February 12, 1991 |
On Feb. 24, 1896, a British-born merchant named Arthur Letts opened the Broadway Department Store in a 40-by-100-foot building at 4th Street and Broadway, then the outskirts of Los Angeles. The business made Letts so rich that he bought up a huge chunk of ranchland for $2 million and called it Holmby Hills. His son later built what is today the Playboy Mansion. During the boom years after World War II, a visionary young Broadway president, Edward W.