Coulter's Department Store (Demolished) | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo copyright J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (2004.R.10)

Coulter's Department Store (Demolished)

The Streamline Moderne flagship store of Coulter's Dry Goods stood four floors high, with a rounded exterior of white concrete and horizontal bands of glass block rather than proper windows. A dramatic seventy-two-foot-high panel of glass soared above the boulevard entrance.

In addition to its significant architecture, the building's 1938 opening marked a significant milestone for the Miracle Mile. Coulter's had been downtown for sixty years. Instead of simply opening a branch on Wilshire, Coulter's departed downtown entirely, deciding the future lay on Wilshire. 

By the 1970s, The Broadway department store had taken over Coulter's. The building was nominated for listing in the National Register of Historic Places but was demolished in 1980 before the nomination could be heard.

The site remained a community eyesore for decades, with pools of tar and oil visible at the bottom of a deep pit. It now houses a massive mixed-use development.

Photo by Tom Davies


Designed for the affluent postwar Pasadena shopper, this former Robinson's was planned and sited to include prime viewing spots for the Rose Parade.