Black tarp and scaffolding now wrap around the exterior of Parker Center, the one-time headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department, which is being demolished to make way for a new civic office tower.

Demolition of the eight-story building at 150 N. Los Angeles Street officially began on August 20 and is scheduled to continue for a period of 500 days.  The entire process is expected to be completed in late 2019.

The demise of the former police headquarters comes despite a last-ditch effort to save the building, which was mounted via a lawsuit by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.  The non-profit, which regularly inserts itself into discussions over development and housing in Los Angeles, had proposed retaining the Welton Becket-designed building as a homeless shelter, even going as far as to propose a non-binding ballot measure to garner support for the idea.

However, the notion of preserving Parker Center has long been a non-starter for the surrounding Little Tokyo neighborhood, which saw one-quarter of its historic footprint seized via eminent domain and demolished to build the ex-police headquarters.  Community members objected to a past attempt to landmark the building, and successfully rallied the Los Angeles City Council to vote against designating Parker Center as a Historic-Cultural Monument.

In the building's place, the city intends to construct a 27-to-29-story building which would contain more than 750,000 square feet of office space above ground-floor retail uses and basement parking for upwards of 1,200 automobiles.  The proposed tower, which would cost nearly $700 million based on recent city estimates, is the first step in the recently-adopted Civic Center Master Plan, which seeks to infuse life into the staid government office district by allowing for the construction of apartments and pedestrian-oriented commercial space.