Going historic

5209 WilshireCityBeat and its parent company, Southland Publishing, are moving on up. Southland closed escrow on the gorgeous former Security-First National Bank of Los Angeles branch at 5209 Wilshire Boulevard, just east of the landmark Wilson tower at La Brea. The art deco bank recently joined the elite group of local buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1929, it was designed by the architecture firm of Morgan, Walls and Clements, which did the Wiltern Theatre tower, the El Capitan and a hundred or so other notable Los Angeles buildings. The old bank vault is still inside 5209 Wilshire, which is the last surviving example of Stiles O. Clements' black-and-gold terra cotta design that delighted downtown architecture buffs on the long-gone Atlantic Richfield building. For the sales staff at Southland and the editors at CityBeat and ValleyBeat, the move means escape from the sealed-window, upstairs environment in the People's Bank tower at 5900 Wilshire. New owner Wayne Ratkovich has big plans for his Miracle Mile property, but there's a lot of grumbling about the parking, elevators and overall conditions.

Photo: Los Angeles Public Library collection

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent History stories on LA Observed:
Kevin Starr, 76, the historian of California
Winter solstice cave pictograph at Burro Flats
Pink Lady of Malibu Canyon
LA's first presidential election was different
Pink Lady of Malibu Canyon: 50 years ago
James Dean died 61 years ago today. Now the famous gas station is gone
Code 7 in Sherman Oaks: A little bit of history
1932 Olympics tourist map


LA Observed on Twitter