San Fernando Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Richard Langendorf

San Fernando Building

The San Fernando Building was developed by James B. Lankershim, one of California’s largest landholders of the era. His farther, Issac Lankershim, owned much of the San Fernando Valley and helped develop it into farmland. Together with James’ brother-in-law Isaac Van Nuys, the three men ran what was for a time the largest wheat empire in the world.

After his father's death, James branched out into real estate and banking, and decided to establish a presence in Los Angeles’ financial district with a new building.

Completed in two stages, the San Fernando Building had the first six floors available for occupation in 1907 and the top two in 1911. The two phases of construction are seamlessly integrated despite the time lapse and change in architects, and the only tell-tale sign is the cornice along what was originally the rooftop above the sixth floor.

The building featured a café, a billiard room, and a Turkish bath in the basement, as well as a penthouse in which Lankershim himself resided. His name adorns the terrazzo floor at the entrance on Main Street.

In 2000, the building was redeveloped by Gilmore Associates and converted into seventy loft-style apartments by Killefer Flammang Architects.

Photo by Marisela Ramirez/L.A. Conservancy.

El Mercado

El Mercado, often known as "El Mercadito" to locals, embodies the traditional Mexican cultural identity of the Eastside.
Photo courtesy Rising Realty Partners


Designed by premier L.A. architects, the former headquarters of Pacific Mutual Life Insurance is now teeming with new life as creative office space.
Photo by Lauren Everett/L.A. Conservancy

Brockman Building and Annex

The opulence of the original façade, which features elaborate terra cotta detailing and a copper cornice, was the only one in the city at the time of its construction.