The exterior of the Justice League of America's "Hall of Justice," seen on the Super Friends cartoon, was based on Union Terminal, a gorgeous Art Deco railroad station built in 1933 in my hometown of Cincinnati. Hanna-Barbera, creators of Super Friends, was sold in 1967 to Cincinnati-based Taft Broadcasting Co. Apparently, Hanna-Barbera folks would visit the city where they would have seen Union Terminal. From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
When creating "Super Friends," the producers wanted a grand headquarters for their heroes."Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice ..." (Thanks, Gil Kaufman!)
The job was given to Al Gmuer, background supervisor for Hanna-Barbera for more than 30 years. Using his knowledge of architecture, he sketched out a building that almost resembled the finished product.
"Mine had more windows," Gmuer said.
The drawing was then given to the network, including Joe Barbera, where it was turned into the Union Terminal look-a-like that's known today, he said.
Gmuer isn't sure why they redesigned his building to look like Union Terminal. He doesn't give the Hall of Justice much thought today.
"In the long run, I hated that building," he said. "The way it's designed, it was not easy to draw. I had nightmares about that damn building."
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.