AKA: Junipero Serra State Office Building #1, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA; Reagan, Ronald, State Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings

Designers: Stanton and Stockwell, Architects (firm); State of California, Department of Public Works, Division of Architecture, Boyd, Anson C., State Architect (firm); Anson C. Boyd (architect); Jesse Earl Stanton (architect); William Francis Stockwell (architect)

Dates: constructed 1958-1960, demolished 2006

9 stories, total floor area: 565,000 sq. ft.

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107 South Broadway
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90012-3113

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Building History

This nine-floor State of CA office building cost $9,460,000 when built between 1958 and 1960 and was erected at a time of great expansion of state government in CA. In the late 1950s, a great deal of money was available for highway construction, university expansion, and other requirements, but cutting costs was a high priority in the design of 107 South Broadway. A Los Angeles Times article of 11/20/1960, described the tower's design: "It is so severely plain, functional in its accommodations as to be almost Spartan when compared with many other public buildings." It stated that the new building would be occupied by 26 state agencies, and "...was built at a cost of approximately $4,300 per occupant, as compared to average building costs of around $6,000 per occupant." (See "2,600 Ready to Move Into New State Building," Los Angeles Times, 11/20/1960, p. D12.) The number of elevators was minimized also to reduce building costs, although the architects provided spaces for their later inclusion. This new building complemented an older state office building located diagonally across the street. "Heat for both old and new State Buildings will be furnished by boilers in the new building. Each building will operate its own air-conditioning equipment. Steam pipes and electric and telephone wires connect the buildings through a tunnel running diagonally across the 1st St. at Broadway intersection."

The lifespan of this building was unfortunately short. The building's spartan aesthetic probably did not win it much popularity over time; low cost construction also may have played into the building's structural deficiencies. Frequent earthquakes had compromised the building's structure, and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake proved the final straw. Engineers condemned the Serra Building's parking garage soon after the 6.7 temblor (which created extreme ground acceleration), and gave five years for employees to clear out of the office tower. They left by 1998, moving into the former Broadway Department Store at 320 West 4th Street, renovated and seismically upgraded during an early-1990s, $69-million project. When employees moved there, the upgraded facility became known as the second Junipero Serra State Office Building in LA. (See Kenneth Reich, "State to Vacate and Demolish Quake-Threatened Office Building," Los Angeles Times, 03/17/1997, accessed 07/11/2014.)

Building Notes

Designed by the firm of Stanton and Stockwell under the supervision of the State Architect, Anson C. Boyd; it cost $12 million to build in 1960. In addition to this office tower, the state also built a 7-story parking garage at 145 South Broadway to serve the 2,600 employees commuting from across the region. The tower's telephone system was "...the first of its kind on the West Coast." Various state government buildings in Downtown Los Angeles were linked up in a sub-network, and callers could call directly to one of 2,250 individual phone numbers in the system, instead of having to be connected by a building switchboard operator. The Los Angeles Times described the advantages of the system: "The basis of the system gives an individual number to each of the 2,250 or more phones in state offices throughout the city. In this way, wall the massive switching equipment can be located at Pacific Telephone's main building on Olive St. and not on the State Building premises." This saved costs in multiple ways. The number of switchboard operators could be reduced and the structural issues of supporting heavy switching equipment were eliminated. (See "2,600 Ready to Move Into New State Building," Los Angeles Times, 11/20/1960, p. D12.)


This office building was razed c. 2006 by Jacobs Facilities, Incorporated. The demolition of the Junipero Serra State Office Building was given Project Number: NCA 00118.

Los Angeles County Assessor Number: 5149001903

PCAD id: 4406