Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Blee, John F., Construction Engineer (firm); Gilmore Associates (firm); Young, R.B. and Son, Architects (firm); John Francis Blee (structural engineer); Thomas J. Gilmore (architect/developer); Robert Brown Young (architect)

Dates: constructed 1906-1907

8 stories, total floor area: 131,161 sq. ft.

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400 South Main Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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The San Fernando Building stood at 400-410 South Main Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

Building History

Landowner James B. Lankershim (1850-1931) commissioned the construction of the San Fernando Building. He solicited a design from architect/engineer John F. Blee for a six-story office and retail block. Lankershim spent approximately $200,000 to complete the building. Completed in the wake of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, newspaper reports of the San Fernando Building's opening underscored its sollidity and fire-resistance: "The San Fernando building, erected at the corner of Fourth and Main streets by Col. J.B. Lankershim, is nearly ready for occupancy. Many reservations have been made and firm names are appearing on the windows. October will see the stores and offices of the six floors filled. It is a steel concrete building, well-lighted and thoroughly ventilated, and will command the lowest rate of fire insurance of any building in the city. The eaves of the roof will have a modern sprinkling system to protect the light wells from fire. The interior is constructed of metal-covered wood with a brass finish throughout. With this fine structure already completed and two others going up at Sixth street, and two more assured on Fifth, Main street in holding its own as a great thoroughfare." (See "San Fernando Building Prepares for Tenants," Los Angeles Herald, vol. 34, no. 349, 09/15/1907, pt. III, p. 1.) As noted in the Herald story, the San Fernando Building was expected to open was in 10/1907.

Building Notes

The San Fernando Building was an 8-story building configured in an E-shape, to allow for light courts and ventilation within the building.


Lankershim's dependable, long-time architect, Robert Brown Young, created the design for two more stories that were added onto the San Fernando Building in 1911.

This building along with the Hellman Building and the Continental Building were owned by Tom Gilmore, who turned them into 230 loft apartments in the early 2000s. Gilmore rehabilitated the San Fernando Building into 70 apartments.

Los Angeles City Historical-Cultural Monument (Listed 2002): 728

National Register of Historic Places (Listed 1986-07-31): 86002098 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

Los Angeles County Assessor Number: 5148008001

PCAD id: 9597