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Bradbury Building

POI: 34.050536, -118.247861
The Bradbury Building is an architectural landmark located at 304 South Broadway at West 3rd Street in downtown Los Angeles, California. Built in 1893, the building was commissioned by Los Angeles gold-mining millionaire Lewis L. Bradbury and constructed by draftsman George Wyman from the original design by Sumner Hunt. It appears in many works of fiction and has been the site of many movie and television shoots and music videos. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, one of only four office buildings in Los Angeles to be so honored. It was also designated a landmark by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission and is the city's oldest landmarked building.
History
Lewis L. Bradbury (November 6, 1823 – July 15, 1892) was a gold-mining millionaire – he owned the Tajo mine in Sinaloa, Mexico – who became a real estate developer in the later part of his life. In 1892 he began planning to construct a five-story building at Broadway and Third Street in Los Angeles, close to the Bunker Hill neighborhood. A local architect, Sumner Hunt, was hired to design the building, and turned in a completed design, but Bradbury dismissed Hunt's plans as inadequate to the grand building he wanted. He then hired George Wyman, one of Hunt's draftsmen, to do the design. Bradbury supposedly felt that Wyman understood his own vision of the building better than Hunt did, but there is no concrete evidence that Wyman changed Hunt's design, which has raised some controversy about who should be considered to be the architect of the building. Wyman had no formal education as an architect, and was working for Hunt for $5 a week at the time. The building opened in 1893, some months after Bradbury's death in 1892, and was completed in 1894, at the total cost of $500,000, about three times the original budget. In 1991, a $7 million restoration and seismic retrofitting was undertaken by developer Ira Yellin and project architect Brenda Levin Associates. 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.
Architecture
The building's undistinguished exterior facade of brown brick, sandstone and terra cotta detailing was designed in the commercial vernacular Italian Renaissance Revival style current at the time. It is the interior that is the most notable part of the building. The narrow entrance lobby, with its low ceiling and minimal light "has the look of a Parisian alley of arched windows", and opens into a bright naturally lit great "awe-inspiring cathedral-like" center court. Robert Forster, star of the TV series Banyon that used the building for his office, described it as "one of the great interiors...   ... (English)
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by Panoramio
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