Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Austin and Pennell, Architects (firm); John Corneby Wilson Austin (architect); Werner Heumann (architect); William C. Pennell (architect)

Dates: constructed 1912-1913

10 stories

643 South Olive Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90014-1652

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The 10-story Knickerbocker Building has operated in Downtown Los Angeles, CA since 1913. For many years its top floor housed the club rooms of the Knickerbocker Club of Los Angeles.

Building History

The firm of Austin and Pennell designed the Knickerbocker Building at 643-645 South Broadway in 1912, and supervised its completion a year later. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power occupied offices in the Knickerbocker Building from 1914 until 1921. (See "Los Angeles Water & Power Buildings," Los Angeles Public Library, California Index, accessed 09/06/2016.)

Building Notes

From 1918 into the 1920s, the Harry G. Henley Company operated as the rental agent of the Knickerbocker Building.


The 8th floor of the Knickerbocker Building underwent some remodeling in 1914. The Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer reported: "Nance & Phelps, 846 Linden St., have a contract at about $2000 for constructing hollow tile and glass partitions on the eighth floor of the Knickerbocker Bldg., on South Olive St., J.C. Austin and W.C. Pennell, Archts., 1014 Wright and Callender Bldg." (See "Partitions," Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, vol. XIII, no. 7, 06/20/1914, p. 18.)

The Knickerbocker Building's exterior has been heavily remodeled; its facade has been refaced, stripped of ornamentation and "modernized."

In 1970, the former rooms of the Knickerbocker Club on the 10th floor were remodeled for the West Coast Commodity Exchange by Morganelli, Heumann and Associates. The work was to cost $750,000. (See "Los Angeles--West Coast Commodity Exchange," Los Angeles Public Library, California Index, accessed 09/06/2016.)

PCAD id: 2350