L.A. Noire’s Los Angeles Landmarks

Posted on May 16 2011, 12:05pm | Author: R* Q | Filed Under: Games

Top Left: Detectives Phelps and Galloway rush into downtown's Pershing Square in L.A. Noire. Bottom Left: The real Pershing Square in L.A. today. Right: In a fun and intentionally anachronistic nod to a piece of Hollywood history, Phelps becomes engaged in a shootout on the crumbling set of D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance".

In one of the many Achievements/Trophies in L.A. Noire to collect, “Star Map”, you’ll need to traverse L.A. to discover all the designated landmark buildings around the city. In the development of the game’s lovingly recreated 1947 Los Angeles, Team Bondi spent time exhaustively researching Los Angeles right at the source – traveling their own gumshoes around real world L.A. to assemble a photologue for research and also mining the city’s historical archives for reference information and invaluable visual assets. Today in honor of the game's release week, we present some info on just a few of the landmarks in the game (and part of the “Star Map” challenge) with some views of how they appear in the game as well as a couple of the actual photos taken by Team Bondi on their original research expedition.

Pershing Square (532 South Olive Street)

Known for its signature fountain and welcoming palms, Downtown Los Angeles’ Pershing Square was named after General John Joseph Pershing, and flourished throughout the WWII years as a pleasant oasis and gathering point for wartime community rallies.
In the decades that followed, the park fell into a bit of disrepair and blight along with the Downtown area of Los Angeles itself, but in 1992 Pershing Square was completely overhauled and renovated – now a striking center of modern architecture with a reinvented fountain design. The present day version of Pershing Square made a digital appearance previously in our own Midnight Club: Los Angeles and was paid homage in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – but in L.A. Noire you’ll be able to amble through it as it appeared in 1947 (* slightly taller palm trees notwithstanding).

Los Angeles Public Library (630 West 5th Street)

The L.A. Public Library is a location that is not just a landmark in the game, but one that served Team Bondi very well as an invaluable source of archival research during the research phases of L.A. Noire’s development. One of the largest public libraries in the country, the LAPL was erected in 1926 and is most recognizable in its architecture for its distinctive Egyptian-inspired mosaic tile pyramid-shaped roof. Presiding as a sacred hub of learning and knowledge in Los Angeles, its mystic rooftop also nicely represents all of the mystery and truth in the city waiting to be unraveled…

Musso & Frank Grill (6667 Hollywood Boulevard)

As you cruise down Hollywood Boulevard in the game, another of the L.A. landmarks you’ll pass is the storied Musso & Frank Grill – an old haunt of famous Hollywood legends since 1919, steeped in tinsel town folklore. One of the most enduring legends of the spot is that Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino would race each other on horseback from the movie lots to Musso & Frank, the loser being obliged to pick up the lunch tab. A stop in to the restaurant is to take a trip back through time, with plenty of old timer waiters and waitresses happy to share a few stories or two handed down through the years.

Left: The Egyptian-inspired tile mosaic rooftop of the Los Angeles Public Library as it appears in the game. Top Right: That rooftop as photographed by Team Bondi on their original research trip to Los Angeles during the game's development. Bottom Right: L.A. Noire's recreation of legendary Hollywood haunt, Musso & Frank Grill.

Roosevelt Hotel (7000 Hollywood Boulevard)

Site of our recent Los Angeles Noire Weekend sweepstakes event, the Roosevelt Hotel is at the heart of Hollywood and the epicenter of its lore. Named after President Teddy Roosevelt, and founded in 1927 by motion picture big wigs Louis B. Mayer, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, it remains to this day not only one of the most storied landmarks of old Hollywood, but also still a great time.

The set of “Intolerance” (4473 Sunset Boulevard)

Controversial silent film director D.W. Griffith's 1916 epic "Intolerance" infamously was shot on a massive set that reconstructed ancient Babylon. The set was built in a huge lot off of Sunset Boulevard and really was something awesome to behold - taking up what is today four square city blocks with tremendous pillars, stone elephants, and sprawling glyphs. In the years following the film's release, Griffith failed to scratch up the money to finance the set's demolition and for years there it stood - abandoned and slowly falling into disrepair, but becoming a sort of de facto tourist attraction that drew curious crowds and onlookers regularly. While the real set was eventually destroyed prior to the 1940s, the site was included in L.A. Noire as an intentionally anachronistic bit of fun to stage a scene in the game - and as a nod to this great piece of Hollywood history.

La Brea Tar Pits (5801 Wilshire Boulevard)

Talk about uncovering old time mysteries. The La Brea Tar Pits off Wilshire near the Westlake area of Los Angeles have been a fascinating source of archeological finds with fossils having been discovered there dating back tens of thousands of years, including mammoths, sloths and a pre-historic native woman whose remains have been dated to circa 10,000 BC. Proper excavations began there in the early 20th century and by the 1940s, the discovery of large mammal bones led to much popular excitement. Who knows what secrets still lie buried underneath all that tar…


  • 15226193on July 19 2011, 8:01amReplyFlag
    I just finished the game last night but haven't found a single reel yet. (Of course I haven't gotten on here to check out if there were any "suggestions" or "hints" either.) I've only found one badge and 18 landmarks. Looks as if I've got my work cut out for me. Love the game.
    • R* Aon May 18 2011, 10:46amReplyFlag
      @InfernalMrAdams Nice one!

      Glad you guys are enjoying
      • InfernalMrAdamson May 18 2011, 1:38amReplyFlag
        I think one of the fun things about this game is being able to visit the real life locations that are still around like Musso and Franks, Angel's Flight, and Pershing Square :D I love living in Los Angeles :D
        • Loco-Giganotoon May 17 2011, 10:13amReplyFlag
          I can't wait to explore them all!
          • conorSuperon May 17 2011, 4:27amReplyFlag
            is it me or is the rifle that phelps is holding in the top picture gold
            • jbl8199on May 17 2011, 3:31amReplyFlag
              I'm just wondering if there will be any good myths in this one like Bigfoot in GTA: San Andreas, Ratman in GTA 4 etc. That's what really keeps these games going. I know most are bull crap, but still, it adds replay value.
              • R* Yon May 16 2011, 8:28pmReplyFlag
                @invaderzim132 Yep, the Intolerance set is in L.A. Noire as an intentionally anachronistic bit of fun to stage a scene in the game - and as a nod to this great piece of Hollywood history

                @Retro-Spector Ha - no problem

                @Josemonkeys May 20th in Chile, best to check with your local retailer so you can get full info for your specific region

                @dyongreguss Please contact us so we can help:
                • Josemonkeyson May 16 2011, 7:04pmReplyFlag
                  R* Hi Rockstar! Good morning, I would like to know on what day is about to leave LA Noire in Chile, because I live in Chile, and have seen the release dates they say will leave May 17 in North America and 20 in Europe, but in Chile it's out dated? I hope your answer, Thank you for your attention.
                  • invaderzim132on May 16 2011, 6:29pmReplyFlag
                    All of that's cool, but I'm not so sure about the Babylon set- just because it wasn't really there in 1947.

                    Also, whenever you showed a real picture of L.A. I swear I thought it was a screenshot from the game until you said otherwise.
                    • Tempahhon May 16 2011, 5:56pmReplyFlag
                      @danisniper07 Seeing as the Illuminati was formed in 1776, and Rockstar and Team Bondi recreated the map to look exactly like it back in the 40-50's or even now, i'm sure they didn't add it themselves, even though they did have a few illuminati/masonic references in GTA IV.
                      • danisniper07on May 16 2011, 5:41pmReplyFlag
                        Did that illuminati eye exist back in 1947? Because i think they added this
                        • rk8000on May 16 2011, 5:12pmReplyFlag

                          WTF is a "Dexter"?
                          • NYGBeaston May 16 2011, 3:45pmReplyFlag
                            how many landmarks are in the game?
                            • tylertorsoon May 16 2011, 3:21pmReplyFlag
                              So Excited about this game! :)....to---ht is the ---ht (hehe I'm into DEXTER right now hehe, I wonder how awesome could be a DEXTER Game made by Rockstar!)
                              • survivor7on May 16 2011, 3:06pmReplyFlag
                                only one more day to go before release in canada. so excited although i am quite disappointed in ign review :(
                                • scareface1970on May 16 2011, 2:58pmReplyFlag
                                  This is good stuff of all these landmarks I can not wait to explore all this
                                  and drive here around in LA. Noire and to solve crime here

                                  I'am proud to say I'am a real ***Rockstar*** fan
                                  • SmeeIsMeon May 16 2011, 2:44pmReplyFlag
                                    I'm getting this game, fo sho'.
                                    • lucky77son May 16 2011, 2:38pmReplyFlag
                                      Ha Rockstar is dominating the reviews again! Nice work guys!
                                      • 6725371on May 16 2011, 2:30pmReplyFlag
                                        thanks rockstar LA Noire is really going to tell me about the cities past I was always interested in LA THANK YOU !!! :)
                                        • dyongregusson May 16 2011, 2:17pmReplyFlag
                                          I live in the Netherlands and can't wait until L.A. Noire comes out, but i can't view the LA Noire website anymore because i put the wrong date of birth Rockstargames please help me!!!
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