Bendix Building

(1929)*- View showing the design rendering for the Bendix Building located at 1206 Maple Avenue (SE corner of 12th St. and Maple Ave).  


Historical Notes

The Bendix Building was constructed by developer Florence Casler in 1929. In the 1920s Casler stood out in the male-dominated commercial real estate business, putting together an empire that came to include at least ten downtown buildings worth an estimated $7 million in 1926. And she didn’t skimp. For the Bendix, she hired architect William Douglas Lee, who designed the Chateau Marmont Hotel and the El Royale apartments the same year. Lee ornamented the building’s Gothic façade with bas-relief male figures next to words such as Progress, Education, and Invention, and installed large windows that offer sweeping views of downtown.




(ca. 1929)* - View looking south showing the newly constructed Bendix Building with tower located on the SE corner of 12th Street and Maple Avenue.  


Historical Notes

In 1925, Florence Casler was elected director of the People’s Bank, making her the first female officer of a national bank in Los Angeles. She was also vice president of the Pico Street Association and a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

In 1928, Florence officially struck out on her own when she formed the Casler Construction Company. That year, she scored her biggest client yet when she began constructing the Bendix Building at 1206 South Maple Avenue for the Bendix Aviation Corporation.*




(1950s)* – View looking at the SE corner of 12th Street and Maple Avenue showing the Bendix Building. The Security First National Bank is next door, further up Maple Avenue.  


Historical Notes

The Bendix Aviation Corporation was a manufacturer of aircraft parts based from 1929 to 1960 in Los Angeles.

It was started by inventor Vincent Bendix in 1929 as a continuation of his auto parts company. Bendix ranked 17th among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts.

The company was renamed to Bendix Corporation in 1960, and in 1983 was acquired by the Allied Corporation (later AlliedSignal, now Honeywell International Inc.) and combined with King Radio (company) company to form Bendix/King. Now owned by Honeywell, Bendix/King remains a brand of avionics.*




(ca. 2018)* – Looking toward the intersection of 12th Street and Maple Avenue showing the 11-story Bendix Building with oversized tower-sign reading “BENDIX”. Photo by Matthew Anderson via Los Angeles Magazine  


Historical Notes

Originally, the Bendix Building roof-top had one air beacon with a 50,000,000-candlepower light, 36 inches in circumference. Another of 8,000,000 candlepower, pointed to Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, nine miles away. The light tower's base was illuminated with a roof marker outlined in red neon, with a gigantic arrow pointing to the airport.^

In 2008, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission recognized Florence Casler as "one of the first women in the early 20th century to head a company in the field of development and construction of high-rise buildings." She was also appointed as the head of Peoples Bank of Los Angeles, making her the only female director of a bank in Los Angeles.^



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