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.
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!