It's hard to believe that L.A. has only one outlet mall. But the Citadel Outlets in Commerce (borders Los Angeles) offers all the name brands at discounts, plus a unique storefront that you'll not see anywhere else in the world. The mall was built as a tire factory back in 1929 and was constructed as an Assyrian Castle in grand style to commemorate ancient Sumerian, Akkadian and Babylonian cultures. At the time it was built in 1929, it was called Samson Tire Company and was the largest tire factory west of the Mississippi.
Part of the wall that fronts the building features winged guardian genii, figures protecting individuals from evil. There are also winged bulls with human heads and many intricate and ornate designs in entrance to a shopping mall that's not so ordinary.
The reason that you can still enjoy the architecture and history that Commerce so proudly claims is because of the City of Commerce citizens and leaders. In 1982 when the building could have been demolished, the city leaders took the bold step of declaring it an historic landmark. Not an easy task for any developer to take an old tire factory and transform it into an appealing outlet mall, the job was actually accomplished with the tire factory frontage acting as a grand entrance to a "back lot" shopping mall space, originally the grounds of tire factories.
Citadel Outlets includes every designer store you can imagine, and once parked and shopping, the mall looks like any other outlet. In fact, if it seems oddly familiar, Craig Realty Group, the owner of the mall, also owns and operates outlet stores: Carlsbad Company Stores, in Carlsbad, Calif.; the Cabazon Outlets located near Palm Springs; and manages the Lake Elsinore Outlets. citadeloutlets.com