Photo by Douglas Hill/ShootingArchitecture.com

Bradbury Building

The Bradbury Building is the oldest commercial building remaining in the central city and one of Los Angeles’ unique treasures.

Behind its modest, mildly Romanesque exterior lies a magical light-filled Victorian court that rises almost fifty feet with open cage elevators, marble stairs, and ornate iron railings. The identity of the building’s final architect is a subject of debate. Lewis Bradbury, a mining and real estate millionaire, commissioned Sumner Hunt to create a spectacular office building. Hunt turned in completed designs but was replaced soon after by George H. Wyman, who supervised construction.

According to Wyman’s daughters, he was asked to take over because Bradbury felt that Wyman could understand his own vision for the building better than Hunt, although there is no evidence that Wyman changed the design. Wyman later designed other buildings in the Los Angeles area, but the Bradbury Building (if indeed it was designed by Wyman) was to be his only work of lasting significance, whereas Sumner Hunt went on to design many other notable buildings, including the Southwest Museum.

The building underwent complete restoration in the early 1990s as part of the Yellin Company’s Grand Central Square project.

Gas Company Tower
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Gas Company Tower

The 1991 Gas Company Tower rises in a series of cliff-like setbacks and inverted corners, with an elliptical top of blue glass symbolizing the trademark blue flame of the building’s primary tenant
Photo by Cindy Olnick/L.A. Conservancy

36th Street Apartments

An early, intact, and excellent example of the classically inspired American Foursquare style popular in the nineteenth-century Midwest and typical of early south Los Angeles neighborhoods.