Photographs comparing views of downtown Los Angeles in 1951 and 2009 from the observation deck of City Hall have been posted on the Los Angeles Times site.
While the entire 360-degree view will fascinate locals, of greatest interest to science fiction fans will be view northeast from City Hall in 1951.
Stately Union Station and the post office’s Terminal Annex appear grand despite the vast holes in the foreground where the 101 Freeway is being constructed. Behind the train sheds, a series of natural gas storage towers block the view of the Los Angeles River. As far as I recall, this was the general area where the giant ants hypothetically accessed the sewers in THEM! I believe a tower or two is in the background during one of the movie’s horrific ant sequences.
On a personal note, the “new” Federal Building replaced that block of buildings to the right of the hole in 1964. I worked there four years, 1987-1991.
[Thanks to Laurraine Tutihasi for the story.]