Growing rapidly in the early 20th century, downtown Los Angeles and its Broadway Theatre District had the highest concentration of theater palaces anywhere by the 1930s. At the height of the Art Deco movement, it became the epicenter of what had already become the world’s movie making capital, and a focal point of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Today, the area is undergoing a cultural renaissance, with a new generation coming to see the potential of this architecturally interesting and atmospheric part of town.
Clad in striking turquoise terracotta tiles and trimmed in burnished gold, the Eastern Columbia Building stands proudly on 855 S Broadway. Designed by Claud Beelman in 1930, the stepped-back façade, geometric motifs and recessed window columns are all typical of the period, emphasizing the building’s powerful, yet elegant profile. With its four-sided clock tower emblazoned with ‘Eastern’ in neon, the monolithic structure
is widely considered the greatest surviving example of Art Deco architecture in the city, and it was made a
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1985.
The 5,000 square feet Acne Studios flagship store on the building’s south corner fully explores the light and vast space in this landmark. The store concept continues as a modern interpretation of the artist’s studio, while the interplay between contrasting materials is a central theme. Industrially machined aluminium and terrazzo floors nod to the Eastern Columbia Building’s heritage as an early example of steel-framed architectural construction, while the clear blue carpeting and the ready-to-wear collections themselves provide softness and colour. The store is also home to ilcaffè, a café in collaboration with the team behind Acne Studios Creative Director Jonny Johansson’s favourite coffee shop in Stockholm.
Acne Studios Eastern Columbia Building
855 S Broadway, Los Angeles, California 90014