TOS Mosaic Artistry: "Operation Annihilate!"


#1

The last broadcast episode of the TOS Season One, “Operation Annihilate!” went before the cameras starting on Valentine’s Day 1967. On the second day of filming, cast and crew were sent a few miles south of Los Angeles International Airport to the Redondo Beach “Space Park” TRW facility – a futuristic International Modern-style complex that featured a sunken entryway to the employee cafeteria that was ideal for shielding the 23rd century visitors from modern-day Los Angeles.

“Space Park” had opened six years before this episode was filmed, originally housing space tech facilities of Ramo-Woodbridge Corporation (which became part of TRW in 1963, and then part of Northrop Grumman in 2002.)

For just two seconds in the episode, we see film of the building that served as Sam Kirk’s lab on Deneva. I’m sure many of you remember it:

But that building is not part of the TRW complex. Instead, we see a snippet of film – projected backwards – of the Schoenberg Music Building on the eastern edge of UCLA, some 17 miles north of the Space Park campus. The building is perfect architecture for STAR TREK – it’s modernist, with a beautiful (somewhat generic) mosaic, and there’s no signage visible in the shot. Thus it was simple enough to flip it on film. Even those who’d been to the Schoenberg for a recital might not recognize it, when flipped. The building was about a dozen years old when it was briefly featured in this episode.

UCLA Magazine reported in 2017 that one of the “most modern music education facilities of the time” – the Schoenberg Music Building – opened on campus in the fall of 1955. It’s named after 20th Century composer Arnold Schoenberg, who was a member of UCLA’s music faculty in the 1940’s. The building is equipped with fiberglass insulation to keep musician rehearsals contained in the 66 basement practice rooms, and it also features a library and performance spaces.

Here’s the same image flipped to be correct – along with a shot of the “Sam Kirk Lab Building” from earlier today, more than 50 years after the location was featured on STAR TREK.

UCLA magazine reports that “to give passersby a taste of music education, the front of the building presents a mosaic designed by Richard Haines that tells the story of the history of music from a global perspective. After growing up on a farm in Iowa, Haines got his artistic start as a designer at a greeting card company and then at a calendar firm before attending the Minneapolis School of Art and the École des Beaux Arts in France. Upon his return to the U.S., Haines was part of several New Deal mural projects and eventually made his way to Los Angeles to work for Douglas Aircraft during WWII.”

The most recognizable image to TREK fans is probably the mandolin player, on the corner.

Represented on the 164 foot long Haines mosaic are tribal drums with a hunting horn, Gregorian chant, a mandolin player, a jazz ensemble, symphony orchestra, and church choir.

Orchestra

Haines was a modernist artist who lived most of his career in Los Angeles. He was 49 when the Schoenberg Building opened, and he lived until 1984. The mosaic work on the UCLA building is untitled, although its easy to pick out the various themes of types of music.

Haines also created five Works Progress Administration murals in post offices, a school, and a museum, and his work can be found in the L.A. Federal Building, the Anchorage Court House, the Mayo Clinic, and adorning post offices in Iowa, Washington, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Minnesota.

Here’s a reverse view, looking west:

Now 63 years later after the building was built, the Haines mosaics and the Schoenberg building are easily accessible on the eastern edge of the UCLA campus – very near Beverly Hills. The hardest part is finding a parking spot. So a Sunday over a holiday weekend was the perfect time to visit. It was eerily quiet. Almost as though flying space vomits had invaded UCLA!


Side by Side by STAR TREK -- TOS filming sites in Los Angeles
#2

Thank you for this. Very fun seeing it today. I’ve seen people do a photo-report of the TRW complex before; was that you?


#3

There have been postings by me and others on TPZ and RPF. I was at TRW today, too. More on that soon…


#4

Thanks Dave.


#5

Interesting, thanks!


#6

Thanks Dave


#7

Awaiting Dave’s updates for his visit to the TRW now Northrop Grumman Campus, here’s a behind the scenes photo from the filming of the episode “Operation Annihilate”

image

Dave’s post said more on that soon. . . Well here’s hoping he has better luck taking photos than this guy had with Northrop Grumman Security. :wink:


#8

I had the exact same experience about 7 years ago soon as I took the camera out few minutes later they were there kicking me out. They wanted to confiscate my camera I had to delete the photos with the guy standing over my shoulder to be able to retain my camera. They took a picture of my license and told me never come back!


#9

Some TOS shots and recent views. My father in law retired a few years ago from Northrop After 32 years. Worked at this location for 20 of it. He is not into Star Trek but a couple years ago I randomly showed him this episode and he flipped out he basically said this is where I worked, that’s the cafeteria etc.,he picked out all the locations so he took me over there. It was on a Saturday afternoon we drove right up and walked in, he did say be careful not to take photos So with a wink I snapped some quick shots.


#10


#11

Too bad the table and newspaper machine is in front of the red Denevan tile!


#12

Great campus photos Patrick, thanks for sharing them along with screen grabs.

I’ve been exploring the campus via sat images, here’s a few screen caps from the bird.


#13

Thanks for all the posts and info, everyone. I see this episode get trashed a lot, but it’s a personal favorite.


#14

Your sat pics remind me of a story. I was at Norfolk Naval Base in VA years ago touring the base. I went up to where the attack subs were docked, it was fenced off with a Marine guard shack. I started to take pics of the subs. The Marine guard came running out to tell me “no pics”. He was nice about it, he did’nt lump me up . So, I take a tour of the USS Trenton, a amphibious transport ship with a helo deck on back. It’s docked right next to the subs. Standing on the helo deck I had a perfect birds eye view of the subs. So, I asked the bored sailor on guard on the helo deck if it was ok to take some pics of the subs. He said “sure, if the Russians can do it all the time with their spy satellites why can’t you”.


#15

I’ve also thought of going to the site but have heard many similar stories about confiscated cameras.


#16

Thank you for sharing the great pics and screen grab side by sides! Very cool!


#17

I never delete my photos. My photography is my artistic property and is protected 1st amendment stuff. Being a rebel Bostonian at heart I tell them NEVER.

I say arrest me, I’ll make bond and beat the thing.


#18

Just carry an extra memory card for the camera, offer to surrender the media card instead of surrendering camera then do a subtle card swap as you remove card from camera for them.


#19

Architectural firm AC Martin designed the TRW “Space Park” that opened 1961 and covered more than 100 acres in Redondo Beach (just off the 405 freeway and south of LAX.). In the original layout, the building complex included parking for 8,000 cars and the main buildings were designed as the first phase of a project that would eventually add more buildings. The complex won a “Grand Prix Award” from the American Institute of Architects in 1967 (presumably after filming of the last TOS episode of the first season had been completed in mid-February and the mid-April broadcast of “Operation Annihilate!”)

The two-story buildings most visible in this episode were designed as five Research & Development prototype buildings, and the complex also includes a five-story Engineering/Office building, and two structures for manufacturing.

The beautiful fountain is now silent, no doubt because of SoCal water restrictions.

Plaze%20with%20fountain

Nearby is a “services” structure with 100,000 square feet of space that includes “kitchen/cafeteria facilities and a sunken patio garden,” according to AC Martin. It’s this sunken patio that was cleverly used for several of the episode shots – doubling as entryway for Sam Kirk’s office, the site of the attempted club attacks by crazed Denevans, and a beam-down spot for Kirk and Spock.

Upstairs%20Cafe|375x500

Almost seven years ago, Space Park was designated as an “historic site for electronics and aerospace work” by the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) in Reston, Virginia – presumably not for its starring role as Deneva in 1967 but rather as the site where more than 100 of the world’s most technically challenging satellites, rocket engines, astronomical observatories high-power lasers, and rad-hard electronics were designed and built," according to a news release about the honor, which also reveals:

The Space Park site opened in 1961 as Space Technology Laboratories, a subsidiary of Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc. (look at the initials – TRW!). The company took the acronym in 1965.

TRW%20logo%20on%20building

In the 1950s, Ramo-Wooldridge Corp. was the lead contractor of the U.S. Air Force to develop the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Ramo-Wooldridge diversified in the 1950s into computers and electronic components, and provided funding for Pacific Semiconductors in 1954, which was among the first to commercialize transistors for commercial sales, and five years later manufactured the RW-300, one of the first all-transistor computers with a power supply that used vacuum tubes. That company also produced scientific spacecraft such as Pioneer 1.

World War II flying ace Jimmy Doolittle (who led the 1942 bombing raid on Tokyo shortly after Pearl Harbor) was one of TRW’s board chairmen.

The company had several amazing contributions to aerospace and defense:

• TRW designed the atomic-powered Pioneer 10 and 11 space-exploration satellites, among the first U.S. spacecraft designed with ruggedized rad-hard electronics that were able to withstand the effects of radiation in space. TRW was a longtime developer of advanced radiation-hardened electronics for space and military applications.
• TRW also designed and built the descent engine for the Apollo lunar lander, as well as the instrument package for the Martian biological experiments, aboard the two Viking Landers launched in 1975, and the James Webb Space Telescope which will be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.

In 2002, Northrop Grumman purchased TRW, and the site is a key part of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

I recommend visiting on a holiday weekend, preferrably on a Sunday.

The familiar grounds will be deserted, as though flying space vomits had driven the population indoors!

I found it fascinating that Matt Jefferies borrowed some terrific design elements from the fountain and the rear of the cafeteria building that served as the place Kirk’s family had encountered the flying vomits…

Note the staircase wall behind Spock, and the rear of the above employee cafeteria!


#20

Much of the action of the episode on the planet took place in the sunken courtyard – a brilliant move because it shielded any chance of modern 1967 Los Angeles peeking through.

The bridge from the sidewalks to the Employee Cafeteria was used artfully to block the top “branded” floor of the TRW building, a technique easily duplicated to chop off “Northrop Grumman” from a similar cell phone camera shot.

The foilage in this area is a perfect backdrop for action!