Featured Photo of 800 Traction Ave. by @ Downtown Muse | MRB
A recent Los Angeles Times article about John B. Parkinson reminded me that this influential architect — known for designing our city’s most enduring landmarks — also left his mark in the Arts District.
One Arts District building designed by Parkinson in partnership with G. Edwin Bergstrom (with whom he worked during 1905-1915) was built in 1909 as the Pacific Hardware & Steel Co. Warehouse. Today, it is often referenced simply as 923 E. 3rd. Zoned as Artist in Residence (AIR), this building houses residential rental lofts and also houses businesses such as Eat.Drink.Americano and R23 Japanese Cuisine.
In 1916, he designed what is currently another AIR residential loft building still emblazoned with names of its former occupants: Joannes Brothers Company and Angeles Desk Co. Located at 800 Traction Ave., it also formerly housed Ben-Hur Products, Inc., a California-based producer of coffee, spices, extracts, tea and desserts, which was acquired by McCormick in 1953.
During the 1920s, Parkinson also redesigned what is now a condo building called the 940 E 2ND ST lofts. Originally built in 1906 as the Spreckel Bros. Sugar Beet Warehouse (the same Spreckel brothers John and Adolph who were industrialists in San Diego), this building went through several renovations over the years, including one during the 1920s by Parkinson.5