A Visit to the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles

Besuch des Bradbury Building
A Visit to the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles

When I first saw the Bradbury Building in the science fiction movie "Blade Runner", I wanted to see it in real life. The special architecture inside the building fascinated me. What's more, it was staged as a Lost Place in the film. The combination of elegant architecture and the morbid charm of decay attracted me. When I finally got to Los Angeles in 2019, a visit to the Bradbury Building was at the top of my wish list. Today the building is an office building and partly open to visitors. In my article you will learn more about the Bradbury Building, when and how you can visit it and what it looks like from the inside today.

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Simple outside, spectacular inside

From the outside, the Bradbury Building is rather inconspicuous. With its simple, romanesque façade, it looks like any building in Los Angeles Downtown. But if you take a closer look, you'll find a few little things that indicate that the building has something special about it.

Besuch des Bradbury Building
From the outside, the Bradbury Building looks rather simple.
Entrance portal of the Bradbury Building

First there's the name tag on the corner of the building. In front of the main entrance there is an information board about the history of the building. And when you go as far as the main entrance, the doormat will show you that you are standing in front of the right building.

Besuch des Bradbury Building - Fußmatte
The doormat before visiting the Bradbury Building

As soon as you're inside the building, a Victorian-style light-flooded atrium opens. From here you can see the elegant marble staircases, Mexican tiles, elaborately crafted iron railings and two birdcage elevators.

On the ground floor, a guard will tell you where you can move around the building. That's on the ground floor and up to the first landing of the stairs. From here you have a beautiful view of the atrium. Unfortunately you can't go any further, because the people working here in the offices would feel disturbed.

On the ground floor there is another information board. It informs about the role of the building in the science fiction film Blade Runner (1982).

Staircase of the Bradbury Building with artistic iron railings
Aufzüge im Vogelkäfig-Stil Bradbury Building
The two birdcage style elevators are still in operation.
Treppenhaus des Bradbury Building
Staircase of the Bradbury Building with wide marble staircases

The History of the Bradbury Building

The millionaire Lewis Bradbury commissioned the famous architect Summer Hunt to design a spectacular office building. George H. Wyman then finalised the design and carried out the construction.

The Bradbury Building was completed in 1893. It is the oldest commercial building in the city centre and the oldest landmark in Los Angeles. It has been listed as a national historic landmark since 1977. Today it is used as an office and commercial building. At the beginning of the nineties the building was completely restored.

Bradbury Building als National Historic Landmarc
The Bradbury Building has been listed as a National Historic Landmarc since 1977.

Information for your Visit to the Bradbury Building

Address: 304 p. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Nearest underground station: Civic Center / Grand Park
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 6pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 5pm.
Duration of visit: about 15 - 30 minutes.
Admission is free.

Los Angeles Conservancy also offers guided tours of historic Los Angeles. This includes a visit to the Bradbury Building. The tour begins at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. on Wednesdays. More information about the tour can be found here.

Atrium Bradbury Building
A glass roof above the atrium lets a lot of light into the building.

Book Recommendation for California

You want to know where the journey goes? Then I can recommend these books* about California.

You can order these books at Amazon with a click on the pictures. If you buy a product via one of these affiliate links, I get a small commission and you help me to keep filling Fernweh-Motive with interesting articles. The product will not be more expensive for you.

Have you ever been to the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles yourself? How did you like it? Do you have any questions about my article or suggestions? If so, please write me a comment!

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