Some weeks ago B, G, E and I (as in me) went on the self-guided tour of the Bullocks Wilshire Building. Several months ago G mentioned that once a year, the Southwestern Law School opened its doors to the public. So I was looking forward to a look inside this Los Angeles icon.
The text in italics is from the tour literature and copyright 2014 Southwestern Law School.
Designed in 1929 by renowned Los Angeles architects John and Donald Parkinson, the Bullocks Wilshire Building operated as a luxury department store for more than 60 years.
Ceiling of the cactus lounge.
In 1994, Southwestern purchased the landmark [building] and set out to convert it into a dynamic academic venue, while retaining its historic character.
A decade and $29 million later, the gleaming property features cutting edge scholastic, professional and social resources that represent the heart of the Southwestern community.
I remember enjoying an afternoon in the tea room with my mother in the 1960s when we first arrived in Los Angeles. I don’t believe the tea room has changed very much since that time.
Replica of one of the gorgeous art deco serving stations.
Exterior building detail seen from the window of the tea room.
I love light fixtures and these art deco beauties really caught my eye.
Apparently the light fixtures, serving centers, tables and chairs are exact replicas of the originals.
This original mosaic tile floor was in a passageway off the tea room.
John Bullock’s Suite, his private office and apartment.
The office leads out on to a rooftop garden.
This wonderful tile drinking fountain was discovered behind a plaster wall. Note the child’s step which was replaced during the restoration.
I am a big fan of art deco design so I was in heaven on this tour.
Now, where patrons once shopped for women’s sportswear, students study in the school’s beautiful and expansive Leigh H. Taylor Law Library, which occupies about one-third of the building.
In what was once the first floor shoe salon and accessories department, the Julian C. Dixon Courtroom and Advocacy Center provides the most technologically advanced facility of its kind.
Southwestern has received numerous honors from preservation groups for its sensitive restoration of the structure. Blending elegant architecture with state-of-the-art educational resources, the Bullocks Wilshire Building epitomizes Southwestern’s commitment to excellence.
I am grateful that Southwestern is willing to allow public tours of the campus. The Bullocks Wilshire Building is a Los Angeles jewel and a fabulous example of art deco design so popular in our city in the 1920s. And most important, the building is an outstanding model of successful reuse.
Department stores have played a big part in the history of LA. See my post here on the Virginia Robinson Gardens and the home of the heir to the Robinson Department Stores.
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