art.
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 The Mayor Tom Bradley Room on the 26th floor features a bust of the five-term mayor that welcomes visitors as they head up to the observation deck one floor above
The Mayor Tom Bradley Room on the 26th floor features a bust of the five-term mayor that welcomes visitors as they head up to the observation deck one floor above
Students step onto the observation deck
Students step onto the observation deck
Two students take in the Northeast view
Two students take in the Northeast view
Olvera Street/La Placita and Union Station are visible in the foreground
Olvera Street/La Placita and Union Station are visible in the foreground
A group of students look out towards Grand Park and the Music Center. The Hollywood sign is visible in the top right through the mid-day haze
A group of students look out towards Grand Park and the Music Center. The Hollywood sign is visible in the top right through the mid-day haze
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A student stands next to an old city guide that contrasts sharply with the current view of Los Angeles
A student stands next to an old city guide that contrasts sharply with the current view of Los Angeles
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The Los Angeles River School on the steps of City Hall

Photos by Alvaro Parra and Rubi Fregoso. Information and details regarding City Hall provided by the City Hall Tours Information Manual