AKA: Citizens National Bank Building, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

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

Designers: Albright, Harrison, Architect (firm); Angelo, Henry R., Company, Building Contractors (firm); Harrison Albright (architect); Henry R. Angelo

Dates: constructed 1905-1906

5 stories

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Main Street and 3rd Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90003

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The Citizens' National Bank Building occupied the southwest corner Main Street and 3rd Street.

Building History

The Citizens' Securities Company, owner of the Citizens' National Bank Building commissioned the recently transplanted WV architect Harrison Albright (1866-1932) to design this five-floor bank building, one of Albright's first large-scale buildings in Los Angeles, CA. (He relocated to Los Angeles from Charleston, WV, in 03/1905.) Albright worked with the Henry R. Angelo Company, the building contractor. The Los Angeles Times described the floor plan of the proposed office building in its issue of 11/26/1905: ""The accompanying illustration represents waht will be the Citizens' National Bank Building. It will occupy the southwest corner of Main and Third streets, ninety-two feet on Main street and 167 on Third street. Above the ground floor, the building will be in the form of the letter "E," and in the four stories which comprise this part there will be 162 offices...on each floor. The arrangement of the building is such as to make each office an outside office. No office has less than two windows and many of them have three. All offices have direct entrances from corridors and communicate with an adjoining office, and all contain clothes closet, lavatory, radiator and lighting fixtures. The basement will extend to the street curb, and will contain mechanical equipment room and three other well-lighted rooms of the following dimensions: 28x28 feet, 52x58 feet, 80x102 feet. The central portion of the first floor will be occupied by entrance and lobby 20x72 feet. To the left of the lobby, and occupying the corner of Main and Third streets, will be the banking room of the Citizens' National Bank 64x72 feet. To the rear of the lobby there will be two stores, one 19.6x65 feet, and the other 19.6x57 feet, one of these having an entrance from Main street and both having entrances from the lobby. To the right of the lobby there will be four stores--two 19x72 feet and two 20x91.6 feelt. One of these will have an entrance from lobby and all will have entrances from Third street." (See "New Bank Building," Los Angeles Times, 11/26/1905, pt. V, p. 1.)

Albright specified that the Citizens' National Bank Building use reinforced concrete for its structural members, an early use of this material in the city. The Times article discussed the materials to be used in the office block: "The footings, columns, girders, floors, walls, etc., will be constructed of reinforced concrete. The floors of the lobby, banking room and toilet rooms will be mosaic tile. Floors of all corridors and offices will be cement with fastenings in those offices for rugs and carpets. The interior doors, trim, etc., will be mahogany finished birch, and walls and ceilings throughout the building will be decorated. There will be two high-speed hydroulic Otis passenger elevators which will five service from the basement to the fifth floor." (See "New Bank Building," Los Angeles Times, 11/26/1905, pt. V, p. 1.) The use of reinforced concrete would become much more popular on the West Coast following the horrific San Francisco Earthquake of 04/18/1906.

PCAD id: 2692