Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Howard, Train and Williams, Architects (firm); Robert Farquhar Train (architect); Robert Edmund Williams (architect)

Dates: constructed 1901-1902

5 stories

view all images ( of 2 shown)

West 3rd Street and South Hill Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90012

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map


The architectural firm of Howard, Train and Williams designed the Conservative Life Insurance Company's Los Angeles headquarters in 1901. Researching the Conservative Life Insurance Company can be somewhat confusing as there were other entities operating under that name in Wheeling, WV, and South Bend, IN. In 1901, David W. Edwards was the President of the Los Angeles insurance concern.

The Conservative Life Building was erected on land formerly owned by the local Unitarian congregation.

Building History

An article in the Los Angeles Herald newspaper on 02/07/1901, said of the building: "Architects Howard, Train & Williams have prepared the plans and specifications for a five-story brick building, with basement, which is to be erected for the Conservative Life Insurance company of this city, on the lot located on the northeast corner of Third and South Hills streets. The front of the building will be of buff-colored pressed brick, with terra cotta ornaments. The style of architecture will be a combination of the Old Moorish and Renaissance. The cost of the building will be between $80,000 and $100,000. It will be known as 'the Conservative Life building,' and it will be put up under the supervision of Architects Howard, Train & Williams, with Messrs Eisen & Hunt as consulting architects." The use of Eisen and Hunt as consulting architects suggests that Howard, Train and Williams did not have extensive experience building large-scale office towers. By the time the building was built and published in the Inland Architect magazine, Train and Williams had become the architectural firm of record.

The Conservative Life Insurance Company of Los Angeles merged with the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company in 12/1906. (See The Insurance Year Book: Life, Casualty and Miscellaneous, Volume 34, "Record of the Year," p. 696.) By 1921, the Baist Real Estate map of that year identified it as the "Western & Mutual Life Bldg." (See Baist Real Estate Atlas, 1921, [Philadelphia: G.W. Baist Company], plate 2.)

PCAD id: 9167