History of Bob Hope Patriotic Hall
Patriotic Hall was built in 1925 and opened its doors in 1926 to serve the public. When it was built, the 85,000 square foot building was the tallest building in Los Angeles. It was renamed in honor of Bob Hope in November of 2004 and became officially Bob Hope Patriotic Hall.
Through the Years
The County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs began as “The Department of Patriotic Hall” in 1916 by the members of the Grand Army of the Republic (civil war veteran’s organization), Spanish War Veterans, and others. They first occupied a remodeled two story church named “Hall of Victory.”
After World War I many veterans’ organizations were formed, such as: the America Legion, The Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and others.
The Hall of Victory could no longer meet the growing needs of these organizations. Mr. W. H. Daubenspeck donated the land at 1816 S. Figueroa Street and at a cost of $800,000 Patriotic Hall was built as a monument to veterans of all wars and a symbol of their sacrifices.
Ground breaking occurred in 1925 and the building was completed in 1926. The building was a manifestation of the “City Beautiful” movement, a campaign that had been occurring throughout the country, at this time.
Early and Mid-Century
During World War II (WWII) the building housed servicemen on leave. With a complete gymnasium, shower accommodations and locker rooms nearly 20,000 servicemen took advantage of this hospitality. The dining rooms were used as sleeping quarter for servicemen.
After WWII the building housed Municipal Courts while a new Court House was under construction. Patriotic Hall also served as a processing center for the US Army and Air Force during the Korean Conflict.
In November, 1959, the County of Los Angeles, Board of Supervisors, changed the Department’s name from the Department of Patriotic Hall, to its current name County of Los Angeles County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The Department has two divisions, one is “Veterans Services” which serves Veterans and the other is Patriotic Hall. On November 12, 2004, the building was renamed “Bob Hope Patriotic Hall” in honor of Bob Hope a honorary veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
21st Century Improvements
In 2013, at a cost of $46,000,000 the renovated Bob Hope Patriotic Hall was completed. The purpose of the renovation was to improve the efficiency of operations and enhance veterans services in the County.
Veterans organizations and others County agencies will better meet the needs of a growing veterans community through this State-of-the-Arts veterans facility.