Looking north on Broadway from Second Street, c.1930-2012

c. 1930-2012

Long before the development of the Civic Center, many of Los Angeles’ larger institutional buildings had clustered at the upper end of South Broadway. One of the area’s longtime stalwarts, the Los Angeles Times, built its first building at the northeast corner with First Street in 1887. Visible in the distance of the top photograph are the distinctive dome and clock tower of its second building, completed two years after the original structure was bombed in 1910. The Times moved to its present location at First and Spring Streets in 1935; its old building was demolished by the city in 1938 for the widening of First Street.

The seven-story building at the center of the top photograph was the third headquarters of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, built in 1903. Designed by William H. Allen, the Classical Revival building boasted a distinct set of seven curved bays on its second and third floors. At the time of its construction, the structure was claimed to have had the largest ground floor area of any building in the city.

Though its buildings remained largely untouched through mid-century, the above block of upper Broadway was fully razed in the late 1960s to make way for a major expansion of the Los Angeles Times. Designed by William Pereira, the new offices and parking structure along Broadway extended the company’s footprint to an entire city block. Though upper Broadway was one of the city’s busiest commercial districts in the early 20th century, not a single storefront can be seen in the present view.

A closer view of the Chamber of Commerce Building [USC Digital Library]

1. “A notable event.” Los Angeles Times. 22 Mar. 1903. C4.
2. “Broadway’s most magnificent pile – new Chamber of Commerce.” Los Angeles Times. 7 Dec. 1902. B1.
3. “Site clearing step taken.” Los Angeles Times. 3 Feb. 1937. A3.
4. “The home of the times.” Los Angeles Times. 2 Jul. 1893. 9.
5. “Workmen begin wrecking old tower of ‘The Times.'” Los Angeles Times. 27 Dec. 1937.
Original photo: “chs-m21208 – View of the intersection of West Second Street and Broadway, [s.d.]” California Historical Society Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/search/controller/view/chs-m21208.html?x=1334544081599.

This entry was posted in Broadway, Civic Center, Downtown, Los Angeles, Then and now and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Looking north on Broadway from Second Street, c.1930-2012

  1. Bert Green says:

    Nice image, it shows just how vibrant and dense tat part of DTLA used to be. Although Civic Center has its charms, it’s sad to see so much of the old 19th century Los Angeles just vanished forever.

  2. Tick face says:

    The street lamp on the right is the only survivor.

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