Shown: The original construction of The Haas Building was, and still is, a marvel to behold. It has always been a showcase building of Downtown Los Angeles.

The Haas Building opened in 1915 with the Bank of Italy as its ground floor tenant. The structure was built by Abraham Haas, president of Haas, Baruch & Co., with reports at the time saying that the building was costing roughly $500,000. It was designed by architects Morgan, Walls & Morgan.

During December 1915, the Bank of Italy secured a 25-year lease on the ground floor and the basement of the building. J.H. Skinner, Vice-President, arranged the movement of location and left San Francisco the next day to report the situation to the directorate. 6,550 feet (2,000 m) of space was allocated on the ground floor of the building. Safe deposit and coin vaults were kept in the basement, while further space could be secured by the construction of the mezzanine floor. W J Pearson & Co. occupied a large part of the 3rd floor of The Haas Building. It was an excellent place to diagnose financial conditions in and around Los Angeles because of the great number of meetings there between buyers and sellers of realty, leaser and lessees.

The other 11 stories consisted of 225 offices, each with direct and alternating current attachments- compressed air, gas, water and extra sewer outlet.

Other Major occupants of The Haas Building:

  • Southern California Tourist Bureau
  • Lee H. Stodder Company – exclusive selling agent for Burkhard Investment Company
  • Southern California Oil Co.
  • Chicago Tribune - Opened a branch office, hoping to attract California advertisers to the midwestern paper.