Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bullock's Wilshire

Selected passage from "Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles":

This extraordinary Art Deco Building was the first "suburban" department store in the United States. John and Donald Parkinson were the architects for what has been called their masterpiece and what is still the "Flagship" store of Bullocks' Southern California mercantile empire. Even before Wilshire Boulevard was cut through MacArthur (then Westlake) Park to become the most prestigious business boulevard in the city, John Bullock put his new store close to the shoppers he desired. Sandwiched between Los Angeles's newest exclusive residential area, Hancock Park, and expensive mid-Wilshire apartments, it was completed just months before the 129 stock market crash. Display windows and an impressive doorway face the Boulevard. The real entrance to this building, the first department store dedicated to the auomovile-driving shopper, is off the parking lot, where a glassed-in porte-cochere features a ceiling mural by Herman Sacks depicting modes of "modern transportation" complete with a zeppelin. Unfortunately, the tower's "violet light" no longer shines."

"The motor of the gray Plymouth throbbed under her voice and the rain pounded above it. The violet light at thte top of Bullock's green-tinged tower was far above us, serene and withdrawn from the dark, dripping city." (180)

Pictures of Bullock's Wilshire were taken from "Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles" by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward.

No comments: