A Retrospective: The Bradbury Building

1890s vintage building

My husband recently insisted I see the Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles. Partly because it’s featured in Blade Runner, which I finally finally finally saw this year, but also because I like vintage architecture, and this is very good architecture at that.

It was commissioned by Los Angeles gold-mining millionaire Lewis L. Bradbury, designed by George Wyman and constructed in 1893. The photo up top is what you see when you first walk in.

One of my favorite things about the building is that it was intended to look like a building of the future, something in the year 2000. But it looks so distinctly from an earlier era, that it’s the setting for an old, abandoned building in the climax of Blade Runner, which is set in 2019. It’s also in the closing scene of 500 Days of Summer.

1890s retro building

I like the mailboxes. Notice the mail chutes above this one, so people could slide their mail from whatever floor they’re on into the mailbox.

Retro mailbox

The birdcage elevators are also cool.

Historic elevator

I’m debating whether to do little posts on retro things I come across in everyday life, where I take some photos and a quick look at the thing’s history. If you’re into this idea, let me know, and I’ll continue doing it!

Photos by me, more on my Instagram.

It's good etiquette to share what you like!

Leave a Comment