LOS ANGELES | The Bradbury Building opened in 1893 and is the oldest commercial buildings in Los Angeles. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, the building was designed by architect Sumner Hunt, who was replaced by draftsman George H. Wyman before construction, although no evidence exists that Hunt’s design was changed.
The brown brick, sandstone and terracotta exterior was designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, which was popular at the time, however its the stunning interior that has been the Bradbury Building’s lasting legacy. Walk through the entrance, through the Parisian-style low-ceiling archways, and you’re greeted with a natural light-filled Victorian courtyard. The courtyard rises almost 50 feet and contains open cage elevators surrounded by wrought-iron grillwork, glazed and unglazed yellow and pink bricks, ornamental cast iron, tiling, Italian marble, Mexican tile, decorative terracotta and polished wood. It’s complex and visually stunning.
Since 1996, the building has served as the headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs division, but visitors are allowed up to the first landing of the building. If you feel somehow familiar with the building, it’s because it has appeared many times in popular culture over the years – Blade Runner, Chinatown, Lethal Weapon 4 are a few of the movies in which the Bradbury Building has appeared, along with many TV shows and music video clips.
The Bradbury Building is a true LA icon, and well worth a visit whether you’re new to the city, or have been inside many times before.
304 S Broadway
Telephone: 213 626 1893