Oviatt Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Oviatt Building
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Oviatt Building

This grand building was constructed as the headquarters of one of the most prestigious and expensive haberdasheries in the city, Alexander & Oviatt. The building housed the shop (now Cicada restaurant), rentable office space, and a penthouse suite for owner James Oviatt.

During the early phases of construction of the Italian Romanesque styled building, Oviatt attended the 1925 Paris Exposition and decided to decorate his building in the new style. When the building was completed, the sheltered lobby forecourt contained over thirty tons of glass by designer Rene Lalique. While most of the glass as been lost or sold over the years, a few original pieces remain in the panels at the top of the lobby columns. Lalique also designed the mallechort elevator doors, mailboxes, and directories. The shop interior retains the elegant art deco fixtures, stair rails, and molded plaster ceiling panels.

Oviatt's ten-room penthouse was originally decorated by the Parisian design firm of Saddler et fils. The rooms featured burled mahogany furniture and cabinets, parquet wood floors in geometric patterns, carved woodwork, imported fabrics and Lalique glass throughout.

Photo by Marcello Vavala/L.A. Conservancy

Blackstone Department Store Building

Before his name was attached to historic icons like City Hall and Union Station, John Parkinson designed the most luxurious department store west of the Mississippi.

The Trust Building

When the Title Insurance and Trust Building opened it was called the “Queen of Spring Street” due to of its great size.
Photo from L.A. Conservancy archives

Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park greatly contributed to the advancement of California's thoroughbred racing industry, though it would later become infamous as the site of the largest Assembly Center for Japanese American internment during World War II.