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Coolest pool in DTLA attracts Victoria's Secret models and superheroes

By Emily Chu
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012, at 07:41AM
Emily Chu

The rooftop pool at The Eastern looks out over Downtown.

As all of Los Angeles sits in the middle of a heat wave, Blogdowntown is curating a list of the best pools in DTLA.

First up, the iconic Eastern Columbia building's pool.

At the intersection of Broadway and 9th, the Eastern building is one of Downtown's most recognizable locations. The building opened in 1930 as the flagship department store for the Eastern Columbia Outfitting Company, a retail location selling furniture and clothing.

It is now praised as a distinct example of one of L.A.'s most intricate Art Deco buildings. The interwoven geometric shapes and turquoise terra cotta on the facade were designed by American architect Claude Beelman.

After the company closed in 1957, the building was rented out to various offices throughout the 1960s. It sat empty until developers bought the space and converted it into condominiums in 2006.

Renee Hambley, a site representative and filming liaison for The Eastern, lived in the building for about five years. She bought her apartment while it was still under renovation, after seeing just a floor plan -- as did the other original owners. She said she was pleasantly surprised when she finally got to see her apartment.

The pool-- the real focus of this story-- didn't exist until the building became a residential space. Developers put the 4-foot deep pool in as an amenity when the building opened.

The rooftop lounge area also includes a small jacuzzi and fireplace and is set up with speakers for music -- but most residents like the quiet, Hambley said.

It also boasts an incredible view of Downtown LA.

The building isn't open to the public much besides a once-a-year fundraiser, but countless movies and commercials have featured the Eastern's recognizable rooftop.

Hambley said Michael Bay directed a Victoria's Secret ad there, featuring a model wearing angel wings and clinging to the clock tower that overlooks the pool. Most recently, the building can be spotted in a Spiderman commerical which also includes portions of Broadway and the exterior of the Orpheum Theater.

Can you top this pool? Tell us about the best places to take a dip Downtown.


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