The huge old Hamburger department store in Los Angeles was like a city in itself

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The huge old Hamburger department store in Los Angeles was like a city in itself

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

Put great city under one roof: Hamburger’s building is finest in west

Excerpted from the Los Angeles Herald – June 21, 1908

Los Angeles’ latest milestone in its marvelous progress is soon to be completed. It will be dedicated in the near future to one of the greatest tides of its commercial life, and that it will prove the mightiest mercantile monument in the west stands undisputed.

The new Hamburger department store is to be a city in itself, a veritable human beehive, with all the complexity of detail characterizing a busy city, save that it will be a metropolis in miniature, though not so diminutive as might be imagined, for it will epitomize many great features never before attempted outside of the world’s four leading cities. 

It will enjoy not only the distinction of being by far the largest department store in the west, but it will embody what are declared the most wonderful and complete systems of heating and ventilating known to modern science.

Hamburger Department Store - Los Angeles (1906)

Every of air that enters the big Hamburger store will be actually washed in water before it reaches the great fans installed to distribute it.

The centrifugal ventilating fans will draw the air from a high altitude, through a specially constructed tower house on the roof, and distribute it, purified and humidified to the ducts and plenums. 

The building is constructed absolutely dustproof. In addition to the ventilation there is a system of removing the vitiated air from the building as regularly and evenly as the fresh air is admitted.

The building will contain, aside from the Los Angeles library and merchandise, every facility for comfort which architects and the best sanitary scientists can conceive. In brief, the Hamburger department store building is absolutely unique, not only as a completed unit but in many of its parts.

Some idea of the size of the plant may be gained by stating that the volume to be heated and ventilated is practically equivalent to a space of four blocks long and the usual depth of buildings on Broadway covered with a building twenty feet high.

In addition to this space it is necessary to deliver approximately 200,000 cubic feet of fresh, pure air each minute that the plant is in operation, and the power required to do the work when the plant is in full operation is approximately 100 horsepower.

This is one among many of the features in the great Hamburger department store, and the public may feel assured it is absolutely unique and will contribute very much indeed to the comfort and enjoyment of the friends patronizing this great enterprise.

ALSO SEE: What the old Macy’s department store in downtown NYC looked like 100+ years ago


The old Hamburger Department Store sold to eastern merchants (1919)

The old Hamburger Department Store - Los Angeles (1919)

ALSO SEE: Inside an old general store: See Oregon’s old Pease & Mays store in 1898


Future Hamburger Department Store – Los Angeles (1919)

Future Hamburger Department Store - Los Angeles (1919)


Hamburger Department Store – Los Angeles (1919)

Hamburger Department Store - Los Angeles (1919)

Hamburger Department Store – Los Angeles (1923)

Hamburger Department Store - Los Angeles (1923)

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