Richfield Oil Building, 555 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA
Significance: An excellent example of the "Modern Style" of the 1920s, a short-lived heroic style with roots in late Art Nouveau and German Expressionism with emphasis on masses rather than volumes. A more direct influence on the forms came from two New York buildings whose profile was determined by the 1916 Zoning Law requiring setbacks for multi-story buildings
The Richfield Building, by Morgan, Walls, & Clements, was one of the best examples of the 1920s, which exuberantly integrated the arts into architecture. It reflects the style growing out of the New York setback laws of 1916, which fruited, then died in the 1930s a style combining Cubism, applied art and exterior color. Like Hood's American Radiator Building in New York, the skin of the Richfield was black and gold. This set of drawings is based on the architects' original working drawings of 1928-29, supplemented and corrected according to photographic records. Demolition of the building was begun in November 1968.
Survey number: HABS CA-1987
Building/structure dates: 1929 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1931 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1934 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1968- 1969 Demolished