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The Fire Department Code That Flat-Tops L.A.'s Skyline

All buildings in Los Angeles taller than 75 feet are required to have a flat surface on the roof where helicopters can land, according to a fire department-mandated code. Now leaders are thinking about updating that code -- and the city's skyline.
October 26, 2010, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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Curbed LA Editor Dakota Smith takes a look at the debate and the actual short history of fire department helicopters aiding rescues during fires.

"[P]rodded by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Building and Safety General Manager Bud Ovrom now says his department will lead a discussion on whether the LAFD-mandated code should be changed. Given that Los Angeles is the only major city in the country with the requirement, Ovrom is wading into a politically sensitive debate with the LAFD by asking the question: 'Is it not possible to have both good design and adequate fire safety measures?'

According to Ovrom, Mayor Villaraigosa first began talking about the city's skyline back in 2006, after returning from a trip to Asia.'He came back and said, ‘Why is all the architecture in these Asian cities more exciting than ours?'' says Ovrom. ‘He said, ‘Why do our buildings look like boxes?''"

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Published on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 in Curbed LA
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