Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Makes His Mark
One critic has called the space “a fairytale of mathematics,” from its red sandstone exterior to its brick and iron-lace inner spaces. It is one of Los Angeles' truly breathtaking buildings, its interior as visually exciting for visitors and moviemakers now as it was a century ago – which is exactly what Bradbury envisioned, a building that would still be modern a hundred years after its cornerstone was laid.
Bradbury, son of a wealthy Maine family, came west in the 1850s, striking it rich in the Mexican gold mines of Mazatlan. At 45, he followed the pattern of other ambitious Yankee newcomers, and married Simona Martinez, a Mazatlan heiress 20 years his junior.
After shuttling up and down California, the couple settled in Los Angeles, hoping the climate would improve Bradbury’s chronic asthma. Their “country place” was a 2,750-acre ranch, the core of a town that would eventually
It was from his Bunker Hill home that, in 1891, Bradbury fancied a unique office building he could walk to, and which would bear his name.
The man he commissioned for the project was Sumner P. Hunt, a leading Southland architect who had already designed homes and mansions. But Hunt’s design left Bradbury uninspired, and he offered the job to a young, $5-a-week draftsman in the architect’s office.
So he undertook the project, with that assist from the occult and inspiration from a book, “Looking Backward,” by Edward Bellamy. The book, which eventually became a cult classic, imagined a 21st-century world of cooperative housing and workspaces organized around crystal courts.
Wyman turned that inspiration into the focal point of the building’s interior, a vertical courtyard bathed in the Southern California sunlight filtering through a massive glass roof.
Wyman, who like Frank Lloyd Wright, had no academic credentials as an architect, employed the unusually
Bradbury never saw his building completed. More than a year before it opened in January 1894, he died. It had cost him $500,000, more than twice what he had budgeted for.
The unexpected death of its namesake and the otherwise undistinguished designs of its creator have not diminished the Bradbury Building’s reputation, and as one of the area’s most popular film settings, it seems assured of immortality as downtown Los Angeles most intriguing landmark.
Erected by The City of Los Angeles.
Location. 34° 3.043′ N, 118° 14.884′ W. Marker is in Los Angeles, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is on South Broadway near West 3rd Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. The Bradbury Building is located on the corner of South Broadway and West 3rd Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 304 South Broadway, Los Angeles CA 90013, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Spring Street (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Angel’s Flight (approx. 0.2 miles away); Historical Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Ironsides (approx. ¼ mile away); Christopher Columbus (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Lindbergh Beacon (approx. 0.4 miles away); Route of the Settlers of Los Angeles (approx. 0.4 miles away); Oviatt Building (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Angeles.
Also see . . .
1. This Building Is the Biggest Architectural Movie Star in Los Angeles. (Submitted on February 17, 2016.)
2. Angels Walk L.A. Self-guided walking tours of historic neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The Bradbury Building marker is part of the Bunker Hill walk. (Submitted on August 3, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.)
Categories. • Architecture •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 3, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 7, 2016, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 370 times since then and 48 times this year. Last updated on August 3, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 7, 2016, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. 7, 8, 9. submitted on February 21, 2016, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.