939 S Broadway St
Los Angeles CA 90015
Pet Friendly: Yes
Mills Act: Yes
Live Work: No
Constructed: Kenneth MacDonald, Jr - 1925
Modernized: Barry Shy - 2018
Formerly home to and known as the “Western Costume Building,” 939 South Broadway has also left an impact in the Downtown Arts District for its involvement in filming and its prime location next to the United Artists Theatre.
The old Western Costume Building is located on the west side of Broadway, 130 to 230 feet north of the West Olympic Boulevard intersection. The structure was built at the request of the Ninth and Broadway Company. The prominent Los Angeles architect, Kenneth MacDonald, Jr. was commissioned to design the building. Construction was initiated on March 29, 1924, and completed by January, 1925. The notable local construction firm of MacDonald & Kahn executed the construction. The structure has subsequently been identified as the 939 South Broadway Building, and is currently identified as the Anjac Fashion Building at this address.
Located adjacent to the exuberantly Neo-Gothic United Artists Building, 939 South Broadway is an eleven story commercial structure in the more typical Renaissance Revival style. However, a two story Gothic- inspired Art Deco entrance is overlaid on the northernmost of the five bays of the facade. A segmented archway, emphasized by a chevron molding and a fluted spandrel, is flanked by fluted piers which taper into triangle embellished with scrolled designs. Elaborate metal work frames the one story door, the four round-headed windows in the transom, and the arched second story window. The remaining bays of the two story base contain altered storefronts on the ground level and three windows, separated by colonnette mullions, on the second story. Panelled piers, edged by spiralled moldings define the bays and are accented at the level of the first floor frieze by shields. A second frieze, topped by a cornice and antefixes, terminates the base of the building. The shaft is composed of the third through ninth floors and is faced with brown brick. No extraneous ornamentation interrupts the fenestration until a decorative frieze above the ninth story is reached. The capital of the building is two stories high and defined by continuous piers and mullions with terracotta spandrels between stories. Stylized Ionic capitals crown the piers. A decorative frieze, fringed with antefixes, culminates the design.
The old Western Costume Building is significant for its architectural integrity and quality, its design by a prominent local architect, as a stylistic and representative example of commercial architecture in Los Angeles, during this period, and for its consistency in scale, style, and period with neighboring buildings in the Central Business District, contributing to a unique sense of time and place.