AKA: Saint George Hotel, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Barron, Richard / Architects, Incorporated (firm); Haley, Arthur L., Architect (firm); Richard Barron ; Arthur L. Haley (architect)

Dates: constructed 1904-1905

6 stories, total floor area: 33,606 sq. ft.

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115 East 3rd Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Building History

Irish immigrant Thomas Patrick Higgins (1844-1920), who made a fortune digging a 650-foot copper mine near Bisbee, AZ, commissioned the Los Angeles architect Arthur L. Haley (b. 1865) to design his Bisbee Hotel, constructed between 1904 and 1905. Los Angeles Times writer Cecelia Rasmussen wrote of the Bisbee Hotel: "In 1902, he invested $750,000 in Los Angeles real estate. His first building was the brick-and-mortar Bisbee Hotel in 1903 [sic]. Now called the St. George, it's on 3rd between Main and Los Angeles streets. Designed by architect Arthur L. Haley, it was originally named for Higgins' mining stamping grounds." (See Cecilia Rasmussen,Los Angeles Times.com, "Higgins Building was a shining showpiece," published 11/19/2006.)

A contemporary article noted of Higgins:"The owner, who is a retired miner of extensive means, is one of the heavy investors in Los Angeles real estate, who buys when prices are satisfactory, but who, so far has never disposed of any of his Los Angeles holdings." (See "Among Owners and Dealers: Fair Share of Sales Noted During Week,Los Angeles Times, 12/18/1904, p. D1.)

At the time of its construction, the Bisbee Hotel was the first modern, steel-frame high-rise to have been erected east of Main Street in 1905. Of "semi-fireproof construction," the Bisbee was originally conceived to be a four-story building, but Higgins asked that two more floors be added. The Los Angeles Times wrote in 12/1904:"It was originally intended to place a four-story building on this site. The upper floors were to contain sixty rooms, and be fitted up as a hotel. The exterior walls of a building of that kind now stand on the site. The demand for additional space, however, for the hotel portion of the structure, caused a change of the plans. As modified, the five upper stories, which are to be used for hotel purposes, will contain 100 rooms. Those stories, together with office and lobby space on the first floor, have been leased by James E. Dunn, through H.W. Lewis, for five years, from the date of completion at $600 per month. The remainder of the building is estimated to rent for $400 per month, and the greater portion of that space is already spoken for." (See "Among Owners and Dealers: Fair Share of Sales Noted During Week,Los Angeles Times, 12/18/1904, p. D1.) At his Higgins Building built in 1909-1910, Higgins would also add two stories during the course of the planning process to increase his rental return.

In later years, the hotel was renamed the "Saint George."


Richard Barron Architects worked on a project to rehabilitate the Saint George Hotel in 2004. Completed for the Skid Row Housing Trust, the building contained 70 supportive housing/SRO apartments and 18 special needs housing/efficiency apartments.

Barron's renovation won many architectural preservation awards including: the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing “Project of the Year” (2004), Governors’ Historic Preservation Award (2005), Los Angeles Conservancy “Preservation Award” (2005), Charles L. Edison “Tax Credit Excellence Award” (2005), California Preservation Foundation “Preservation Design Award” (2005), Maxwell Awards of Excellence “Honorable Mention” (2008), and MetLife Foundation Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing “Finalist” (2008).

Los Angeles County Assessor Number: 5161026004

PCAD id: 22624