Historic Downtown Los Angeles – Pacific Mutual Building, Southern California Edison Building

Hello everyone!

So I did shoot something in April, but it is only now that I’ve gotten a chance to sit down and post about it. I still consider it as part of April, even though I just won’t bother fiddling with the timestamp. Last month I went on an amazing tour of the historical Downtown Los Angeles area run by a great group called the LA Conservancy. My friend Jane told me about it last year, but I haven’t had the time till this year to actually block out a Saturday morning for it. Best $10 I’ve ever spent in LA so far! We were allowed entry into several beautiful buildings in the downtown district, where the tour guide gave us interesting tidbits of information about the architecture and local history of Los Angeles.

Without further adieu, here are some of the incredible views you’ll find in historic LA!

Pershing Square skyline

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Views of the LA skyline while at Pershing Square, where most of the LA Conservancy tours depart. The City National Bank building shown above is an example of Modernist architecture: minimalist surfaces (not much ornamentation), horizontal & vertical lines, and exposure of the support beams (four pillars near the bottom) rather it being hidden into the structure of the building.

Pacific Mutual Building


Entrance of the Pacific Mutual Building (Art Deco style) located at 523 W. Sixth Street.

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Lobby/first floor area.


To the right of this picture is the staircase from the previous shot. Elevators and partial view of the upper level.


Staircase detail.


Impressive ceiling detail. The black and white marble flooring is supposed to convey a sense of legacy, wealth, and dependability. A great example of Beaux-Arts architecture, the Pacific Mutual building boasts arched passageways, intricate paneling and sculpture above the exterior entrance, and other classical details that recall Greek buildings of the past.

Southern California Edison Building

Now known as One Bunker Hill, the exterior follows Art Deco themes (tall, narrow, minimal ornamentation on the exterior, lots of setbacks.)



Toward the elevators and offices that now occupy the building. The interior is in the Art Deco style. There are at least seventeen different types of marble in the lobby.


Look at the rich detail on that ceiling! The mural at the end of the wall is by artist Hugo Ballin and is titled “The Power.”


Another look at the marble columns and patterns on the ceiling.

More pictures to come in the following posts! Stay tuned for more architecture.


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