The Ziggurat

Chet Holifield Federal Building

Chet Holifield Federal Building


Originally built in the early 70’s when there was nothing else around it (click for archive image), the Chet Holifield Building at 24000 Avila Road
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 has made a mark for itself not only for it’s architecture and the way it used to stand out in the middle of nowhere, but also for prominent roles in the movies.
The building was used in the 1975 sci-fi classic Death Race 2000 starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stalone. A reference to it can be seen in this version of the movie poster.
Michael Crichton’s directorial debut, Coma,also used the exterior of the building as the hospital. It was also use in Deal of the Century (1983) and Outbreak (1995).

What was once one the few thing in the rolling hills of Laguna Niguel, and definitely the most prominent, has now been swallowed up by houses, strip malls, and big box outlets. It is hard to see until you are upon it unless one comes in from the southwest. I took the above picture from the Aliso Creek Road side of it, but as I stated, it is lost behind the Walmart and Costco if you are coming from Interstate 5 down Alicia or La Paz.

The “Ziggurat” is home to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as well as the Pacific Region National Archives and Records Administration. The archives are open to the public for research, in case anyone out there is into their genealogy.

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