A super cool original art deco elevator door from the late, lamented Richfield building appeared on eBay today. Pieces of the black and gold confection that stood at 5th and Flower Streets from 1928-1969 are exceptionally rare so this really caught my attention. “We’ve had some of the big terra cotta heads,” says Dennis Clark of Off The Wall Antiques, “but most everything has been shipped out of state by now.” The door is almost 7 feet tall and has a “Buy It Now” price of $13,000. The buyer suggests it would make a fabulous headboard. How Scarface is that?
A scale model and a larger set of bronze elevator doors rests in storage at the Los Angeles Conservancy (which didn’t yet exist when the building was torn down) and a set remains on the original site as public art near Drago Centro restaurant. A few other scattered bits survive – marble panels from the building have been worked into another Morgan Walls and Clements-designed masterpiece at 5209 Wilshire and some figures are rumored to be lounging at UC Santa Barbara. Author and historian Eric Lynxwiler has perhaps the ultimate showpiece, an enormous golden angel salvaged from the rooftop during demolition. He recently opened his downtown loft for a tour by the Art Deco Society and is a proud steward. “I know of about ten survivors” he said “Al the others have pretty much been relegated to garden art.”