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Blackstone Building (Los Angeles) facts for kids

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Blackstone Building
Blackstone's Department Store, Los Angeles.jpg
Blackstone's Department Store in 2013
Former names Blackstone's Department Store
Alternative names Blackstone Apartments
General information
Address 901 South Broadway
Town or city Los Angeles, California
Country US
Completed 1916
Design and construction
Architect John B. Parkinson
Renovating team
Architect Morgan, Walls & Clements

The Blackstone Building (formerly Blackstone's Department Store, now the Blackstone Apartments) is a 1916 structure located at 901 South Broadway in Los Angeles, California. It has been listed as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument since 2003 (number LA-765).

History of Blackstone's

Nathaniel Blackstone (brother-in-law of department store magnate J. W. Robinson) opened Blackstone's Dry Goods in 1895 when J.W. Robinson Co. (commonly known as the "Boston Store" at that time) vacated its previous location at 171–173 Spring Street that year.

In 1898 they moved to the Douglas Building (then known as the "New" Stimson Block) at the northwest corner of Third and Spring streets, taking a 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2) space on the ground floor, plus the entire basement.

In 1906-7, N. B. Blackstone Co. moved to 318–320-322 S. Broadway, in the new A. P. Johnson (or O. T. Johnson) building designed by Robert B. Young.

901 S. Broadway flagship

In 1916, Blackstone hired Parkinson to design his flagship store further south at the southwest corner of 9th and Broadway, with 90 feet of frontage on Broadway and 165 feet on 9th Street. It cost of $500,000, with 6 stories plus two basement levels, and opened on September 20, 1917.

In 1939, Blackstone’s was sold to the Famous Department Store Company, and renovated by Morgan, Walls & Clements. Stiles O. Clements designed a ground-floor façade in the Streamline Moderne style; this façade is now protected by an easement by the Los Angeles Conservancy.

Also it was the building behind Harold Lloyd in the famous scene when he is climbing another building and does those amazing stunts hanging from the building's clock — in the 1923 silent film "Safety Last". Blackstone's department stores received about 20 minutes of free advertising in a very popular film that year.

Current use

In 2010, the Blackstone Building was adaptively reused and converted to 82 apartments with ground-floor retail space and a subterranean parking garage.

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