One of the oldest still-standing structures in Los Angeles, this National Historic Landmark was built in 1893 for mining millionaire and real estate developer Lewis L. Bradbury, who never saw the finished building; he died shortly before it was completed. While relatively nondescript from its red brick Romanesque Revival exterior and into its dim entrance, the beauty of the Bradbury Building is revealed as you climb its stairs toward a five-story Victorian atrium filled with light.
The interior staircase is inlaid with geometric designs cut from Belgian marble, and its wrought-iron grillwork was considered so ornate at the time of its completion that it was featured in the Chicago World’s Fair before being installed here. The walls are pale glazed brick, the staircases are rimmed with carved-wood edging, and the atrium is capped with a glass skylight, allowing light to fill the building throughout the day.
Always used as an office building for various professionals, businesses and government agencies, the building has also made prominent appearances in several books, music videos, TV shows and movies, including Blade Runner, where it served as Harrison Ford’s character’s apartment.
A guided glimpse of the Bradbury Building (only as far as the
first-story landing) is available as part of the Los Angeles
Conservancy’s Historic Downtown Walking Tour. The cost is $10 for
adults, $5 for kids under 12, and the 2 1/2-hour, 1 1/2-mile tour is
given every Saturday at 10 a.m., starting at Downtown’s Pershing Square