May Company Department Store (opened as Hamburgers, 1908) is a 1,100,000 square foot behemoth covering nearly an entire block at 8th & Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. Once a luxurious shopping experience, the building has fallen into disrepair over the last 70 years. There are plans for redevelopment in the future.
Even after watching Citizen Kane twenty-plus times and seeing endless photos of the real palace, the first sight of Hearst Castle is an overwhelming spectacle of architectural and decorative awe. Only four hours from LA, the castle sits atop 250,000 acres of ranch land in San Simeon, CA., with 360° views as far as the eye can see. Architect Julia Morgan was commissioned to build a grand estate for the Hearst family, and over a span of nearly 30 years, Hearst and Morgan built 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways, including the world’s largest private zoo. Quite accurate by Xanadu’s description, Hearst collected countless artifacts, art and antiques from all over the world, which led to the continual expansion of the property to warehouse his goods.
Since it was our first visit, we chose the Grand Room Tour which included the main assembly hall, the refectory, the billiard room and the theatre. Although the tour hardly covered a fraction of the estate, it was evident that the artifact collection was quite serious.
In the heart of Burbank, there lies an Art Deco time capsule. Designed by architects William Allen and George Lutzi, Burbank City Hall is the essence of WPA Moderne-style.
Built in 1943, the municipal building has remained fully intact and still serves its original purpose, which makes it one of our favorite historic buildings in LA based on merit alone.
After spending the morning in Wilmington shooting the Granada Theatre, we came outside to particularly lovely weather. Not quite ready for lunch, we wanted to spend some time exploring the South Bay. Neither of us had seen the Korean Friendship Bell (formally called the Korean Bell of Friendship), so we decided to head up the hill to the former site of Fort MacArthur in San Pedro.