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Timeless Elegance: Bradbury Building Photoshoot

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Bradbury Building Photoshoot

The historic Bradbury Building, an architectural masterpiece nestled in downtown Los Angeles across the street from Grand Central Market, has captivated photographers, filmmakers, and history buffs for decades. This iconic structure, with its intricate ironwork, awe-inspiring natural light, and vintage allure, provides an exceptional backdrop for photoshoots and film productions. Keep reading to learn more about the Bradbury Building!

Also, if you would like to schedule your very own Bradbury Building photoshoot, feel free to contact me, RayCee the Artist, at!

Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube!

The Storied History of the Bradbury Building

Bradbury Building Photoshoot

Constructed in 1893, the Bradbury Building was commissioned by mining magnate Lewis L. Bradbury, who desired a grand and cutting-edge office building. George Wyman, an untrained draftsman, took up the task of designing the building after his deceased brother allegedly communicated with him through a spiritualist planchette. Despite the unconventional circumstances, Wyman's vision brought the Bradbury Building to life and solidified its place as an architectural marvel.

Over the years, the Bradbury Building has housed a variety of businesses, offices, and government agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department's Internal Affairs division. In 1971, the Bradbury Building was designated a National Historic Landmark, and a meticulous restoration took place in 1991 to ensure the preservation of its architectural integrity.

Architectural Brilliance

Bradbury Building Photoshoot

The Bradbury Building's beautiful design incorporates elements of both Romanesque Revival and Victorian architectural styles. Its exterior, featuring brown brick and sandstone, is unassuming compared to the breathtaking interior. The building's elaborate design showcases ornate ironwork, glazed tiles, and intricate woodwork throughout.

Upon entering the lobby, visitors are greeted by an impressive five-story atrium filled with natural light from the glass roof above. The atrium is adorned with open-cage elevators, elaborate cast-iron railings, and decorative Italian marble staircases. The building's extensive use of wrought-iron filigree is both delicate and intricate, reflecting the unparalleled craftsmanship of the late 19th century. The extensive use of glass and ironwork creates an open, airy atmosphere, which contrasts with the heavy stone façades commonly found in 19th-century buildings.

A Photographer's Paradise

The Bradbury Building's distinctive architecture and timeless charm have made it an immensely popular destination for photographers in search of a visually captivating and historically significant backdrop for their photos. The natural light that streams through the skylight accentuates the building's intricate details, creating a soft, ethereal atmosphere perfect for capturing stunning images.

The building's diverse textures and depth, from its ironwork and marble staircases to its decorative tiles, provide endless opportunities for photographers to experiment with composition and creativity. Furthermore, the Bradbury Building's unique ambiance transports visitors to a bygone era, allowing them to create evocative and nostalgic images that narrate the rich history of Los Angeles.

Lights, Camera, Action: Iconic Movies Filmed at the Bradbury Building

Bradbury Building Photoshoot

The Bradbury Building has been a coveted location for filmmakers, serving as a backdrop for numerous movies and television productions. Ridley Scott's famous science fiction masterpiece, "Blade Runner" (1982), prominently features the Bradbury Building's atmospheric interior as the setting for the dystopian apartment of protagonist Rick Deckard.

Other notable films shot within the Bradbury Building include "500 Days of Summer" (2009), in which the building serves as a romantic rendezvous point for the film's central characters, and "The Artist" (2011), which showcases the building's historic charm and beauty as an homage to the silent film era.

Exploring the Bradbury Building: Visitor Access and Guidelines

Bradbury Building Photoshoot

While the Bradbury Building is open to the public and visitors are welcome to admire its architectural beauty and explore its history, there are some limitations and guidelines that should be observed to ensure the preservation of the building and the privacy of its tenants.

As a functioning office building housing various businesses and agencies, not all areas of the Bradbury Building are accessible to visitors. The ground floor, including the main lobby and portions of the atrium, is generally open to the public during regular business hours. However, access to the upper floors, staircases, and elevators is typically restricted to tenants and authorized personnel only. Visitors are advised to respect these boundaries to maintain the building's functionality and the privacy of its occupants.

For photographers or filmmakers seeking access to restricted areas of the Bradbury Building for a photoshoot or film production, I recommend contacting the building's management in advance to obtain permission and discuss any specific guidelines and requirements.

Guided Tours of the Bradbury Building: An In-Depth Exploration

Bradbury Building Photoshoot

For those seeking a more immersive experience of the historic Bradbury Building, guided tours offer an unparalleled opportunity to delve deeper into the building's architectural details, rich history, and unique features. These tours, led by knowledgeable guides or local historians, provide a comprehensive understanding of the building's design, construction, and significance in Los Angeles's architectural landscape.

Guided tours typically grant access to areas of the building that are otherwise off-limits to the general public, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the Bradbury Building's intricacies and hidden gems. As you explore the building with your guide, you'll learn about the stories behind its creation, the craftsmanship that went into its ironwork and decorative elements, and its role as a setting for numerous film productions.

Several organizations and tour operators offer guided tours of the Bradbury Building, each with a unique focus or theme:

Los Angeles Conservancy

As part of their mission to preserve and celebrate the architectural and cultural heritage of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Conservancy occasionally offers guided tours of the Bradbury Building. These tours focus on the building's architectural history and significance within the broader context of downtown Los Angeles's development.

Atlas Obscura

Known for curating unique and unusual experiences, Atlas Obscura occasionally organizes guided tours of the Bradbury Building, providing an offbeat and in-depth exploration of the building's fascinating history, design, and role in popular culture.

Local Architecture Tours

Some local tour operators specializing in Los Angeles architecture include the Bradbury Building as part of their itineraries, offering visitors a chance to learn about the building alongside other architectural gems in the city.

Guided tours of the Bradbury Building are typically available on a limited basis and may require advanced booking, as spaces often fill up quickly. To secure your spot on a tour, check the respective organization's website or contact local tour operators for information on upcoming Bradbury Building tour dates, pricing, and availability.


Bradbury Building Photoshoot

The Bradbury Building's enduring appeal as a photoshoot destination is a testament to its architectural magnificence, timeless charm, and storied history. Its captivating interior, coupled with its distinctive place in the annals of Los Angeles architecture, makes it an unparalleled location in Southern California for photographers and filmmakers alike.

In addition to providing a stunning backdrop for photo shoots and film productions, the Bradbury Building, located across the street from Grand Central Market, remains an essential destination for architecture enthusiasts, historians, and anyone interested in experiencing a piece of Los Angeles's rich past. Its iconic status as a National Historic Landmark ensures that the building will continue to be preserved and cherished for generations to come.

Visiting the famous Bradbury Building in downtown LA for a photoshoot, to admire its architectural beauty, or to explore its fascinating history is a must for anyone looking to experience the allure and elegance that this remarkable structure has to offer. The Bradbury Building stands as a testament to the vision of its creator and the craftsmanship of its builders, and it will undoubtedly continue to captivate and inspire for years to come.

Also, if you would like to schedule your very own Bradbury Building photoshoot, feel free to contact me, RayCee the Artist, at! (To arrange a photoshoot at the Bradbury Building, located at 304 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013, I recommended contacting the building's management for permission and checking for any specific guidelines/requirements ahead of time.) If you would like to learn about some other great photoshoot locations, please read my article "Outdoor Photoshoot Locations in Los Angeles."

Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube!


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