AKA: Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - department stores

Designers: Altoon and Porter, Architects (firm); Feil and Paradise, Interior Designers (firm); Heinsbergen Decorating Company, Interior Designers (firm); Parkinson and Parkinson, Architects (firm); Peters, Jock D. Architect (firm); Ronald A. Altoon (architect); Gary K. Dempster (architect); Joseph L. Feil (interior designer); Freeman (interior designer); Anthony T. Heinsbergen (interior designer); Bernhard R. Paradise (interior designer); Donald Berthold Parkinson (architect); John Parkinson (architect); Jacob (Jock) Detlof Peters ; James Porter (architect); Herman Sachs (artist/color consultant/educator); William Sebring (architect)

Dates: constructed 1928-1929

5 stories

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3050 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010-1106

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Building History

Bullocks Wilshire greeted 300,000 Los Angelenos when it first opened in 09/1929. Architect Donald B. Parkinson, John Parkinson's son, was the lead designer for the department store; the Los Angeles interior design firm of Feil and Paradise and and the designer Jacob (Jock) Detlof Peters associated on the interiors of Bullock's Wilshire; Peters did the first two floors, with such spaces as the Saddle Shop and the Doggery on the ground floor. The second floor contained womens' boutiques, Irene Gibbon's Salon, Fur Atelier, Lingerie Department, Period Room for haute couture, and Chanel Salon. The third floor was devoted to clothing for high school girls and college-age young women. The Children's Floor stood at level four, with book and toy departments, changing and nursing rooms, and a maid's room. The fifth floor contained the restaurants frequented by fashionable women of the time: the Cactus Room, the Salle Moderne, a tea room, a confectionery shop, and the store offices. Bullock's Wilshire closed as a department store in 03/1993.

Building Notes

Bullocks Wilshire was added to the list of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments in 1968 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978; the department store's tower rose 241-feet or 12 stories high. The main portion of the building had 5 stories. Painter Herman Sachs completed the mural, "The Spirit of Transportation" on the ceiling of the store's porte cochere. Sculptor George Stanley, best known for his co-creation of the Oscar statuette (with set designer Cedric Gibbons), designed the bas relief over the Wilshire Boulevard entrance to the store. Below the relief was the legend: "To build a business that will never know completion."

Alteration

Bullocks Wilshire sustained some damage during the Los Angeles Riots of 04-05/1992. Seeking expanded facilities, the Southwestern University School of Law purchased the damaged landmark in 1994 for $4.8 million and its land for $3.7 million from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA. The building was renovated to serve Southwestern in 1995-1997 by Altoon and Porter Architects and Freeman Design. Ronald Altoon served as the Partner-in-Charge for the $29 million renovation; The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Bullocks as its 2000 winner of the National Preservation Honor Award. Southwestern University celebrated the 10th anniversary of Bullocks Wilshire's renovation at an event held on 10/22/2004, with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy as Guest of Honor. At this time, the Julian C. Dixon Courtroom and Advocacy Center on the building's first floor was officially opened.

Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Monument (06/05/1968): 56

PCAD id: 333