Contrary to its appearance, the unnamed two-story building in the foreground of the original photograph appears to date to back as early as the First World War. Having remained untouched during downtown’s building frenzy preceding the Great Depression, the building’s facade and interiors were entirely rebuilt in plain Art Deco/early Modernist style after a sale of ownership in 1935. For nearly three decades, the corner space on the ground floor was occupied by a ticket office for the Union Pacific Railroad.
High-rise construction returned downtown in full force in the 1960s. The corner building was demolished in early 1965 and soon replaced replaced by the 26-story City National Bank building. Designed by the firm of Dan Saxon Palmer, the office tower was one of the earliest completed projects of the downtown skyscraper boom which lasted into the early 1990s.
1. “Downtown structure will soon have its face lifted.” 24 Feb. 1935. Los Angeles Times. p. 13.
2. “26-Floor Bank Building Set for Downtown L.A.” 18 Nov. 1964. Los Angeles Times. A2
Original photo: Dick Whittington Studio. “Looking east/southeast from the corners of Sixth Street and Olive Street with the streets full of activity.” c. 1938. Whittington Photography Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. 7 Sep. 2010. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/search/controller/view/whit-m2160.html.