Located in the center of Hollywood, near the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, stands a very recognizable landmark, a circular office building, the home of Capitol Records,
Near Hollywood and Vine
It was built in 1956 and has the distinction of being the world’s first circular office building. The shape was chosen as it was more earthquake resistant and more efficient for heating and cooling.
Known as the ‘Sound Capitol of the World’, the building includes a sound-proofed chamber located 20 feet below ground designed by famed guitarist Les Paul. The first recordings made in the building were a series of instrumentals by Frank Sinatra titled “Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color”. Since then artists such as The Beatles, Beach Boys, Tina Turner, Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt and others have recorded there.
Of interest to hams is the spire atop the building. It has a red light at the peak to comply with federal airline safety regulations. It blinks the word ‘Hollywood’ in Morse Code. In fact, the light’s initial activation on April 6,1956 was ceremoniously conducted by Leila Morse, granddaughter of Samuel Morse.
Only once in the building’s 50 year history was the message changed. This occurred in 1992 when Capitol records celebrated 50 years in business. For the occasion the red light blinked ‘Capitol 50’ in Morse.
And while you're in that neighbourhood...
"TO ALL WHO COME TO DISNEYLAND, WELCOME. HERE AGE RELIVES FOND MEMORIES OF THE PAST, AND HERE YOUTH MAY SAVOR THE CHALLENGE AND PROMISE OF THE FUTURE."
Amateur radio operator George Eldridge helped restore the message in 1997. After taping the message, Eldridge discovered that it had been cut short. The telegram was improperly edited when Imagineers transferred the message from a continuously looping tape, to a digital recording. Thanks to Eldridge, the recording now plays the correct message.