Beneath the mesh radio tower in the right center of the picture is the Richfield building, the erstwhile headquarters of Richfield Oil of California.
Richfield was incorporated in 1905 and opened its first service station at Slauson and Central in Los Angeles in 1917. The building in the photo, a black and gold art-deco masterpiece, was completed in 1929 on the cusp of the Great Depression.
The company prospered with the war and the following boom, becoming one of the launch sponsors at Disneyland and discovering Alaska’s first major oil field.
The merger boom of the 1960s, however, would see Richfield combined with Atlantic Petroleum, becoming Atlantic Richfield and later ARCO. The headquarters building, an architectural jewel in the tiara of the downtown skyline, was demolished in 1968. Just as sad and permanent, ARCO’s purchase by BP, and its pending sale to Tesoro, removed yet another headquarters from Southern California.
- Downtown Los Angeles Adventure: A Scavenger Hunt (millennialfolklore.wordpress.com)
- BP sells U.S. refinery, Arco retail to Tesoro (mysanantonio.com)
- Richfield Digs Deep, Taps Assets (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Square Feet: Simple Start in Overhauling Downtown Los Angeles (nytimes.com)
- Rediscovering The Downtown Los Angeles Arts District (gadling.com)