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Curlett & Beelman: Eastern Columbia Building

About this Collection

The 13 story Art Deco building on the corner of Broadway and Ninth Street in downtown Los Angeles, was designed and built by Claud Beelman of the firm Curlett & Beelman. The building was built with steel reinforced concrete and is covered in turquoise terra cotta tile, with blue and gold accents, and the upper portion of the building has a clock on all four sides, along with the word EASTERN in white neon.

The Curlett & Beelman firm was formed by Alexander (Aleck) Curlett (1881-1942) and Claud W. Beelman (1884-1963) in 1919. They are well known for their large scale architecture and that the firm planned, designed, and superintended the construction of most of their buildings. Some of their more noted projects, many of which are designated Historic Monuments and/or listed in the National Register of Historic Places, include: Barker Brothers, Elks Temple, Pershing Square Building, Insurance Exchange Building, LA Fur Mart Building, Commercial Club: Hotel Case, Harris Newark Building, Board of Trade Building, and Culver Hotel, as well as buildings in Pasadena and Long Beach. Their office was located in Beverly Hills, California. By 1932, however, the firm had dissolved.

Claud Beelman was born in Ohio in 1884 and apprenticed in the Midwest and South before moving to Los Angeles. Once in Los Angeles he obtained his building license and went into partnership with Alexander Curlett, whose father was an established architect in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. Curlett was born in San Francisco in 1881, attended Columbia University's School of Architecture, and was in partnership with his father William Curlett from 1908-1916 as William Curlett and Son, Architects. After the firm Curlett & Beelman dissolved in 1932, Curlett became the project manager for the Federal Public Housing Authority and worked on federal building projects in Southern California until his death in 1942. Beelman continued as a solo architect, working on many commerical buildlings until his death in 1963.
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