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California’s Streamlined Modern Coulter’s Department Store

California’s Streamlined Modern Coulter’s Department Store

Streamline Moderne flagship store located on the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, was designed by Stiles O. Clements and completed in 1938-39.

Coulter’s Streamlined Modern Flagship department store located on Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles. Gateway to the miracle mile. 1939.

Parking Entrance.

Coulter’s stood four floors high, with a rounded exterior of white concrete and horizontal bands of glass block rather than proper windows.

75th Anniversary Sale and the Happy Birthday Cake.

A dramatic seventy-two-foot-high panel of glass soared above the boulevard entrance.

Coulter’s Department Store. Great example of streamlined modern architecture.

In addition to its significant architecture, the building’s 1938 opening marked an important milestone for the Miracle Mile. Coulter’s had been downtown for sixty years.

Month End sale at Coulter’s and Ladies Shopping.

Instead of simply opening a branch on Wilshire,¬†Coulter’s departed downtown entirely, deciding the future lay on Wilshire.

CW: Modern Shopping Area; Coulter’s Department Store; Ultra modern mezzanine with a bank of elevators.

(R to L) 1939 and 1942 Ads Los Angeles Times; Valley News announcement Coulter’s is bought by Broadway Dept Stores.

During the 1940s and 1950s, Culter’s was a shopping destination for Los Angeles residents along with architectural students who came to study revolutionary design.

By the 1970s, The Broadway department store had taken over Coulters. The building was nominated for listing in the National Register of Historic Places but was demolished in 1980 before the nomination could be heard.

Broadway (Coulter’s) Front Wilshire View and Rear Drive In entrance. 1960s.

The site remained a community eyesore for decades, with pools of tar and oil visible at the bottom of a deep pit. It now houses a massive mixed-use development.

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