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Oviatt Building, Los Angeles

#475 of 548 in Things to do in Los Angeles
Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The James Oviatt Building, commonly referred to as The Oviatt Building, is an Art Deco highrise in Downtown Los Angeles located at 617 S. Olive Street, half a block south of 6th St. and Pershing Square. In 1983, the Oviatt Building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is also designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.The building is named after James Zera Oviatt (born in Farmington, Utah in 1888) who, in 1909, came from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles to work as a window dresser at C.C. Desmond's Department Store. In 1912, Mr. Oviatt and a colleague, hat salesman Frank Baird Alexander, launched their partnership in men’s clothing as the Alexander & Oviatt haberdashery, at 209 West Fourth Street in downtown Los Angeles. Their 'silent partner' was Frank Shaver Allen, a prominent (and wealthy) architect whose career had been destroyed by a sex scandal several years earlier.During annual summer buying trips to Europe, James Oviatt found stylish clothing to bring back to his prospering Los Angeles store. With the emergence of French Art Deco in the 1920s, Mr. Oviatt found the architectural style that would embody the interior design of his 1928 James Oviatt Building and its penthouse.The Oviatt Building was designed by the Los Angeles architectural firm of Walker & Eisen. Excavation for the Oviatt Building's construction was begun in August 1927; the building was completed in May 1928. Its furnishings included a 12-ton illuminated glass cornice and glass arcade ceiling by architect Ferdinand Chanut and glassmaker Gaëtan Jeannin. René Lalique designed and created the molded glass elevator door panels, front and side doors, chandeliers, and a large panel clock. Many tons of 'Napoleon' marble and a massive, three-faced tower clock with chimes (manufactured by the pioneering electric clockmaker, Ateliers Brillié Frères ) were imported from France.
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Oviatt Building reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
11 reviews
  • Absolutely magnificent . Beautiful gardens. So clean and well kept. Highly recommend. Family friendly...all families should see this temple.  more »
  • Part of the fun of walking around this city is stumbling onto gems, building from the past with stories to tell. It is a worthy example of a French Art Deco highrise. You can steal your way into.....  more »
  • Wow where do I start with the amazing Oviatt Penthouse. This is a beautiful historical Penthouse very well kept as true to the 20's as possible. It used to belong to a very wealthy couple who loved to enjoy life to the fullest and you can feel it in the air when you are there. Of course you can't talk about this place without talking about the fabulous views of Downton LA. It literally gets hardly more unique and beautiful when you are on the roof top surrounded by LA. Definitely a most see if you are visiting Los Angeles.
  • Overall the hotel experience was nice. However, I noticed the first night that I did not have clean sheets and there was a stains on the sheets I was highly displeased. I travel a lot for work and wanted to give Hyatt a chance again; however, I think I will be going back to other hotel chains after this visit because cleanliness is of high importance to me!

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