Photo by Lauren Everett/L.A. Conservancy

Broadway-Spring Arcade Building

The Arcade Building is actually two twelve-story towers connected by a skylit, three-level arcade that runs from Spring Street to Broadway.

The exterior features intricate Spanish Baroque terracotta arches that rise up over the arcade entrances.

Thin twisted and beaded columns shape the delicate arches that traverse the basement level. The arcade itself measures 826 feet by 26 feet and originally housed sixty-one shops. It is covered with a glass-roofed skylight in imitation of the Burlington Arcade in London. The Venetian-style bridge that spans the center of the arcade was a later addition.

The building was constructed on the site of Mercantile Place, a small alley lined with retail shops that, by 1924, had been an L.A. landmark for more than forty years.  A competition was held to find a suitable design that would provide office space as well as maintain the alley’s storefronts and ambience. The winning architects, Kenneth McDonald and Maurice Couchot, were awarded $60,000 for their plans.

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.
Junipero Serra State Office Building
Photo courtesy Nadel Architects

Junipero Serra State Office Building

Arthur T. Letts established his new business in a rented space at the corner of Fourth Street and Broadway, eventually expanding the company, The Broadway Department Store, into California's largest retail establishment of the era.