AKA: Tajo Block, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA; Tahoe Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Wyman, George Herbert, Architect (firm); William Lee Woollett (architect); George Herbert Wyman (architect)

Dates: constructed 1896-1897

5 stories

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307 West 1st Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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The Tajo Building was located on the northwest corner of North Broadway and West 1st Street.


Simona M. Martinez Bradbury (1845-1902) built this office building following the death of her husband, the mining millionaire, Lewis Bradbury (1823-1892), and named it for a mine of the same name in the Mexcian State of Sinaloa State that he owned. This portion of Downtown Los Angeles became utilized for legal buildings since the time of the Tajo Building; in the early 20th century, it housed the US District Court on its fourth floor. Today, its site stands across from the Federal District Courthouse #5 (2016) at 350 West 1st Street.

Building History

Architect George Herbert Wyman (1860-1939) continued a business relationship with the family of Lewis Leonard Bradbury, designing the Tajo Block for his estate, c. 1896. Just prior to the Tajo Building, Wyman designed the celebrated Bradbury Building (1891-1893) for Lewis Bradbury.

The University of Southern California (USC) utilized the Tajo Block as its law school beginning in 1911.

Building Notes

In 1902, the The US District Court, US Marshal and US District Attorney had their offices on the fourth floor of the Tajo Block. Eight attorneys had offices in the building, as did at least six real estate firms. A large number of oil companies had offices here in 1902, approximately 15, as well as two related asphalt companies. Clearly, oil companies liked to be close to the chambers of the US District Court. The fifth floor of the Tajo Building stood empty in 1902. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1902, p. 1324.)

The Los Angeles Stock Exchange occupied space in the Tajo Block on its second floor, it's second home. The first was in the Yosemite Building at 115 South Broadway.

Two architects, Thornton Fitzhugh (1864-1933) and L.D. Moore rented Rooms #204 and #304 in the Tajo Building in 1902.

Burglars broke into the Tajo Building in 06/1907, disturbing offices on the third and fourth floors, including legal offices. (See "Thieves Invade Tajo Building," Los Angeles Herald, vol. 34, no. 252, 06/10/1907, p. 1.)

The Chief Engineer of the City of Los Angeles maintained his office in Room #307 of the Tajo Block in 1920. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1920, p. 2204.)

The Tajo Building had a stone front facade over a brick structure. Retail stores occupied the first floor of the 1st Avenue facade, while offices stood on the floors above. The 1st Street facade contained nine bays, each having triplets of double-hung windows on floors two through four. The first floor entryway was located in the center, with four bays located on either side. A balcony separated the fourth and fifth floors, with an iron railing running the width of the building. The top floor had a succession of nine wall dormers, each with a tall swan's neck broken pediment gracing it. These dormers were the most notable decorative feature of the Tajo Block.


Architect William Lee Woollett (1874-1955) designed changes to the storefronts and interiors of the Tajo Block in 1920.


The Tajo Block was demolished, and replaced with the Los Angeles County Law Library.

PCAD id: 815