Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Young, Robert Brown, Architect (firm); Robert Brown Young (architect)

Dates: constructed 1896-1897, demolished 1959

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3rd Street and Spring Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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The Lankershim Building stood on the southeast corner of 3rd and Spring Streets.


The large real estate owner and developer James Boon Lankershim (1850-1931) commissioned the construction of this five-floor office building at the corner of 3rd and Spring Streets in Downtown Los Angeles, CA, in the mid-1890s. At one time, Lankshim controlled about 44,000 acres of land in Southern CA, making him one of time's largest land owners. This office tower was located across the street from the Stimson Building, located on the northeast corner of 3rd and Spring Streets. Its location was later occupied by the mammoth Ronald Reagan State Office Building.

Building History

Lankershim worked several times with the architect Robert Brown Young (1855-1914), this project being no exception. Lankershim built a $40,000 commercial building at 7th and Alameda Streets in 1891 utlizing Brown as its architect and also erected the Hotel Lankershim in 1905 with Brown as designer and superintendent. he Los Angeles Heraldsaid of Lankershim's 3rd and Spring Street project: "The most important of the new buildings is that to be erected under the supervision of Architect R.B. Young for J.B. Lankershim. the new building will occupy 60 x 96 1/2 feet on the corner of Third and Spring streets, will be five stories in height. The material used will be brick and stone. The building will be as nearly fireproof as such a structure may be, and will be provided with all modern improvements, including steam heating and electrical apparatus. The cost is given as $50,000." (See "Real Estate and Building," Los Angeles Herald, vol. 25, no. 281, 07/09/1896, p. 7.)

Building Notes

According to the Los Angeles Times, a construction accident occurred at the Lankershim Building job site in 08/1896: "An accident occurred yesterday afternoon at the corner of Second [sic] and Spring streets, where the new Lankershim building is in the course of erection, and three workmen had a narrow escape from death. While one of the big two-ton pillars was being hoisted, the derrick broke and the pillar crashed down, breaking another pillar as it fell. Several workmen were near at hand, and three of them were almost directly beneath the pillar when the accident occurred. They escaped, however, without injury." (See "City Briefs," Los Angeles Times, 08/27/1896, p. 12

The real estate dealer, Richard Altschul, had an office in the Lankershim Building in 1897.


TheLos Angeles Herald reported in 1907 that a large-scale remodeling was taking place to the first floor of the Lankershim Building: The remodeling of the Lankershim building, Third and Spring streets, is to begin on August 14, to accommodate the Merchants National bank, which is to occupy the ground floor. The new banking room will have a frontage of 60 feet on Spring street and 80 feet on Third street." (See "Remodel Lankershim for Merchants Bank," Los Angeles Herald, vol. 34, no. 305, 08/02/1907, p. 12.)

PCAD id: 21144