Images from Bunker Hill and other parts of Downtown Los Angeles including the
Disney Concert Hall, California Plaza, Wells Fargo Center and other skyscrapers, and
19th and early 20th century architecture such as the Bradbury Building, the Central Library,
Union Station (the last great train station built in the US), and other Los Angeles Architecture.

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The Banner below leads to the LA Architecture and Public Art Collection (6 Galleries).


These six galleries contain 250 images of LA Architecture and Public Art.


Biltmore Gas Company 0039

I really like the overlay of the 1920s Biltmore Hotel
over the modern Gas Company skyscraper. I have
several versions of this image (different seasons).

The Biltmore has both a striking exterior and an
exquisitely beautiful interior. The ceilings in the
Galleria were hand-painted by Smeraldi (1922),
who also worked in the Vatican and White House.


Biltmore Street Lamp 1820

Frescoes and murals, travertine walls and
crystal chandeliers, marble fountains and other
accouterments of stately architecture abound in
the Biltmore. The Ballroom frescoes of Greek
and Roman gods and mythological creatures
were created over a period of 7 months, and
were restored in the 1980s by Smeraldi’s
apprentice. The lobby floor is a marvel.


Biltmore Victorian Street Lamp 9687


Biltmore Exterior Lantern 4128

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel (1923) was
the largest hotel west of Chicago at the time.
It was built in Spanish-Italian Renaissance style
with Beaux Arts (Neoclassical) influences.


Bonaventure 0645


Bonaventure Reflections 9675

The largest hotel in Los Angeles, the
Bonaventure (1976) is used as a location
for many film and television productions, as
well as corporate meetings and conventions.


Bradbury Building 0534

An architectural landmark of downtown Los Angeles, the Bradbury Building (1893)
is on Broadway at the base of Bunker Hill. The interior is an enormous central court lit by
a huge skylight, adorned with filigreed ornamental cast-iron and wrought-iron, tile and marble,
and has exposed cage elevators housed in wrought-iron shafts. The wrought-iron was displayed
at the Chicago World’s Fair before being installed in the building (it was manufactured in France).

The Bradbury has been featured in many films, including Blade Runner, Double Indemnity,
I the Jury, Wolf, Murphy’s Law, Chinatown, and many other film and television productions.
It is quite probably the most recognizable interior space in the City of Los Angeles.


Bradbury Building 0200

The dark entrance passes the first stairway
with ornamental wrought-iron railings and opens
into the brightly lit central court, seen above.


Bradbury Building 4625

Beyond the stairway you can see one of the
open-cageworks for the elevators on each side
of the court. Below are detail shots of the cages.


Bradbury Building 0716


Bradbury Building 0736


Bunker Hill 0167

Originally developed in the late 19th century
with Victorian houses for the elite, Bunker Hill
now is the site of the dominant skyscrapers
in Los Angeles (and Disney Concert Hall).


Bunker Hill Sunset 0729

The glass and steel towers in the center are
the California Plaza buildings. Angel’s Flight
(the world’ shortest railway) climbs the steep
grade from the Grand Central Market below.


Bunker Hill Wells Fargo KPMG 0650

The acute angles of the Wells Fargo and KPMG Towers create dramatic images.
These angles are exploited in some of the shots displayed further down on this page.
This image was taken from the YMCA courtyard, across Hope Street from the complex.


California Plaza 0148

On the opposite side of the Wells Fargo Towers
are the twin California Plaza Towers.


California Plaza 0181

These blue glass and steel towers were
BOMA Buildings of the Year in 1997 and 2001.


California Plaza 0454

The building shown above is the 750 foot tall
Two California Plaza (One stands 578 ft. tall, and.
connects to the Museum of Contemporary Art).


California Plaza 9628

The Plaza was completed in 1992, during a
slump in downtown real estate, and the
planned third tower was never built.


California Plaza 0697

California Plaza, shot from the Pershing Square escalator.


California Plaza Reflection 0639


California Plaza Sunset 0738


California Plaza Pool 0619

This pool stands between the Omni Hotel and MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art).
One California Plaza forms the background at the end of the tree-lined courtyard.


The Banner below leads to the LA Architecture and Public Art Collection (6 Galleries).


These six galleries contain 250 images of LA Architecture and Public Art.


Gas Company 4139

The elevator shafts and roof, called the “Ship”
because of its shape, were used in “Speed”.


Gas Company Library Tower 4034

The two skyscrapers hover over the much
smaller 12-story Biltmore Hotel at the far left.


Library Tower 9700

The Library Tower is the 10th tallest building in the USA and the 40th tallest in the world.
The current official name is the US Bank Tower, but everyone still calls it the Library Tower.
The tower rises 73 stories (1018 feet) and is across the street from the Central Library, which
was rebuilt after the disastrous fires of 1986 in part by selling the “air rights” to the developer
of the Library Tower in 1989 as part of the $1 Billion Central Library Redevelopment Plan.


SBC Gas Company 0171

The SBC microwave tower.
The building is part of the AT&T Center.


SBC Gas Company 0611

Dappled light reflecting from California Plaza.
The Gas Company Tower forms the background.


Mellon Bank Uptown Rocker 0182


Wells Fargo KPMG 0662

The knife-edged Wells Fargo/KPMG Towers.


Wells Fargo under Grand 9631

This scene has been in many films.
It is shot from the street below Grand.


Wells Fargo 0669

Two more views of the sharp edge of
the Wells Fargo Tower. When looking up,
the smooth brown surface reflects the sky
and changes to a bright blue on a nice day.


Wells Fargo 0781


Disney Concert Hall 0011

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is at 1st and Grand and is part of the LA Music Center.
Below are some shape studies of the magnificent stainless steel exterior.


Disney Concert Hall 1764


Disney Concert Hall 0446


Disney Concert Hall 0525

The concave surfaces caused a major problem
when the Concert Hall first opened, as they acted
like a parabolic mirror and reflected light and heat
on nearby condominiums, causing tripled AC costs.


Disney Concert Hall 0606

The problem was resolved when the surfaces
of the stainless steel panels were brushed
to somewhat reduce their reflectivity.


Disney Concert Hall 0652

More views of the Disney Concert Hall are available on this page.


The Banner below leads to the LA Architecture and Public Art Collection (6 Galleries).


These six galleries contain 250 images of LA Architecture and Public Art.


City Hall 0079


City Hall 1861

Los Angeles City Hall (1928) is the tallest base-isolated structure in the world, and can withstand an 8.2 earthquake. The design was based on the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and  was made famous by “Superman” and “Dragnet”.


Downtown Library Torch of Knowledge 0770

The LA Central Library was completed in 1926
and was designed with Egyptian influences.


Shadow and Light Library Lantern 4089

I simply could not resist shooting this
(it also offers an elegant play on words).


Downtown Library Atrium 0037

The Atrium contains 3 enormous chandeliers
and 13’ tall radial-vaned lanterns at each landing.


Downtown Library Sphinx 4120

One of the black veined Belgian marble sphinxes
guarding the approach to the Statue of Civilization.


Downtown Library Rotunda Mosaic Garnsey 4115

The mosaic dome by Julian E. Garnsey (1932), and the 2000 pound chandelier in the Rotunda.

The Central Library suffered two disastrous fires in 1986, destroying almost 400,000 volumes.
The fire in April 1986 (set by  arsonists) was the greatest structural fire in Los Angeles history.
The Library was rebuilt with funds raised in the $1 Billion Central Library Redevelopment Plan.


Grand Central Apartments 0457

The building housing the Million Dollar Theater
(one of the first movie palaces in the US, 1918)
also houses the Grand Central Apartments.


Grand Central Apartments 0465

The ornate facade over the entrance.
The building is directly across the street
from the Bradbury Building (seen earlier).


Chinatown Central Plaza Roof 9739

Completed in 1938, Central Plaza is sort of a Hollywood version of Shanghai.


Our Lady of the Angels 0006

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,
completed in 2002 to replace the St. Vibiana
Cathedral, LA’s last remaining 19th c. building,
which was damaged in the 1994 earthquake.
(Vibiana is now an event space and arts center).

The post-modern structure designed
by Rafael Moneo has no right angles.


Our Lady of the Angels
Virgin Mary Graham 0691

The statue stands above the bronze doors. It was
created by the famous LA sculptor Robert Graham.


Union Station 0231

Union Station was built on the site of the original LA Chinatown, across the street from the
historic Olvera Street (part of the original Pueblo, the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles).


Union Station 0233


Union Station 0238


Union Station 0245

Called the “Last of the Great Railway Stations”, it was completed in 1939 and has been
used in numerous films and television shows. It was designed by the same architects who
designed City Hall and many other landmark LA buildings. With the construction of the new
Metro Rail system, Union Station is once again a heavily visited facility in Downtown LA.


The Banner below leads to the LA Architecture and Public Art Collection (6 Galleries).


These six galleries contain 250 images of LA Architecture and Public Art.


Click the Display Composite above to visit the LA Public Art page