Bradbury Building
The Bradbury Building is an architectural landmark in Los Angeles, California. Despite being primarily an office building, it is a popular tourist destination, and is also regularly used as a setting for films, television, music videos, literature, and even computer games and comics.

The building itself features an Italian Renaissance-style exterior facade of brown brick, sandstone and panels of terra cotta details, in the "commercial Romanesque" that was the current idiom in East Coast American cities. But the magnificence of the building is the interior: reached through the entrance, with its low ceiling and minimal light, it opens into a bright naturally lit great center court.

The five-story central court features glazed brick, ornamental cast iron, tiling, rich marble, and polished wood, capped by a skylight that allows the court to be flooded with natural rather than artificial light, creating ever-changing shadows and accents during the day. The elevators, which go up to the fifth floor, are cage elevators that are surrounded by wrought-iron grillwork rather than masonry.

The entire main building features geometric patterned staircases at all ends. Ornately designed wrought-iron railings are used abundantly throughout the building to create the illusion of hanging vegetation.

Robert Forster, star of the TV series Banyon that used the building for his office, described it as "one of the great interiors of L.A. Outside it doesn't look like much, but when you walk inside, suddenly you're back a hundred and twenty years."

The building was commissioned by Lewis Bradbury, for whom it is named. Bradbury was a Tajo silver mining millionaire who became a real estate developer in the later part of his life. He planned in 1892 to construct a five story building at Third Street and Broadway in Los Angeles, close to the Bunker Hill neighborhood.

A local architect, Sumner Hunt, was first hired to complete a design for the building, but Bradbury dismissed Hunt's plans as inadequate to the grandeur of his vision. Bradbury then hired George Wyman, one of Hunt's draftsmen, to design the building.

A restoration and seismic retrofitting by developer Ira Yellin and project architect Brenda Levin Associates was undertaken in 1991. As part of the restoration, a storage area at the south end of the building was converted to a new rear entrance portico, connecting the building more directly to Biddy Mason Park and the adjacent Broadway Spring Center parking garage. The building's lighting system was also redesigned, bringing in alabaster wall sconces from Spain.

The initial estimate for the construction of the building was $175,000, but the final costs at completion was over $500,000 -- an extremely large amount for those times. Using the GDP Deflator method, this amount translates to more than $11 million in 2008 dollars.

Sadly, Lewis Bradbury died months before the building opened in 1893, although it stands as a testament to his and George Wyman's vision. It is Wyman's most acclaimed building.

The building has operated as an office building for most of its history. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

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Building Activity

  • Ale Márquez
    Ale Márquez commented
    anyone know where I can find this building's floor plan? Thank you!
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • hardwick89one
    hardwick89one commented
    "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”
    about 5 years ago via iPhone
  • hardwick89one
    hardwick89one commented
    "...All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”
    about 5 years ago via iPhone
  • loveffany
    loveffany commented
    fav
    about 6 years ago via iPhone
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    loveffany commented
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