By the mid-1920s, Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue had become two of Los Angeles’ most heavily-traveled streets, and by any indication, their crossroads was on the very cusp of becoming a major locus of commercial construction. Surely in anticipation of changes to come, department store magnate John G. Bullock moved his residence at the intersection’s southwest corner to Windsor Square in 1925, leaving the coveted site open for redevelopment. Nonetheless, for many years, the parcel hosted no more than a set of billboards, shown in the top photo with an advertisement for none other than Bullock’s department stores.
Although the property was purchased in 1938 by Bullock’s competitor, I. Magnin & Co., with the intention of expanding its store at the corner of Wilshire and New Hampshire Avenue, those plans never made it past the drawing board. Major development finally arrived quite dramatically with the completion of the Pacific Indemnity Building in 1961, a monolithic 16-story office tower designed by Claud Beelman & Associates. An additional tower, by Langdon & Wilson Architects, was built on the southern end of the complex in 1971.
1. “Kress moves home.” Los Angeles Times. 25 Jan. 1925. E13.
2. “New landmark for Wilshire District.” Los Angeles Times. 11 Feb. 1962. M1.
3. “Steel frame completed.” Los Angeles Times. 1 Nov. 1970. J18.
4. “Wilshire site changes hands.”Los Angeles Times. 31 Jul. 1938. 14
Original photo: “Vermont Ave. and Wilshire Blvd. intersection.” 1930. Los Angeles Public Library. http://photos.lapl.org/carlweb/jsp/FullRecord?databaseID=968&record=10&controlNumber=71412.