From the publicity with which it opened the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 to the completion of its new headquarters on Bunker Hill in 1965, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) has employed architecture as advertising for image enhancement and to increase its sale of electricity and water. This study of selected DWP structures, 1924–1965, finds that the message of architectural boosterism can become obsolete before the buildings do. DWP’s architecture presents a complicated legacy and a challenge for the future.

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