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Aerial View of Warehouse No. 1 and San Pedro
Aerial View of Warehouse No. 1 and San Pedro.

Completed in 1917, Warehouse No.1 served as the Port's only bonded warehouse, a function that was critical to Los Angeles' entry into international trade markets. During the era of break-bulk cargo handling, warehousing at the Port terminals played a critical role in achieving economically efficient commerce. Warehouse No.1 served a leading role in warehousing at the Port of Los Angeles from 1917 through the early 1970s when cargo containerization revolutionized cargo handling by nearly eliminating the need for warehousing.

Birds-eye view of Warehouse No. 1, with Harbor Pilots building in foreground and Marine Exchange on the roof.
Birds-eye view of Warehouse No. 1, with Harbor Pilots
building in foreground and Marine Exchange on the roof.


Warehouse No. 1 continues to serve in its original capacity, and remains a prominent visual landmark for ships entering the deepwater channel and for residents of and visitors to San Pedro. Recognizing the importance of the building in local history, the Port nominated Warehouse No. 1 for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The warehouse was officially listed in the National Register on April 21, 2000, and a plaque commemorating the listing has been installed on the north elevation of the building.

Warehouse 1 Aerial Diagram
Click the thumbnail to view a full-size diagram

Warehouse No. 1 is a massive structure built of board-formed, poured-in-place reinforced concrete. Construction of Municipal Warehouse No. 1 began with the first foundation piles for the building driven into Huntington Fill on August 2, 1915. By the end of November, more than 3,000 piles had been sunk, and the first concrete was poured on January 28, 1916.

Warehouse 1 Aerial Diagram
Click the thumbnail to view a full-size diagram

The building was completed in the spring of 1917, considerably later than planned, with the originally projected 8- to 10-month construction schedule dragging on to 19 months. The reason for the construction delays was not well documented. The delay in the construction schedule may have been related to the heavy rainfalls of January 1916 and the wet 1916-17 season. The construction costs were similarly inflated, from a budgeted $300,000 in 1915 to the final accounted expenditures of $475,792.53.

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