Broadway-Spring Arcade Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
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.

Photo by Joe Decruyenaere on Flickr

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The oldest surviving government building in the Los Angeles Civic Center is an imposing presence with classical detailing and matching facades on all four sides.
Photo by Lauren Everett/L.A. Conservancy

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