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Bradbury Building, Downtown LA

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So I have this random list of places to visit in my near future, or hopefully near. It’s just a Sticky Note on my computer, where I jot down names of places, buildings, anything that catches my eye while surfing the net (examples: Vitoria, Spain (Oficinas Caja Vital Kutxa); Tenerife (Spanish island); Hotel Distrito Capital, Mexico City,….). A local one on the list was the Bradbury Building, downtown LA.

I don’t remember where I first saw this, but I came across a website featuring beautiful photos of the Bradbury Building. I was surprised to see such a place existed in LA, something of that age, character, still existing and functioning today.

I was excited, I jotted it down. But the mental note went far back in my head and I had forgotten about it. I have lived in LA for over a year now!

But many thanks to the movie, 500 Days of Summer, the last scene pulled that mental note back out. I couldn’t place the name of the building immediately, but knew I had seen it before in photographs and that it was a place I wanted to go to for some time. I looked it up and thankfully found it easily.

The Bradbury Building has been used in many films, including Bladerunner (Harrison Ford film, starring Sean Young, who once sat in this very living room I am sitting in, but that is another story). The building, built in 1893 (just 34 years younger than this house) is at 3rd and Broadway, downtown. It’s still used today, with various retail tenants on the lobby floor and offices for LAPD’s internal affairs department. The Bradbury Building has become a historic landmark, so it’s also open to the public for tours or walking in to limited areas.

Anyways, the actual real reason why I am posting about this is because I was Googling for black-and-white photos of the place, and came across this:

And why this is attention-worthy is because of the story behind it, much reminding me of why I am doing what I do today.

A little excerpt: 

Pictured here is the guy that ignited the spark I have for photography and the arts.

 

Growing up, my father had a darkroom in a [bathroom] small room off the kitchen which contained, among other things, an enlarger, a huge deep sink my father built from scratch, and all the necessary chemicals….

Thanks to van Kampen photography for sharing the photo and story. Please click here to see the photographer’s Flickr photo and read the rest of his story behind it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewoodenshoes/3238124790/

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Written by jennykwoo

August 18, 2009 at 4:27 am

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