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Ben Welsh @palewire
, 78 tweets, 41 min read Read on Twitter
The new @latimes owner is moving the newsroom from its historic HQ to El Segundo.

I've been lucky enough to inhabit and explore the interlocking buildings at 1st and Spring for over a decade.

I'd like to share it with you. It's a beautiful day in #DTLA. Shall we take a wander?
The buildings wer constructed and built by the Chandler Family.

The different sections of the block have different cornerstones set by succeeding generations.
The lobby at 2nd and Spring with it's beautiful fixtures, including -30-, the traditional newspaper code for a story's end, hung over the exit.
That lobby is also home to some more recently made iconography. It tends to be a little less ... subtle?
Once you're past the gate, things get less glamourous. And fast. A blood pressure monitor and scale next to the vending machines. Sure. Why not?
The other public entrance, on 1st, is called the Globe Lobby. Here's why.

Believe it or not. This thing rotates. When it's not broken.

It is now broken.
The Globe Lobby is effectively the Chandlers' museum for themselves. It features busts of the male heirs, who in their time ran the paper.
The lobby is also home to a 360 degree mural by Hugo Ballin, a tribute to the settlers of California and the nobility of press workers.

There's a longer story about why that's a big theme, and why this building even exists. Maybe we'll get to it later.
There's also a tribute to four @latimes reporters who died on duty.

One, Ruben Salazar, has become a legend on LA's Eastside and a symbol of Chicano professionalism and success. He's even on a stamp.
There's an old linotype machine.
Well. My phone died. So I'm going to brew a pot of coffee up in the newsroom while it charges at my desk.

Here's my desk by the way.

Everybody makes fun of the monitors I've scrounged through the years. But I'll be honest. I've never seen too much Linux.
While we are here, let me introduce you to my own personal Globe Lobby. I call it the The Windowsill of the Weird.

It's the @LATdatadesk's museum, I suppose. When people leave @latimes, I make them leave me a memento.

There's also just a lot of my crap too.
RIP Yasiel Twig.

(Pronounced "Tweeg", of course)
It contains such treasures as the "office crocs" of @dgainesLA. @mazet's turkey cap. The infamous "ghost tie" (hint: those aren't ghosts) and, my favorite, "the first annual" Tronc innovation award.
I guess I can let all this spill now. Below the sill is our secret cache of abandoned computers, monitors, cords and parts. Scavaged during the uncountable layoffs and reorgs.

You know @LATdatadesk likes you if we made sure you scored a second monitor out here.
My coffee was brewed in newsroom nook that, IIRC, was financed by prize money from an @ONA award.

The beans supplied by our @LATdatadesk coffee club (@maloym collects the bills, @anthonyjpesce secures the reup)

The sludge served in @hfuhrmann's custom designed copy desk mug.
I'm not the only amateur curator in the newsroom.

Here is the Business Section's "Museum of Defunct Technology."
Here's @LATDoug's private collection. It includes the typewriter of legendary reporter Eric Malnic and old 9-track tapes from the true innovator of data analysis at @latimes: Dick O'Reilly.
I can't take you there, because it's already gone, but Dick O'Reilly's server room of 9-track tape readers lasted until April 2017.

Before it closed up, I took some video. The Cipher 9's still ran!

Here's the tape:

Alright my phone is charged and we're back in the Globe Lobby.

It displays some of the most famous work from @latimes history.

My favorite are the handdrawn World War 2 maps of Charles Owens, shown working here.
The lobby used to have a board featuring the digital work of latimes dot com.

It has been removed and replaced with old photos. The grooves in the upper left here once held lettering spelling out INTERACTIVE.
The exterior of the Globe Lobby, out on 1st Street, is engraved with several messages from the Chandlers.

One, which once appeared on the paper's masthead, praises "the true cause of industrial freedom."

I'm told that was an anti-union slogan of their time.
Also on the new exterior is this message, which our new owner might consider somehow updating on whatever building the @laimes inhabits next.
Back inside on the floor you can find plates commemorating the three previous homes of the @latimes, one of which was dynamited by union activists.

That event shaped the Chandlers' politics for generations and is embedded in much of the art and rhetoric we see here.
Just above the plates you find the eagle statue that stood atop the previous HQ and survived the bombing.

It's the true centerpiece of the symbolry here, which is why it made such a powerful logo for @latguild's recent push to change the course of @latimes history.
Before we leave, here are a few more artsy doodads from this beautiful room.
Outside above the entrance there is a wonderful, and often overlooked, grid of 12 plates celebrating the many aspects of life and culture covered in the @latimes.

My favorite is the position of respect of given to the game of Bridge.
On the floor above the Globe is an exhibit of all of the @latimes Pulitzer Prize winners.

See which current and former staff you can spot here.

(Sorry for the low quality of these photos. I an obviously a bad photog and I'm now venturing into poorly lit parts of the building.)
Next door is home to the suite of offices developed for the publisher in charge of business operations and the papers's editorial board.

Its most recent occupants were Ross Levinsohn and the so-called "shadow newsroom" being developed by @tronc.

The space is now vacant.
Not far away is the library, home to a vast archive of microfiche and film.
That includes the machines necessary to read it.
My favorite here is the Kardex Series 80 Lektriever, a still functioning carousel of alphabetized packets of print newspaper clips organized by topic.

Watch it go.
Each envelope of clips carries a warning.

Its message is something we'd probably all do well to heed before retweeting.
Some odds and ends from the offices of our Spanish language pubs, which now sit where @LATdatadesk did in prior years.
Nearby is a popular stop on any tour: The test kitchen where all our recipes are prepared and photographed.

This is one the places I can't get into with my badge. But that won't stop us from trying. Let's keep moving.
A couple steps away is @ARTschorn's arsenal of hats and wigs.

That arm belongs to @socalbreeze. This is likely the most poorly composed series of photographs he's ever been involved in.
I'll be honest. I don't know what this one is.
Don't worry. The GTI MiniMatcher is still plugged in.
The mail shoot headed down to those ornate boxes we saw earlier.
I followed the mail shoot back up to the third floor and the main newsroom.

Here's one for your dad: The set where @BillPlaschke tapes his Around the Horn segments on @espn.
A big chunk of the newsroom runs along the length of Spring Street.

It starts with @LATdatadesk. Mostly Metro section reporters past that.

Because it extends like a tail from the core of offices behind me, this strip is know as "Baja Metro." The area beyond: "Cabo."
Facing the other way you see a donut shaped area with an elevator to the Globe Lobby at the center.

The inner ring is known as "The Glass Offices."

The term is code for upper management and is often used as a collective noun. As in "The Glass Offices haven't weighed in yet."
The largest of these corner offices has traditionally belonged to the editor in chief.

It is currently vacant, and has been since our previous editor was fired.

Most recently is has served as a war room for @WapoEngineering programmers during deployments to overhaul our CMS.
This office is renowed for having its own private bathroom.

Since I'll probably never have another chance, let's check it out.
One of the old section signs from prior to the most recent remodel, with some minor modifications.
The A1 conference room where committees of editors meet to plan news coverage. Windows look out on 1st Street.
The view of City Hall from @ChrisLKellerLAT's desk in our Graphics Department.
Alright. Enough normal stuff. Let's get weird.
So you just started. Somebody you don't know sent you an Outlook calendar invite to a CMS training session in the basement.

This is not a drill. Welcome to the @latimes training center.

Just keep following the arrows, the email said. What could go wrong?
Everything is totally okay. Just keep walking.
Phillip Jeffries, is that you? Can you tell me what happened to Laura Palmer?
This seems like a bad idea
What. You again? Did you follow me from the library?
Again. No thank you.
Why is this beeping?
No. Really. I'm good.
This can't be the right way. Can it?
I guess I just keep going?
Oh no. How do I get back?
I guess I have to go back up. Wait. Where am I?!
Thus ends my stupid play.

The basements of the @latimes building hold some of its most exquisite joys.

There was once a "music room" down here where staff were encouraged to hold band practice.

You found it, and I'm not kidding, by following emoji painted on the walls.
What's down there now you ask? Oh nothing. Just a full-length basketball court with concrete pillars *in play.*
I don't know which @latimes reporter would be best suited as a Street Fighter II character, but I think this would have to the backdrop for their battles.

(Who am I kidding, the answer is obviously @JamesQueallyLAT.)
Alright, gang.

For my final trick of the day, we scale to the top of the old factory building to explore the Chandler Family's inner sanctum.

Ready? Let's hope I don't get locked in.
The Harry Chandler Auditorium, where both Sam Zell and Patrick Soon-Shiong introduced themselves as owners.

Now a co-working space. Locked.
The fifth floor "bullpen" where I joined @MeredithA, @eulken and in 2007? City office space. Locked.
The #DTLA skyline and top of the @latimes office building from the executive parking garage's roof. This is the 2nd and Broadway corner.
In the break room.
Another floor up. An atrium surrounded by what I'm told were the Chandlers' private offices.
Nearby: A massive board room worthy of the Illuminati.

I'm sorry to report the beautiful circular table appears to already be gone.

Underneath where it once sat, the Times-Mirror logo.
Here's the latest picture I have of it, taken during a recent visit with @irisslee
Definitely not haunted.
You probably can't see in very well but it's a darkened and long abandoned cafeteria and kitchen. Locked.
Nevermind. Where there's a will there's a way. I'm in.
Looks like there's a long forgotten kitchen back here. Locked.
The coat room.
And, finally, my favorite spot, the glass encased salon at the corner of 1st and Spring, with a sweeping view of City Hall that is even better at night.
It offers a backdoor to a catwalk on the roof which I'll take down to the newsroom.

That's the end of today's adventure. Thanks for joining me.

If there's anything yet you'd like to see, let me know. I've got a couple weeks left and I want to memorialize as much as I can.
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