New owners at One Bunker Hill, the Art Deco-style former headquarters of Southern California Edison in Downtown LA, plan to rip out some of the sad 1980s alterations to the building and bring back original features of the fantastic fixture at Fifth and Grand. Rising Realty Partners, part of the partnership that bought the building and the firm that will manage it, recently overhauled the PacMutual building nearby, bringing in cool eateries and restoring the vintage charm of the building. The LA Times says they plan to work their magic again on One Bunker Hill, making it more attractive to—naturally—creative office tenants.
The elements of the tower (also known as the Edison Building, after the original tenants) that are getting the boot will probably not be missed. Drop ceilings and carpet will be removed ("so you can get the sense of the volume intended in the original design," says a rep for the new owners), and the glass that encloses the patios on the upper levels will be taken off so that those areas can be used as outdoor space, with actual connections to the outdoors. The new owners are also going to nix the One Bunker Hill name; a new moniker is expected by Thanksgiving.
Image dated 1987, via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
One Bunker Hill was designed by architects/brothers James and David Allison—the team responsible for the Beverly Hills post office that's now the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and UCLA's Royce Hall—and opened in 1931. At the time, the 13-story building matched the height limit in Downtown and dwarfed surrounding buildings as you can see in the photos below. Now it's in the shadow of the Tallest Building in the West, the US Bank tower, right next door.