Sears, Roebuck and Company, Pacific Coast Territory Administrative Offices | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Sears, Roebuck and Company, Pacific Coast Territory Administrative Offices

When Sears, Roebuck and Company moved into its new Pacific Coast Territory administrative offices, it established residence in a building that would become an icon of Corporate Modernism in Alhambra.

The twelve-story tower was designed by Albert C. Martin & Associates and completed in 1971, along with an adjacent Sears department store.

It is a cube-like, glass-skin skyscraper sheathed entirely in reflective glass so that it reflects the sky from all sides, all day long. The effect, in our sunny climes, is overwhelmingly blue most of the time—hence the nickname “The Blue Cube.” The ethereal building perches on top of huge canted concrete pedestals that seem to tether it to the earth.

A large landscaped courtyard in front of the building welcomed visitors to the company’s headquarters. It features a large circular fountain in the front and an elevated garden that encircles the whole tower.

After Sears, Roebuck and Co. left its Alhambra headquarters to consolidate its staff in Chicago in the late 1980s, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works purchased it for use as its headquarters. It has occupied the tower ever since, keeping the blue flame burning for glass skin design and construction with this fine example of the style.

Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

The Standard, Downtown LA

One of the finest examples of the Corporate Moderne style in Los Angeles, this 1955 building now thrives as a hip hotel.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

One Park Plaza

An excellent example of the glass skin system the architect developed with Cesar Pelli, it featured a non-loadbearing glass membrane with reversed mullions that served to set designs free from the constrictions of the vertical "box."
First African Methodist Episcopal Church
Photo by Ysa Adams / Incite Photography

First African Methodist Episcopal Church

The Late Modern-style building was designed by Paul R. Williams, the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects and a lifetime member of the First A.M.E. church.