AKA: Alexander and Oviatt Store #2, Los Angeles, CA; Cicada Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Levin and Associates, Architects (firm); Walker and Eisen, Architects (firm); Walker, P.J., and Company, Building Contractors (firm); Percy Augustus Eisen (architect); Joseph Lawrence Feil Sr. (interior designer); Brenda A. Levin (architect); Bernhard R. Paradise (interior designer); Albert Raymond Walker (architect); Percival J. Walker Sr. (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1927-1928

13 stories, total floor area: 100,000 sq. ft.

617 South Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1605

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Building History

The Oviatt Building stands as one of the most sophisticated and costly Art Deco buildings in Los Angeles, designed for the clothier, James Zera Oviatt (1888- partner in the establishment, Alexander and Oviatt. Oviatt had visited the chic 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and returned to Los Angeles determined to build a similarly au courant store and artists' building. Upper floors contained studio and exhibition spaces for artists and architects. Oviatt retained architects Walker and Eisen to design his skyscraper for the arts and also retained interior designers, Joseph L. Feil and Bernhard R. Paradise, to create store fixtures in 1927. Feil and Paradise went on to design some interiors of the Bullocks Wilshire Department Store in the early 1930s.P.J. Walker and Company served as the original Building Contractor for the Oviatt Building. Atop his eponymous building, Oviatt lived in a penthouse originally designed by the Paris interior design firm, Saddler et fils.

In 2013, the Ratkovich Company owned the property. In later years, restaurants occupied the store's former ground floor and mezzanine space, including The Rex, il Ristorante (located here for 17 years) and Cicada, its current resident.

Building Notes

This was the second location of the Alexander and Oviatt haberdashery, the first being 209 West Fourth Street, Los Angeles, CA.


The Oviatt Building underwent a renovation in 1981 and later by Brenda Levin and Associates in the 1990s.

Los Angeles City Historical-Cultural Monument: 195

National Register of Historic Places (August 11, 1983): 83004529 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 516