Source: The Ratkovich Company, Photography by Randall Michelson.    

About the Hughes Industrial Historic District
A Place of Exceptional Significance

The Hughes Industrial Historic District was constructed in the 1940s and 1950s as the campus of Hughes Aircraft Company, an innovative aviation firm created in 1932 by film producer, record-setting pilot, and mining drill heir Howard Hughes. From World War II through the 1980s, the company played a significant role in the development of aviation, avionics, and aerospace in Southern California. The campus design reflects the defense industry campuses of the mid-century era, where thousands of scientists and engineers developed breakthrough technology alongside large-scale production facilities and airstrips.


In 1991, the Army Corps of Engineers evaluated the Hughes Aircraft facility as part of a proposed development project and determined that it was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district for the period of 1941-1953. The Corps concluded that the district was significant for its contribution to the development of the aircraft and aerospace industries in Southern California and for its association with industrialist Howard Hughes, Jr. The Corps also concluded that Building 15, the largest of the district’s contributing buildings, was eligible for listing in the National Register as an individual building for its pioneering use of glue-laminated wood. Though neither the district nor Building 15 has been listed in the National Register to date, both are listed in the California Register of Historical Resources.


Production ceased at the facility in 1994. A year later, a private real estate developer proposed redeveloping the land and buildings for the purposes of an entertainment, media, and film studio. The project was only partially realized before it was abandoned, though five of the district’s contributing buildings were demolished, and six new buildings were constructed along the way. When the project fell apart, the remaining district contributors were left vacant with the exception of intermittent film production use.


In 2010, The Ratkovich Company purchased the district and embarked on an ambitious program of rehabilitation and revitalization. Today, the historic district, commonly known as the Hercules Campus after the giant, wooden, “flying boat” that was constructed on its grounds, is once again a bustling hub of innovation and technology. It is home to the creative offices of cutting-edge firms in the areas of media, entertainment, internet technology, and advertising.

Source: AnotherLife2Time

About This Website
Linking Past, Present, and Future

This website provides information on the history of the Hughes Industrial Historic District from its association with eccentric company founder Howard Hughes, to its early incarnation as a center of Southern California’s defense and aviation industries, and finally to its recent rebirth as the Hercules Campus, the jewel of Silicon Beach. We cordially invite you to browse these pages to learn more about this invaluable Southern California resource.

“The Hercules was a monumental undertaking.
It is the largest aircraft ever built…
I put the sweat of my life into this thing.”
Project Partners
Creativity – Collaboration – Imagination

The following firms, agencies, and individuals were instrumental in the early stages of the renaissance of the Hughes Industrial Historic District, including the core, shell, tenant improvements, and landscape design for all district contributors, except Buildings 14, 15, and 16. These three interconnected buildings are under construction at present and are scheduled for completion in 2018.


The Ratkovich Company

The Ratkovich Company

Wayne Ratkovich
Milan Ratkovich
Clare DeBriere
Brian Saenger
Michael Heimos
Nick Harnsberger
Beth Kubasak
Jeff Herrera


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

John Killeen, RPA
Meg McDonald

Federal Review Agency

Ross Project Management</p>
<p>CBRE Project Management</p>

Ross Project Management

CBRE Project Management

Deborah Rachlin Ross

Rodney Ross

Keith Weik

Project Management

Levin & Associates

Levin & Associates

Brenda A. Levin, FAIA
Mark Billy
Andrea Rawlings


<p>Nabih Youssef & Associates</p>
<p>Structural Focus</p>

Nabih Youssef & Associates

Structural Focus


Nabih Youssef
Jacob Rodriguez
Maurizio Trevellin

Wayne Chang

Robert Pallmann

Structural Engineer



Michael Crehan
Brittany Knott
Dave Curtis

Civil Engineer

<p>ARC Engineering</p>
<p>Structural Focus</p>

ARC Engineering

Structural Focus


T.K. Wong
Mark Tsukamoto

Wayne Chang

Erin McConahey

MEP Engineers

GPA Consulting

GPA Consulting

Teresa Grimes
Laura O’Neill
Elysha Paluszek

Historic Preservation Consultant

EPT Design

EPT Design

Nord Eriksson
Ben McCoy

Landscape Architect

<p>Interscape Construction, Inc.</p>
<p>Shangri-La Construction</p>
<p>MATT Construction</p>

Interscape Construction, Inc.


Shangri-La Construction

MATT Construction

Steve RussellNeal E. Harper

Mark Fuller, LEED APPaul Holzschuh

Sherwin CheginiAndy Meyers

John RussellBill HansonRandy Wallace

Core and Shell Contractors

Spectra Company

Spectra Company

Ray Adamyk
Scott Pons
Greg Dixon

Historic Restoration

<p>Lean Architecture</p>
<p>Rapt Studio</p>
<p>Corporate Contractors</p>

Lean Architecture

Rapt Studio


Corporate Contractors

James Meyer

David Galullo

Kristi Paulson

Mark Dogherty

Tenant Improvements

Take a visual tour of the Hercules Campus today!