Looking north on Broadway from Twelfth Street, 1938-2014


While the Broadway retail and office district made its final major expansion in the 1920s, Twelfth Street became Downtown’s southern limit for large-scale development. During that decade, the majestic Los Angeles Examiner Building (1913) received its first high-rise neighbors; the left edge of the original view shows part of the Chamber of Commerce Building (1924), while the right edge shows the side of the Citizens’ Mortgage Building (1924), later known as the Case Hotel. The highrise at the center of both pictures is the Western Pacific Building, built in two sections between 1925 and 1927.

In some ways, this view hasn’t changed much in the past seven decades, as nearly every building in the original photograph has survived up until the present. The main exception is the former Chamber of Commerce, demolished in 1967 and replaced by the Occidental Center computer center. Today, the southern end of Broadway remains relatively removed from the center of Downtown, and generally sees little pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

Nonetheless, the long-neglected neighborhood will soon come into the orbit of Downtown’s ongoing redevelopment. The Case Hotel was purchased about a month ago by developers with plans to renovate the property as a boutique hotel. Meanwhile, Forest City is planning mixed-use buildings at Twelfth Street and Broadway and Eleventh and Hill Streets, both recently purchased from the Hearst Corporation. Hearst, for its part, has announced its intention to move ahead next year on its long-stalled renovation of the Herald-Examiner Building, vacant since 1989.

A brief history of the Herald-Examiner Building [Big Orange Landmarks]
Historic Broadway building to become four-star boutique hotel [LA Downtown News]
Forest City snaps up two South Park lots [LA Downtown News]

1. “10-story computer center to be built.” Los Angeles Times. 28 Feb. 1968. SG1.
2. “Broadway to get new structure.” Los Angeles Times. 7 Aug. 1926. A16.
3. “Chamber to open dining room today.” Los Angeles Times. 1 Jun. 1926. A5.
4. “Corner-stone of new home laid.” Los Angeles Times. 12 Aug. 1913. II9.
5. “Limit building will rise soon.” Los Angeles Times. 16 Dec. 1923. II25.
6. “Old Chamber of Commerce being razed.” Los Angeles Times. 6 Nov. 1967. 23.
Original photo: “Broadway Showing Examiner Building Los Angeles, Calif.” 1938. Frasher Foto Postcard Collection. Calisphere. Pomona Public Library. http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt7199q2wv/?query=examiner%20building&brand=calisphere.

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

One Response to Looking north on Broadway from Twelfth Street, 1938-2014

  1. Eitan Alexander says:

    My friends and I are always delightfully surprised whenever we stumble across the Examiner Building (usually wandering back from the garment district). Thanks for the history and the update, would love to see it restored.

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