Blackstone Department Store Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Marcello Vavala/L.A. Conservancy

Blackstone Department Store Building

The Blackstone Department Store Building is an early example of the work of John Parkinson, Los Angeles’ preeminent architect of the early twentieth century. Parkinson, in collaboration with other architects, went on to design some of Los Angeles’ most iconic buildings, including City Hall, Bullocks Wilshire, and Union Station.

Developer Arthur H. Fleming hired Parkinson to design a modern department store for his new commercial tenant, Nathaniel Blackstone, a successful dry goods retailer. This Beaux Arts building is clad in grey terra cotta and features a detailed cornice with elaborate brackets.

In 1939, Blackstone’s was sold to the Famous Department Store Company, which hired noted architects Morgan, Walls, and Clements to oversee extensive renovations. These alterations included a new ground-floor façade, designed by Stiles O. Clements, in a sleek Streamline Moderne style. Although not original to the building, this façade has gained significance over time as an example of later Moderne detailing.

Today, after years of decline, the Blackstone Building has been adaptively reused as mixed-income housing with ground-floor retail space and a basement parking garage. The Conservancy holds an easement protecting the building’s historic façade.

Photo by Richard Langendorf

San Fernando Building

The 1907 San Fernando Building was developed by James B. Lankershim, one of California’s largest landholders. In 2000, the building was the first adaptive reuse housing project developed by Gilmore Associates as part of the creation of the Old Bank District.
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Globe Theatre/Garland Building

Built as a combination office tower and theatre venue, the 1913 Beaux Arts-style Garland Building was designed by Morgan, Walls & Morgan. Built for full-scale live theatre productions, the interior was designed by Alfred F. Rosenheim.