Since 1997, a series of honors and awards have been showered on Southwestern for its restoration and adaptive reuse of the historic Bullocks Wilshire Building. These include:
- 2005 Los Angeles Conservancy President’s Award "for showing true vision in integrating the former Bullocks Wilshire department store into its campus expansion plan ... and for meticulously restoring and transforming the beloved Los Angeles landmark into a unique, state-of-the-art learning environment and model of adaptive reuse."
- 2002 Design Award for Excellence - Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (for Campus Entry and Parking Ramp)
- 2000 National Preservation Award - one of only 16 awarded to projects across the country by the National Trust for Historic Preservation
- Save Americas Treasures Campaign - Selected as an official project of the Campaign, which was sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the White House Millennium Council
- California Office of Historic Preservation - Governor’s Historic Preservation Award
- Cultural Heritage Commission of Los Angeles - City of Los Angeles Historic Preservation Award for Excellence in the Institutional/Religious category
- Associated Builders and Contractors - Award of Excellence for Historical Restoration
- Los Angeles Business Council - Urban Architectural Award in the Remodeled Public Use/Institutional category
- Los Angeles Headquarters Association - Cultural Award (for historic restoration/renovation)
- Windsor Square - Hancock Park Historical Society - Respectful Renovation Award
- The Downtown Breakfast Club - Annual Rose Award (for excellence in renovation)
Southwestern Meets Disney in New Theme Park
With the opening of Disney's California Adventure in February 2001, Southwestern has achieved a unique new distinction: It's the only law school with a building replicated in a theme park. Located in the art-deco-inspired Hollywood Pictures Backlot section of the new park, the Bullocks Wilshire building joins other familiar Los Angeles icons in celebrating the glamour of Tinsel Town.
Southwestern's Bullocks Wilshire Building: One of Los Angeles' Living Museums
In October of 2005, the Los Angeles Conservancy launched a program to showcase the history of Wilshire Boulevard through an educational initiative called Curating the City. This program, running the length of Wilshire Boulevard—from downtown to the ocean—featured the Bullocks Wilshire building as one of its many exhibits.
The program included a one-day, self-guided architectural tour of Wilshire Blvd., and was accompanied by a trilingual guidebook (in English, Korean, and Spanish). The Bullocks Wilshire building was one of at least six sites open for docent-led tours, representing different eras, architects, and icons of the boulevard. Other features of the program included a kid’s activity guidebook, family-friendly activities, and online resources for teachers and families to use the city as a fun learning environment; a permanent website; a series of exciting events presented in conjunction with local cultural, community, and educational organizations; and bus advertisements that offered historical images and information about several of the architectural gems along the Wilshire route, similar to the labels accompanying objects in a museum.
On the Air and in Print
The restoration of the historic building and the opening of the Law Library have been featured in print, radio, and television coverage, both locally and nationally, including three hour-long episodes of the Public Television program Visiting with Huell Howser. Howser's programs focused first on the closing of the store and Tea Room, then the restoration and adaptation of one-third of the building to accommodate the Law Library, and finally the reopening of the Tea Room to serve Southwestern students, faculty and visitors.
In addition to many articles in the Los Angeles Times, stories on the Library appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the New York Times (cover story of "The Living Arts" section), and local and legal newspapers around California. It was the cover feature in the July 1997 issue of Interiors magazine, and was also presented in the December 1997 Architectural Issue of Library Journal, and the April 1998 Facilities Showcase Issue of American Libraries, among other publications. Southwestern's efforts have also been recounted in the final chapter of of alumna Margaret Leslie Davis' book Bullocks Wilshire, published by Balcony Press, 1996. The building has also been featured in movies and commercials.