All I Want for My Birthday Is a Shiny New Code

on May 30, 2014



Sixty-eight years ago this weekend (June 1st, 1946), Los Angeles officially adopted its Zoning Code. At the time, LA’s Code was quite the little starlet—at least in the planning world—as it was the first unified code to be adopted by a large American city. Flash forward nearly seventy years, and that star has aged significantly. 


Until now, we in the Code Studies unit have been working as the Zoning Code’s plastic surgeon—giving it nips here, tucks there, and trying to convince audiences that it’s the same young Code it once was. Being the professionals we are, we know when it’s time to let the old Code age gracefully while we work on developing a new one.

Actress Gloria Swanson in her role as aging Nora Desmond, as she prepares for her close-up in Sunset Boulevard. via


June 1946 Los Angeles city limits in dark blue within our current boundaries.

All Hollywood plastic surgery references aside, we thought a good way to honor this special occasion would be to share a few fun facts about 1946 Los Angeles.

LA Population: Approximately 1,800,000 (3,800,000 today)

LA City Limits: The map on the right shows June 1946 limits are in dark blue in relation to our current boundaries.

US President: Harry S. Truman

Billboard Top Hit:Prisoner of Love by Perry Como

Life Expectancy: 66.7 years (78.7 years in 2010)

Celebrity BirthsAmong the many celebrities born in 1946Liza Minnelli, Diane Keaton, Steven Spielberg, and Cheech Marin are among the more prominent Los Angeles natives/transplants.

For the Record:

  • LA County opens its first publicly-funded animal shelter
  • Kenny Washington breaks the color barrier in the NFL, becoming the first African-American player for the Los Angeles Rams
  • Life for Angelenos improves dramatically as the first electric clothes dryers are introduced
  • The Cardinals defeat the White Sox 4-3 in the World Series