Art Deco relic on San Fernando Road now going for $2.3 million


Eastside PropertyGLASSELL PARK — There’s nothing like some Art Deco and Streamline Moderne touches to dress up a relatively simple commercial building. For example, the former Hemphill Diesel Engineering School built in 1923 on San Fernando Road near Division Street features a gold colored frieze  filled with Machine Age imagery, including speeding trains, ocean going ships, dirigibles and even a tank.  Now, the two-story, Streamline Moderne building topped by a small tower is up for sale for $2.325 million, according to LoopNet.

Those Art Deco touches make the approximately 18,000-square-foot building, which was noted in the book Los Angeles Art Deco,  stand out among the boxy, standard-issue warehouse and industrial buildings that line San Fernando Road. The Hemphill building that once celebrated the art of the diesel engine has in recent years housed art galleries and studio spaces.








  1. The slickest. Built for speed.

  2. I’ve always loved this building, a diamond in the rough.

  3. Please let this NOT get torn down for another strip mall!!!!!!! (Beating head against wall.)

  4. Will it be protected?

  5. The the sequence of the images on this building is LA history, so sweet, I hope it gets a super touch up.

  6. I spoke with a tenant about two months ago. He told me that they had to vacate at the end of that month and that the owner was either remodel and or do a tear down and put up some metal/stucco stacked box similar to what is further down the road towards Cypress Park. The frieze is incredible though and hopefully that will be protected.

    • As a side note, and as many locals know, this was also the Capitol Records pressing plant through the 1970s. It really needs to not be torn down- should become a historical landmark for architectural and cultural value – including the futuristic depictions of Los Angeles in the frieze, the burgeoning interconnection between rail lines and distribution of goods across the city through trucking, and San Fernando Road in the context of all of that. In fact, it was submitted to My Historic LA a few years ago. Should get the City of LA Office of Historic Resources on this stat if they are considering a tear down.

  7. Looks like a perfect building for a movie theater! The kind that have couches and serve food. Feel free to use this idea, investors… Just don’t charge so much that no one can afford to go.

  8. I thought that place was a private bondage club……

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