AKA: Stimson Block, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Brown, Carroll H., Architect (firm); Orr, Robert Hall, Architect (firm); Carroll Herkimer Brown (architect); Robert Hall Orr (architect)

Dates: constructed 1893, demolished 1963

6 stories

view all images ( of 2 shown)

256 South Spring Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90012

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map
The Stimson Building was located on the northeast corner of South Spring Street and West 3rd Street.


The long-time Los Angeles architect Carroll H. Brown designed this grand Romanesque Revival office block for a transplanted lumber magnate from Michigan, Thomas D. Stimson.

Building History

Thomas D. Stimson (1828-1898), a lumber magnate originally from MI, purchased lots 4 and 9, block 7, Ord's survey, and the Howes's Block for $65,000 from Flora G. Howes on 12/31/1892. This may have been to construct the Stimson Building the following year. Carroll H. Brown (1861-1920), a Chicago architect who designed Stimson's notable residence on South Figueroa Street (1891), also created plans for this, the largest office building in the city at the time. T.D. Stimson advocated the building of alleyways behind commercial buildings as a necessary convenience for his tenants. When he built this building, he created an alleyway behind, and some tenants were reported to have moved into the building for this reason.

In 1895, the Stimson Family had two business enterprises located in the Stimson Block. Thomas D. Stimson, head of the Stimson Mill Company, operated his offices in Rooms #506-508, and the Stimson Brothers--Charles M. and George W.--maintained their brokerage house in Rooms #406-407. The Stimson Brothers also owned their own building in Downtown Los Angeles, known as the "Stimson Brothers Block" at 754 Upper Main Street. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1895, p. 1312.)

Building Notes

Stimson's office building had six stories, a huge tower for Los Angeles, CA, at that time. Soon after its construction in 1893, a number of architects, including L.J.B. Bourgeois (1894), C.H. Wedgewood (1895) and Samuel O. Wood (1895) opened offices in the prestigious new building. In 1914, the Builders' Exchange had its offices located in the Stimson Building.

In 1894, the building's architect, Carroll H. Brown, operated in Rooms #515, 516 and 517 in the new Stimson Building in Downtown Los Angeles." (See "C.H. Brown advertisement," Los Angeles Herald, vol. 42, no. 76, 06/26/1894, p. 6.)


Los Angeles architect Robert Hall Orr (1873-1964) supervised the "modernization" of the Stimson Block, c. 12/1939, that including updated four, ground-floor store fronts. (See "To Modernize; New Entrance; Four New Store Fronts, Robert Hall Orr, Architect," Southwest Builder and Contractor, 12/15/1939, p. 32.)


Demolition of the Stimson Block began 04/01/1963 to clear room for a parking lot.

PCAD id: 1459