Bullocks Wilshire – Los Angeles, California - Atlas Obscura

Los Angeles, California

Bullocks Wilshire

The building that housed the high-end department store is now only open to the public once a year.  

Generations of Southern Californians once shopped at the defunct Bullock’s chain of department stores, but for the very best of everything, Bullocks Wilshire was the place to go.

Bullocks Wilshire was a high-end department store from its inception. Constructed to accommodate well-to-do clients, the store was designed with a rear parking lot and a generously sized porte cochere, complete with an elaborately painted ceiling. Walt Disney, Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock, and many other celebrities shopped at Bullocks Wilshire.

Bullocks Wilshire boasted a vaulted, marble-paneled perfume hall (the cases now hold artifacts from the store’s history), a beauty salon, a Chanel Room, a Saddle Shop, formal and leisurewear, and a collegiate department for high school and college girls. On the top floor, a tea room offered both refreshments and lunchtime fashion shows.

The store was ransacked during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and in 1993 finally closed following an ongoing legal dispute with Macy’s. Southwestern Law School, the store’s longtime neighbor, purchased the building in 1994. The school restored the building and converted parts of it into a law library, complete with a mock courtroom not far from the perfume room. 

Know Before You Go

Bullocks Wilshire can be visited by the public one summer weekend each year. Visit Southwestern Law School's website and sign up for their events mailing list.

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