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Ugly Broadway Facades

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, November 01, 2005, at 04:58PM
Clifton's Brookdale Exterior Eric Richardson [Flickr]

I've been curious lately about the exteriors of buildings. In particular, neither the facade of Clifton's Brookdale nor that of the building next to it are original, and both seem to me to be serious downgrades from their designed look. Pictured you can see the face of both buildings, with Clifton's on the right and the J.E. Carr building on the left.

You can find a picture of the original Clifton's exterior on their website and you can also see the cafeteria in this LA Public Library photo (second building in from the corner).

I haven't found good original pictures of the Carr building, but it was originally built in 1910. LA Times articles from 1935 indicate that a facade remake was supposed to occur that year in preparation for occupation by the Brooks Clothing Company. I've stolen the rendering of that from the Times archive so that you can see it here.

So I guess my question is, if these buildings once looked normal, why today do they have ugly facades? And how much would it cost to make them look whole again?

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