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Sixty Years Ago Today: Petroleum Building Dedicated at 6th and Flower

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, April 01, 2009, at 09:54AM
Petroleum Building Under Construction USC Digital Archives / Spence Air Photos [digarc.usc.edu]

This aerial photo from late 1948 shows the General Petroleum building with exterior construction largely completed. The building opened in 1949.

On April 1, 1949, Governor Earl Warren and Mayor Fletcher Bowron were on hand as General Petroleum Corporation raised the flag to the top of its new headquarters building on the southeast corner of 6th and Flower. The 504,000 square foot building, called the largest office building in Southern California, cost $11 million to construction. Today the building lives on as the Pegasus apartments.

Groundbreaking for the new structure, designed by Walter Wurdeman and Welton Becket, had taken place on July 10, 1947. The first new occupants had moved in a month and a half before the dedication, on February 14, 1949.

In his dedication remarks, Mayor Bowron praised the company's choice to build its new headquarters.

This beautiful new home of General Petroleum is a building worthy of the great city Los Angeles is and the still greater it is destined to be. It sets the pattern for the business center of the West's largest metropolis, now the third largest in the nation. It is a demonstration of faith, proof that this is a safe place for large financial investments.

Governor Warren, who would later become Chief Justice Warren, holds the distinction of serving the longest term as governor in California history. California's 30th governor was in office 10 years, from 1943 to 1953.

The Pegasus began its new life as a residential building in June of 2004, after a conversion into a 322-unit apartment complex by the Kor Group.

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