Globe Grain and Milling Company. Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

The Industrial History of Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

7 February 2018

Globe Mills

Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles inhabits the restored Globe Mills complex, a collection of late 19th and early 20th century buildings adapted by Creative Space, Los Angeles, in consultation with Annabelle Selldorf, Selldorf Architects.

The collection of buildings originally housed Globe Grain & Milling Company, which benefitted from its close proximity to Union Station and LA’s historic Red Car mass transit system. A source of local and industrial pride – represented by the architectural motif of wheat sheaves coupled with a steamship steering wheel still visible today – its success reflects a shift in California’s economy, from the speculative Gold Rush of the 19th century to robust farming in the 20th century.

Made up of the industrious mill tower and the neo-classical bank building which faces East 3rd Street, the buildings form a complex that was Globe Mills’ headquarters for nearly 40 years. In 1941, the Pillsbury Flour Mills Company acquired the property and operated here until the mid-1960s. As businesses started to decentralize and industry moved away from downtown Los Angeles in the 1970s, the expansive spaces of the district’s abandoned factories began to attract artists and musicians, who reappropriated the area and ignited its transformation to a hub for creative industries.

Thanks to the pioneering influence of artists and the local community, the Downtown Arts District is now home to galleries, architecture and design firms, production studios, residential architecture, and the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). The gradual evolution of the Arts District has ensured that historic buildings exist in harmony with new construction. Now home to Hauser & Wirth, the Globe Mills complex has been preserved and adapted for a new life at an exciting moment in the history of downtown Los Angeles.