Yesterday & Today: L.A.


The METROPOLITAN: 315 West 5th Street, Old DownTown Los Angeles (DTLA) 



Circa 1960




December 2012



I don’t have much to add to these photos.   One reason was this building wasn’t anywhere near my plans during a visit to DTLA the other day.  A history related event and visits to a pair of people I know who opened a couple of businesses in Old DTLA in recent months & years was it. Last but not least is my natural laziness & busyness.

But so much for God & our plans!  The entrance caught my eye & made me jaywalk for a better look.  It’s just a block east from Pershing Square.  For breaking the law I was rewarded with a view of the lobby which included an old photo in the back, and, of security!  Security is the groom for every building this area!   In this case, security was accommodating & reasonable enuf to allow me to enter with my point & shooter and take a couple of shots. Thanks, Metropolitan Security!

Anyhows, here is what little I do know:

  • Only because I was familiar with a famous architect of early L.A. – John Parkinson – did I know anything of this building. He designed some of the major L.A. buildings in the early 20th Century which leads me to believe the Metropolitan is from around 1920.  “Major” meaning: City Hall, Memorial Coliseum, Bullock’s Wilshire, Alexandria Hotel, etc.  (there was a newspaper story on the Alexandria about a month ago)
  • At one time it housed an LA public library on a few floors.
  • Did someone say “Alexandria Hotel”?  Well, one of the DTLA business owner people I was visiting tried to convince me to check it out.  Just a block away.  Although enticing, this was another thing not on my To-Do List. Next time, when I’m carrying more time.
  • Appears to be (or, Was!) in the Beaux Arts style. The “new & improved, modernization” has erased much of the artistic detail.
  • “Metropolitan” was named for the Metropolitan Fireproof Building Company.  The “Metropolitan” vanished from the glass at the entrance.
  • Either it’s an L.A. City Historic-Cultural Landmark or in the process to be.
  • The floors above are for residential  lofts – as it seems all these oldie but goodie buildings here are!


Beyond what I already knew above, I didn’t have the time or interest to see what else was out there on this historic building. Heck, I had no idea I was even gonna blog on this subject!   But I did notice one thing: a VIDEO on VIMEO!  (Hear that, PA) I wish I could say it’s historical but it’s really mostly today’s Metropolitan as prepared by apparently the leasing company.  So if you’re interested in moving to, or reviving, old DTLA take a look:

Metropolitan DTLA by Metropolitan Lofts

Anyone out there in the World Wide Web have more information or experience to share about The Metropolitan?


Gotta Get Outta Here! Stay Thirsty My Friends

Pasadena Greetings


11 responses to “Yesterday & Today: L.A.

    • Thanks, Cam, ahem, Krug deThinker! It’s good to know what my readers like. I have a few other “Yesterday & Today” type of posts on here somewhere.
      Oh, interested in local history? Have I got a “job” for you! 😉

  1. I’m with Jean ~ those stone details in the earlier photo are wonderful. Considering you did no research, those are a lot of tidbits of information, puppy. I hope you find some tidbits of the tasty variety to snack on.