Banco Popular de Puerto Rico | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo from Conservancy archives

Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

This elegant, eight-story building of granite, glazed brick, and terra cotta is designed in the Beaux Arts style.  Built in 1903 and designed by architect Alfred Foist Rosenheim, the building was commissioned by Hermann W. Hellman, a merchant and banker who emigrated to Los Angeles from Bavaria.

Hellman financed the building at the cost of $1.5 million, the largest individual investment for an office building in Los Angeles at the time.  The ornamental cartouches on the building’s façade proudly display the owner's initials, "HWH," a motif that is repeated inside. The lobby is primarily white marble, with a massive, geometrically detailed stairway. 

The stained glass oval dome and skylights – the building's hallmark – have been fully restored, stripped of the layers of paint that had hidden them since the blackouts of World War II. 

The dome is lit with natural sunlight from the central light well, which rises up through the center of the building. After years of decline in the 1960s and '70s, the building was acquired and renovated by the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico in 1976, the first major step in the revitalization of Spring Street.  The purchase and renovation cost $4 million, close to three times the building's original cost. In 2012, the building was purchased by developer Alan Gross, who intends to convert it into rental apartments. It was the long-time home of the now defunct state-funded Community Redevelopment Agency.

Los Angeles Conservancy archives

El Capitan Theatre and Office Building

The El Capitan Theatre and Office Building is the third of four major theatres constructed by prominent real estate developer C. E. Toberman, known as the “Father of Hollywood.” The six-story building was designed in the elaborate Spanish Baroque style by the renowned firm of Morgan, Walls, & Clements, who incorporated retail and office space into the upper floors. Noted theatre architect G. Albert Lansburgh designed the elaborate interior.
E. A. K. Hackett House
Photo from Conservancy archives

E. A. K. Hackett House

A Southern California Arts and Crafts classic and one of the most architecturally intact residences in the historic Pico-Union neighborhood.