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The airport is located on the Pacific coast, about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of downtown Los Angeles and can be reached using the Century Blvd exit on Highway 405, or the Sepulveda Blvd exit on Highway 105.
In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres south of Westchester[?] as the site of a new airport for the city. The fields of wheat, barley and lima beans were converted into dirt landing strips without any buildings. It was named Mines Field for William W. Mines, the real estate agent who arranged the deal.
Mines Field was dedicated and opened as the official airport of Los Angeles in 1930, and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937. The name was officially changed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941, and to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 1949.
Until this time, the entire airport was located east of Sepulveda Blvd. As the airport expanded westward to meet the Pacific Ocean, a tunnel was completed in 1953 so that Sepulveda Blvd. would pass underneath the runways. It was the first tunnel of its kind.
The distinctive white "theme building", constructed in 1961, resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs. A rotating restaurant that provides a sweeping view of the city is suspended beneath two intersecting arches that form the legs. The L.A. City Council designated the building a cultural and historical monument in 1992.
Groundbreaking for the new Tom Bradley International Terminal was conducted in 1982 by Mayor Tom Bradley[?] and World War II aviator General James Doolittle, and the $123 million terminal was opened in 1984. In 1996, a new 277-foot-tall control tower, with overhanging awnings that shade the windows and make the building vaguely resemble a palm tree, was constructed at a cost of $29 million.
Soon afterward, fourteen plexiglas cylinders, each up to ten stories high, were placed in a circle around the intersection of Sepulveda Blvd. and Century Blvd., with additional cylinders of decreasing height following Century Blvd. eastward. The cylinders, lit from inside, slowly cycle through a rainbow of colors, and provide an additional landmark for visitors arriving by air at night.
Los Angeles International Airport has 9 Terminals and a Heliport for Bravo Aviation[?] - There doesn't seem to be any data on which airline occupies the 8th terminal, which may be under construction.