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|The Continental Building, formerly Braly Block,is a 151 ft, 13-story designed by John Parkinson and was named for John Hyde Braly, who was president of the local business syndicate that constructed the building. When completed in 1903, it was the city's first high-rise building. The building was completed shortly before the city established its building highest limitations, which went into effect in early 1905. This allowed the Braly Block the tallest commercial building for fifty-three years. City Hall was taller because it was exempt from the limit by public vote. In the 1950s, this hieght restrictions was lifted.
The Braly Block is a wonderful example of the Beaux-Arts style. This particular style was during the late Neo-classical Period in American architecture. It reflects Greek and Roman artistic styles. This is clearly seen on the façade of the Braly Building. It’s rusticated and raised first story, hierarchy of spaces, columns, arches, pedimented entablatures on top of its windows and its symmetry all show characteristics of the style. The architectural details also contain decorative cartouches and sculptural ornaments.
Downtown Los Angeles Skyline at night