Bumiller Building

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Bumiller Building
General information
Location430 South Broadway
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°02′55″N 118°15′00″W / 34.04863°N 118.24994°W / 34.04863; -118.24994Coordinates: 34°02′55″N 118°15′00″W / 34.04863°N 118.24994°W / 34.04863; -118.24994
OpeningJune 1906
Owner430 Broadway Lofts
Technical details
Floor count6
Lifts/elevatorstwo (four when it opened)
Design and construction
ArchitectMorgan & Walls
DeveloperBumiller Estate
Main contractorCarl Leonhardt

The Bumiller Building is a residential building in the Los Angeles Historic Broadway Theater District. Built in 1906 and designed by the architects Morgan & Walls,[1] the Bumiller Building was constructed of reinforced concrete in Renaissance Revival style.[2] Historically the building has been a department store and a theater.

Opening as the Bon Marché department store[edit]

In 1906, the Bumiller Building was the home of a department store, the Bon Marché, owned by the Le Sage Brothers. Le Bon Marché occupied the first three floors and basement.[3][4] Two freight elevators at the back of the building ran from the basement to the third floor for use of the store. The department store liquidated its goods to the J. M. Hale (Hale's) department store in September 1907 and closed, after which the freight elevators fell into disuse and were eliminated. Two Otis passenger elevators in the lobby ran from the basement to the sixth floor.

Early years[edit]

As the Broadway Theater District evolved, New York-based Eden Musée, a theater for motion pictures and vaudeville acts, moved in. With "a show on every floor," Eden Musée attracted audiences with afternoon and evening performances. After Eden Musée left, the Bumiller Building was home to the Wonderland Theater, then the Jade Theater, named for the jade hue of the building's facade. During Prohibition in 1921, firemen were called to the building to put out a blaze caused by a whiskey still, under which a gas fire had been lit. Tenants heard an explosion and when firemen arrived, one room was in flames. Firemen found sour mash and the ten gallon still blown to bits. The man who rented the room had already disappeared.[5]


Caroline Bumiller Hickey, George C. Hickey, 1905
Carroll W. Blake, University of Nebraska, 1908

The owners of the Bumiller Building reflected the changes in the district.

Bumiller Estate[edit]

Caroline Bumiller Hickey (née Gerstenberg, 1848–1932) was a wealthy German-born Los Angeles socialite, the widow of Jacob Bumiller, a Bavarian wine merchant, who had moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn around 1871.[6] Her house, 1049 South Elden Avenue, is now an historic-cultural monument of the Wilshire Historic District.[7] She controlled the Bumiller Estate and had a highly publicized divorce from her second husband, George C. Hickey. At trial she claimed she was deaf and appeared in court elegantly dressed with an ear trumpet. Following 18 years of marriage, George Hickey accused his wife of desertion, and the court agreed. Nevertheless, George Hickey returned the lot at 430 South Broadway, which Caroline averred he had swindled from her.[8][9] The owners of record of the Bumiller Building in 1912 were Caroline's children from her first marriage, Arthur W. Bumiller, Edna B. Sullivan, and Stella B. Burks.[10]

Albert J. Wallace[edit]

Albert Joseph Wallace (February 11, 1853 – February 23, 1939) was a member of the Los Angeles City Council in 1907–09 and lieutenant governor of California in 1910–14. He acquired the Bumiller Building from Isabelle M. Anderson, 1935, in exchange for his two-story building at 425 South Broadway, occupied by the W. T. Grant Company.[11]

Carroll White Blake[edit]

Dr. Harry Lehrer (left), Gypsy Boots (right), 1960

Carroll White Blake was a successful real estate investor and motion picture exhibitor. Born in Bowdoinham, Maine, April 12, 1885, he graduated from the Industrial College of the University of Nebraska (1908),[12] arrived in Los Angeles in 1909 and served in World War I. In 1942 Blake bought the palatial California Theater, 810 S. Main Street, from Jack Lankershim, son of James Boon Lankershim, who had built it during World War I.[13] After buying the Bumiller Building, Blake renamed it the Carroll W. Blake Building, and had his offices there. Blake divorced his wife, Josephine Terzenbach Blake, in 1934. He lived with his mother, Frances Blake, until her death in 1942. He then became engaged to a divorcée, Lillian Schramm, but died November 28, 1948, shortly before they were scheduled to be married at Christmas.[14][15][16]

Lillian E. Schramm[edit]

Born in Tennessee, Lillian Evelyn Schramm (née Pugh, 1905–1952) was divorced from Dr. Alfred J. Schramm, Executive Secretary of the American College of Osteopathic Physicians, and the only College official who refused to take advantage of the 1962 California legislation allowing an osteopath to convert his degree to an MD.[17] After the death of her fiancé, Carroll W. Blake, Lillian Schramm inherited the bulk of his property, although six of Blake's cousins contested the will, claiming Schramm feigned her love for Blake.[18][19] Schramm operated a beauty salon at the time of her own death, and left most of her million dollar estate for cancer research.[20] The California State Board of Cosmetology was located on the second floor of the Bumiller Building, and gave their certifying exams there.[21]

Dr. Harry Lehrer[edit]

Dr. Harry Lehrer (1904–1972) was a 1938 graduate of the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (now the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine), and received a Doctor of Medicine degree after the 1962 California legislation allowing an osteopath to convert his degree to an MD. Lehrer bought the Bumiller Building from the Schramm estate in 1958,[22] and had his medical offices there until his death in 1972.[23] He added the ramp that converted the basement to a parking garage. He was married to fashion designer Anne T. Hill.

Present time[edit]

The Bumiller Building, after extensive renovation, is now the Broadway Lofts, a residential rental with 58 apartments.[24] Adaptive Reuse and architecture completed by Los Angeles architecture firm Omgivning. [25]


  1. ^ Concrete, Volume 7. Concrete Publishing Company, 1907, p 25
  2. ^ Concrete Engineering: For Engineers, Architects and Contractors, Volumes 1–2, Technical Publishing Company, 1907
  3. ^ BUMILLER ESTATE BUILDS. Los Angeles Times; Jun 17, 1906 pg. VI
  4. ^ WOMAN SUES LE SAGE BROTHERS FOR DAMAGES. Los Angeles Herald, Volume 35, Number 224, 13 May 1908
  5. ^ Fire Protection Service, Volume 82. National Underwriter Company, 1921 p 14
  6. ^ Social Register Locater. Social Register Association, 1919. Vol XI p 162
  7. ^ "05-0665 (CFMS)". cityclerk.lacity.org. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  8. ^ A DIVIDED HOUSEHOLD Mrs. Bumiller-Hickey Brings Suit Against Her Husband. Los Angeles Herald, Number 19, 19 October 1899
  10. ^ The Pacific Reporter. West Publishing Company, Volume 124 Page 230, 1912
  11. ^ Building sells for $700,000. Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) Tue, Dec 24, 1935
  12. ^ "The Register and Catalogue for the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska". Journal Company, State Printers. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ California Theater Has New Owner. Los Angeles Times; May 14, 1942; pg. A2
  14. ^ Carroll W. Blake. Los Angeles Times; Dec 7, 1948; pg. 24
  15. ^ Court Approves Theater Sale. Los Angeles Times; Nov 14, 1952; pg. 2
  16. ^ Blake Estate Contest Settled. Los Angeles Times. 7 Nov 1950 p 45
  17. ^ The Continuing History of The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. Chicago 2004
  18. ^ Cousins contest will of theater magnate. Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska). Friday, May 27, 1949 Page 7
  19. ^ Cousins to fight million dollar will. San Diego Union (San Diego, California) Friday, May 27, 1949 Page 14
  20. ^ Cancer Research to Get Bulk of Schramm Estate. Los Angeles Times; Mar 19, 1952; pg. 2
  21. ^ California Roster. Secretary of State, 1958, California p47
  22. ^ Sale announced. Los Angeles Times, 9 March 1958 p 136
  23. ^ Directory of Members. Los Angeles County Medical Association, 1971, Physicians. pp 206, 368
  24. ^ Evans, Donna. "A Housing Twist on Broadway". Los Angeles Downtown News - The Voice of Downtown Los Angeles. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  25. ^ https://omgivning.com/projects/broadway-lofts