RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Saturday adventure part three – looking backward to the future at the Bradbury Building


bradbury building

After lunch at the Grand Central Market, our next stop was the Bradbury Building. One of the oldest buildings still standing in downtown Los Angeles, it was completed in 1893.  bradbury building

While the exterior is purposely plain, the interior is nothing short of spectacular.

bradbury building

Lewis Bradbury made his fortune mining gold and wanted a monument to his name. He hired a draftsman working in the architectural office of Sumner Hunt named George Wyman. Wyman consulted a planchette (a board used in seances) and was told if he took the job he would be successful.

bradbury building

Wyman was influenced by the science fiction book Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy written in 1887 about a Utopian society in the year 2000 where commercial buildings would be halls of light from above.

bradbury building

A spring was discovered under the site so although this meant extra precautions to strengthen the foundations, the water was used to run hydraulic elevators.

bradbury building

The building has been the star of countless movies, TV shows, commercials and music videos.

bradbury buildingProbably the most famous, and certainly my favorite, was the 1982 movie Blade Runner starring Harrison Ford. Whenever I walk in the front door of the building the soundtrack music plays in my head!

bradbury building

The beautiful wrought iron work was created in France and displayed at the Chicago World’s Fair before being installed in the building.

bradbury building

In 1991 developer Ira Yellin and project architect Brenda Levin Associates undertook a $7 million restoration and seismic retrofitting.

bradbury building

bradbury building

bradbury building

Lewis Bradbury unfortunately passed away just months before his building opened. When he was alive he could look down from his home on Bunker Hill to keep an eye on the progress of the construction. I like to think he saw his completed building from a much higher viewpoint!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

4 thoughts on “Saturday adventure part three – looking backward to the future at the Bradbury Building

  1. What an interesting place, Roslyn. I got a little dizzy. Great shots!


  2. Wonderful architecture. Great photos.


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