Eastern Columbia Building

 
Sketch showing the Art Deco clock tower of the Eastern Columbia Building located at 849 S. Broadway.*  

 

Historical Notes

In 1929, architect Claud Beelman designed the Eastern-Columbia Building (aka the Eastern Building, Columbia-Eastern Building, or Eastern Outfitting Retail Store Building) in the Art Deco Moderne stepped-back style, clad in green and gold terra-cotta.
 

 

 

 

 
(1930)* - Night view of the Eastern Columbia Building, located downtown at 849 S. Broadway.  

 

Historical Notes

The Eastern Columbia Building opened on September 12, 1930, after just nine months of construction. It was built as the new headquarters of the Eastern Outfitting Company and the Columbia Outfitting Company, furniture and clothing stores. With the construction of this lavish structure, the companies could also boast one of the largest buildings constructed in the 1930s.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)* - Eastern Columbia Building, located downtown at 849 S. Broadway, is a reminder of the extravagant style used in architecture during this period of Los Angeles history. Clad in green and gold terra-cotta sheathing, it was built in 1929-1930.  

 

Historical Notes

Built at a cost of $1.25 million (1930) as the new headquarters and 39th store for the Eastern-Columbia Department Store, whose component Eastern and Columbia stores were founded by Adolph Sieroty and family. At the time of construction, the City of Los Angeles enforced a height limit of 150 feet, however the decorative clock tower was granted an exemption, allowing the clock a total height of 264 feet.*

 

 

 

 
(1938)* - The Eastern Building, also called Columbia-Eastern Building, Eastern-Columbia Building or Eastern Outfitting Retail Store Building, was home to Eastern Outfitting Company and Columbia Outfitting Company.  

 

Historical Notes

On August 2, 1938, thirty Eastern-Columbia stores throughout the Pacific Coast celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their founding. The first store of the group was established in 1888 at 9th Street and Broadway, now home to this building.

 

 

 

 
(1930s)^ - Detailed close-up view of the top floors of the Eastern Columbia Building.  

 

Historical Notes

The Eastern Columbia building was built of steel-reinforced concrete and clad in glossy turquoise terra cotta trimmed with deep blue and gold trim. The building's vertical emphasis is accentuated by deeply recessed bands of paired windows and spandrels with copper panels separated by vertical columns. The façade is decorated with a wealth of motifs—sunburst patterns, geometric shapes, zigzags, chevrons and stylized animal and plant forms. The building is capped with a four-sided clock tower emblazoned with the name "Eastern" in neon and crowned with a central smokestack surrounded by four stylized flying buttresses.*

 

 

 

 
(1950)* - Actress Monica Lewis stands on a ladder underneath the tower clock on the Eastern Building, a thirteen-story Art Deco building designed by architect Claud Beelman at 849 S. Broadway. Photo caption reads: "A reminder that standard time returns at 2 a.m. tomorrow. Actress Monica Lewis gets set to turn back clock an hour atop downtown building".  

 

Historical Notes

In 1985, the Eastern Columbia Building was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 294 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 

 
(2016)* - Night view of the refurbished Eastern Columbia clock tower. Courtesy of Berlyn Photography  

 

Historical Notes

Known for it’s beautiful 4-sided neon clock tower, the building was erected in 1930 and converted into lofts in 2006. Lovingly referred to as the “Jewel of Downtown,” it is considered to be one of the premier examples of Art Deco architecture in the country.

 

 

 

 

 
(2021)* – View looking north showing the 13-story Eastern Columbia Art Deco building designed by Claud Beelman located at 849 S. Broadway in the Broadway Theater District of Downtown Los Angeles. The edifice is easily spotted from the Interstate 10 – Santa Monica Freeway, as well as many other sections of downtown, due to its bright “melting turquoise” terra cotta tiles and trademark four-sided clock tower, emblazoned with the word “EASTERN” in bright white neon on each face of the clock.  

 

Historical Notes

Built at a cost of $1.25 million (1930) as the new headquarters and 39th store for the Eastern-Columbia Department Store, whose component Eastern and Columbia stores were founded by Adolph Sieroty and family. At the time of construction, the City of Los Angeles enforced a height limit of 150 feet, however the decorative clock tower was granted an exemption, allowing the clock a total height of 264 feet.

 

 

 

 
(2022)* - Contemporary view of the Eastern Columbia Building, one of the finest architectural jewels in Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

The Eastern Columbia Building has now been converted into lofts, including a pool on its rooftop, overlooked by the building's clock tower.

 

 

 

 
(2021)* - The Art Deco Eastern Columbia Building, with its rooftop terrace and pool. Photo by Stephen Schafer  

 

Historical Notes

The Eastern Columbia Building was one of seventy Downtown L.A. commercial buildings converted to housing in the first decade following passage of the Los Angeles Adaptive Reuse Ordinance.

 

 

 

 
(2010s)* – Looking up toward the top of the Art Deco Eastern Columbia Building. Photo by John Milios  

 

Historical Notes

The building was erected in 1930 and converted into lofts in 2006. Lovingly referred to as the “Jewel of Downtown,” it is considered to be one of the premier examples of Art Deco architecture in the country.

 

 

 

 
(2021)* - The grand Art Deco entryway for the Eastern Building on Broadway. This amazing building opened in 1930 and is considered by many to be the most beautiful of Los Angeles.  

 

Historical Notes

The building is one of the few that pierced the 150 foot height limit in effect in Los Angeles until the late 1950s. It is one of the major Art Deco Moderne buildings from the 1920s.

 

 

 

 
The 13 story Eastern Columbia Building opened in 1930 and is considered to be the greatest surviving example of Art-Deco architecture in LA. It was listed as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1985.*  

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 

Other Sections of Interest

 

Early City Views (1800s)

Historical Bldgs (1800s)

Early Hollywood (1850 - 1920)

Early San Fernando Mission

Early Los Angeles Plaza

Water in Early Los Angeles

Early So Calif Amusement Parks

Baseball in Early Los Angeles

Aviation in Early Los Angeles

Early San Pedro and Wilmington

Mystery History: Q & A

Early City Views (1900 - 1925)

Historical Bldgs (1900 - 1925)

Early Views of Hollywood (1920 +)

Early Views of the San Fernando Valley

California Historical Landmarks in LA

Electricity in Early Los Angeles

Historical Timeline of Los Angeles

Los Angeles River - The Unpredictable

Early Views of Mt. Lowe Railway

Early Views of Santa Catalina Island

Early Views of the Miracle Mile

Early City Views (1925 +)

Historical Bldgs (1925 +)

Early Views of Hollywood Bowl

Early Views of Pasadena

Early Views of Santa Monica

Early Views of Glendale

Early Views of UCLA / Westwood

Early Views of USC

Early Views of Historic Main Street

Early Los Angeles Streetlights

'Miracle Mile' (1920s & 1930s)

 

 

 

Water and Power in Early LA

 

 

 

 

 

Newest Additions

 

 

 

 

New Search Index

 

A new SEARCH INDEX has been added to help navigate through the thousands of topics and images found in our collection. Try it out for a test run.

 

Click HERE for Search Index

 

 

* * * * *

 

< Back