The world's largest electronics plant that never was

Today's image comes from the 3-11-1968 issue of the Laguna News-Post. It's an artist's concept of the forthcoming North American Rockwell aerospace plant in Laguna Niguel, which was to employ 7,500 people. (It's a fuzzy image, and it's not all that old -- But how often do I have opportunities to showcase Laguna Niguel?) If built as shown above, it would have been the biggest electronics plant in the world.

But shortly after this image was created, the aerospace industry hit a downturn, with both the space program and the Vietnam War ramping down. Plans for the plant were changed, and we ended up with the William Pereira-designed "Ziggurat" building we all know today. But even that iconic building had to be sold as soon as it was completed, around 1970.

After some horse-trading, the government ended up with this strange landmark, which became known as the Chet Holifield Federal Building in 1978. Today, it houses offices for the IRS, Homeland Security, and other popular agencies. Until recently, it also housed the Pacific Region branch of the National Archives, which were recently moved to Perris, where they're less likely to be bothered by pesky patrons.