Artist lofts in Los Angeles, California, were once the dwellings of struggling artists who had taken residence in old industrial buildings as they couldn’t afford rent in conventional apartments. In downtown Los Angeles, the Arts District has historically housed struggling artists. This area was once covered in vineyards before the industrial boom at the turn of the 20th century, when many industrial buildings were built. During the 1970s, artists began to use the unused industrial buildings for housing after being priced out of more established neighborhoods such as Hollywood or Venice.
One of the most famous structures in the Arts District is the James K. Hill and Sons Pickle Works Building, which was built in 1888 and was once the residence of artist Carlton Davis. Davis used the space to create a rogue gallery called the Art Dock to display his works, and the work of many other artists between 1981 and 1985.
Today, loft spaces in downtown Los Angeles are much sought after, and developers have been scrambling to create unique apartments within any industrial and historical buildings. Lawrence Scarpa, famous architect who is best known for converting unused industrial spaces into contemporary loft apartments using unusual materials, is a modern example of this growing trend.
While downtown Los Angeles remains a popular area for people creatives and entrepreneurs, it is not the only designated area for loft-style buildings. One of the most popular is Little Tokyo and there are many traditional artist lofts for rent or for sale in this area. Little Tokyo is the neighboring district of Downtown, and as such, it was a natural progression of artists to spread. In fact, many people consider Little Tokyo to be part of the Arts District of Los Angeles. Residents of this area took over the disused industrial buildings and completely transformed them into stunning live and work spaces. The lower levels of the buildings were generally converted into shops and restaurants.
Other famous loft buildings include the Brewery Art Colony. Covering 16 acres and 21 former warehouses, the Brewery Art Colony is the largest live-and-work artist’s colony anywhere in the world. The warehouses are split into living lofts, work studios, galleries, and restaurants.
The complex was originally the Edison Electric Steam Power Plant and was built between 1894 and 1903. An interesting architectural feature is the chimney. It later became a Pabst Blue Brewery before being converted into artist’s lofts in 1982.
Another example of an artist’s loft in Los Angeles is one at ‘Biscuit Company Lofts’ on Industrial Street. Available to purchase for just under $1.8 million, this artist loft measures 1,670 square feet and has one bedroom and 2 bathrooms. The interior is finished to a luxurious standard and makes the most of the light from the large windows that are typical of artist lofts. Amenities available to residents include controlled entry with a security guard, a swimming pool, outdoor entertaining space, a two-level gym and a concierge service.