Douglas Lofts: The Friendly Spirit of the Downtown Los Angeles Historic Core

Douglas Lofts: The Friendly Spirit of the
Downtown L.A. Historic Core


douglas lofts

At 257 S Spring St in Los Angeles, CA 90012, the Douglas Building is a spectacular presence on the corner of Third and Spring Streets in this historic Downtown neighborhood. The Douglas Building is the legacy of T.D. Stimson, (1827 – 1898) a lumber baron turned real estate mogul who fostered commercial development in Los Angeles during the 1890s. As one of the few remaining vestiges of Los Angeles’ 19th century architectural treasures, the Douglas Building still stands out, bold and elegant in the midst of glass and steel.

lofts-downtown-la-douglas-cornerDistinct architectural attributes include high ceilings, exposed brick walls, restored double-hung windows, historic tile and hardwood flooring, state-of-the-art kitchens, and Waterworks bathtubs.

Floors two (2) through four (4) have of one and two bedroom lofts ranging from 735 to 1,275 square feet, with the fifth (5th) floor penthouses from 735 to 1,450 square feet. Corner units boast operable, curved windows, a rare and wonderful architectural detail.

Of the eleven penthouse units, seven have spiral staircases leading to a study that is open to the living area below.


  • ohyKGOPYjdVHMkkLlA19oD8j7DusgsL48YXuSimZ5qYHistorically Significant Building
  • New York Style Loft Units
  • Striking City Views
  • Poggen Pohl State-of-the-Art Kitchens
  • Waterworks Bathrooms
  • Exposed Interior Brick Walls
  • Original, Restored Double-Hung Windows
  • Hardwood and Historic Tile Flooring
  • Curved Windows at Corner Units
  • High Ceilings
  • 20 Different Floor Plans
  • W3jquN7CJMqR1K0Zv9PwNVu9jc2xY3BAwNF8p2urPmc7 Two-level Penthouse Units
  • Central Air and Heat
  • High-Speed Internet Connection
  • Washer/Dryer Hookups
  • Gated Mini-Park on Premises (Pet Friendly)
  • Secure Underground and Street-Level Parking
  • Easy Freeway Access
  • Walking Distance to Major Cultural Attractions, Restaurants and Shopping
  • Two Blocks from the Metro Red Line Station
  • Minutes to Grand Central Market


Designed in 1898 by San Francisco architects, James and Merritt Reid, the Douglas Building was conceived by Stimson as a flagship office building. The abbreviated five-story structure was markedly subdued and modern in comparison to its Victorian neighbors. Across the street was the Stimson Block, an impressive 42-room boarding house, and on either side, ornate two and three-story structures with retail establishments on the ground floor. At the turn of the century Spring Street bustled with activity and commerce, horse-drawn carriages and bicyclists skirted noisy street cars transporting shoppers and businessmen up and down the wide streets of Downtown. These days of prosperity and growth ushered a twenty year building boom, the first of three during the 20th century.


When finished, the Douglas Building was dedicated as a memorial to Stimson, a generous, hard-working man who had won the respect of Angelenos. Of the many accolades printed following his unexpected death, one of the most generous appeared in Greater Los Angeles, a weekly tabloid. “He it was who built so liberally and so handsomely on Spring Street as to create a permanent business heart to our city &.” At Stimson’s funeral service, the Reverend Bert Estes Howard’s words echoed the sentiment: “In days to come, when one shall inquire for the monuments of Thomas Douglas Stimson, men may point to our busy streets and to our city filled with the hum of traffic and industry and say, ‘this is his monument.’”


Douglas Building Underground Parking

The Douglas Building “was considered among Los Angeles’ greatest office buildings and commanded the highest rentals. In its early years, it housed the chief ticket office of the Southern Pacific Railroad.” ² During that time many travelers would have passed through its doors to purchase a ticket.

The Douglas Building is significant in the area of West Third Street, the former heart of Downtown, for several reasons: its association with Thomas Douglas Stimson, the Stimson Estate and the architects; and for its remarkable architectural design and structural system.³ Wholly restored, the Douglas Building will once again be the pride of the neighborhood and certainly one of the most impressive buildings in Downtown.

Friendly Ghost
Friendly Ghost

The lesser known side of the Douglas Lofts Building is that a friendly ghost is said to appear once in a while.  The ghost seems to be shy and friendly, and might only make itself heard with a faint but friendly “Hello” or “How are you?.”

All historic loft buildings in Downtown have issues that can lead to unexpected costs.  Whether you’re looking to buy your first home, or trading up to a larger one, there are many costs – on top of the purchase price – that you must figure into your calculation of affordability. These extra fees, such as taxes and other additional costs, could surprise you with an unwanted financial nightmare on closing day if you’re not informed and prepared.

13 Extra Costs to Be Aware of Before Buying a Home

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Based on information from the Association of REALTORS®/Multiple Listing as of [date the AOR/MLS data was obtained] and /or other sources. Display of MLS data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS. The Broker/Agent providing the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.


Corey Chambers L.A. Loft Blog

Corey Chambers, REALTOR®
(213) 478-0499 Mobile

Copyright © 2015 This free information provided courtesy L.A. Loft Blog and with information provided by Corey Chambers, Realty Source Inc, BRE#01889449 We are not necessarily associated with the home owner’s association, seller or developer. For more information, contact (213) 880-9910 or visit  Licensed in California. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Properties subject to prior sale or rental. This is not a solicitation if buyer or seller is already under contract with another broker.

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