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LA County Marks Reopening Of Historic Hall Of Justice

LOS ANGELES ( — Over a thousand Los Angeles County law enforcement officials, political leaders and other attendees Wednesday were on hand to mark the re-opening of the historic Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles following a 20-year closure.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Sheriff John Scott and several members of the County Board of Supervisors attended the ceremony for the newly renovated building, which served as Sheriff's Headquarters from 1925 to 1994 before it closed its doors due to damage from the Northridge Earthquake.

KNX 1070's Pete Demetriou reports the iconic 14-story building will now serve as headquarters for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's Office following a $230 million renovation effort, according to officials.

LA County Marks Reopening Of Historic Hall Of Justice

As part of the effort, the exterior granite of the building has been cleaned from gray to gleaming ivory and the marble grand lobby and multistory loggia have also been restored.

Gary Tse, Director of Facilities Planning for the Sheriff's Department, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the old building was constructed just under a century ago using hollow clay tiles.

"The structure was heavy enough that it didn't damage a lot of the structure system," said Tse. "But because it was built in 1925, when we tried to refurbish this building, we had to bring it up today's code."

Jails cells that used to occupy the upper floors -- and once housed serial killer Charles Manson -- were removed in favor of offices. However, one
of those jail cells, perhaps Manson's, will be on display in a first floor visitors center.

The building - which sits across the street from the criminal courthouse and on a diagonal from City Hall - has been the site of some historic events, including the trial of Robert F. Kennedy's killer, Sirhan Sirhan. It was also home to the county coroner's office when autopsies on assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were conducted.

LA County and other officials took to Twitter to mark the occasion.

Move-ins for the new tenants are planned for the end of this year.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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