The Bradbury Building
Excerpts From Angels Flight
The Bradbury was the dusty jewel of downtown. Built more than a century before, its beauty was old but still brighter and more enduring than any of the glass-and-marble towers that dwarfed it like a phalanx of brutish guards surrounding a beautiful child. Its ornate lines and glazed tile surfaces had withstood the betrayal of both man and nature. It had survived earthquakes and riots, periods of abandonment and decay, and a city that often didn't bother to safeguard what little culture and roots it had. Bosch believed there wasn't a more beautiful structure in the city — despite the reasons he had been inside it over the years.
To Bosch, the IAD was the only blemish on the building's beauty. Twice he had faced Board of Rights hearings in the Bradbury. Each time he gave his testimony, listened to witnesses and an IAD investigator — once it had been Chastain — report the facts and findings of the case, and then paced the floor beneath the atrium's huge glass skylight while the three captains privately decided his fate. He had come out okay after both hearings and in the process had come to love the Bradbury with its Mexican tile floors, wrought-iron filigree and suspended mail chutes. He had once taken the time to look up its history at the Los Angeles Conservancy offices, and found one of the more intriguing mysteries of Los Angeles: the Bradbury, for all its lasting glory, had been designed by a $5-a-week draftsman. George Wyman had no degree in architecture and no prior credits as a designer when he drew the plans for the building in 1892, yet his design would see fruition in a structure that would last more than a century and cause generations of architects to marvel. To add to the mystery, Wyman never again designed a building of any significance, in Los Angeles or anywhere else.