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 Linda Dishman/L.A. Conservancy

The Stuart Building

With elegant screening, reflecting pools and fountains, and other details, this building demonstrated that industrial architecture could be attractive and appealing, as well as cost-effective.
Photo courtesy Heritage Housing Partners

Herkimer Arms

Built in 1912 as an eight-unit dwelling, the Herkimer Arms is the only surviving apartment building by master architects Charles and Henry Greene, and one of their few buildings with a gunite exterior.
Oviatt Building
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Oviatt Building

Formerly the headquarters of one of the most prestigious haberdasheries in the city, the 1928 Oviatt Building features Art Deco fixtures and literally tons of Lalique glass.