Designed by the distinguished Los Angeles firm of Curlett and Beelman, the Roosevelt Building is an excellent example of the Italian Renaissance Revival style. Alexander Curlett and Claud Beelman worked together for only six years yet designed some of Los Angeles' most distinctive downtown architecture, including six buildings on Seventh Street alone.
The exterior is clad in terra cotta cast to resemble the rusticated stone blocks of a Florentine palazzo. The main Seventh Street entrance features three thirty-foot-high arches and an intricate terrazzo floor.
The exterior is largely intact and has retained much of its original detailing over time.
The Roosevelt Building was named after President Theodore Roosevelt and developed by the Sun Realty Corporation, which comprised many of the most prominent bankers and financiers in the city. The group intended to capitalize on the growing popularity of the Seventh Street commercial corridor.
The building dominates the northeast corner of South Flower and West Seventh Streets, occupying the entire lot with a modified E-shaped plan. In 1986, a sensitive renovation added a station portal and elevator for the Metro Red Line at street level while maintaining the integrity of the façade. Materials from the building's exterior, including the rough-textured terra cotta and black granite, were replicated and used to clad the walls surrounding the entrance to the subway stairs. The Conservancy holds an easement protecting the building's façade.