Sunday, June 1, 2008

sunday drive: main and colorado

I had to renew my parking permit this week. Innocuous enough, but it meant I had to go to down to the City of Santa Monica. I mistakenly started at the new Police and Fire building on Olympic, where a nice officer (in a very nice fitting blue uniform) directed me to City Hall- "It's the old building just behind us". And indeed it was- a magnificent, virtually untouched, late Art Deco example from 1938. It's the creation of Architect Donald Parkinson and features terrazo mosaics by Stanton MacDonald-Wright. Fluted trim, sculptured window detail, brass doors, amazing zig-zag glazed tile, it's just breathtaking to behold.

It's nestled between Maurice Fleishman's 1956 Santa Monica County Building (with and deeply recessed window detail and zig-zag patterned walls!) and a magnificent 1947 Streamline Moderne Sears Department Store with intact original signage. Only the exterior windows have been replaced. Note the intersection of curved soffits and crisp angular walls. It's the creation of local architect Rowland Crawford. And behind, a slightly newer (circa 1950) Sears Auto Center in International Style.

It's a treasure trove of architectural evolution all intact for your enjoyment. And they're all adjacent- these photos were all taken on foot.

For Lynette, who loves Deco as much as I do. Take a look:

More photos here

1 comment:

BigAssBelle said...

wow! what gorgeous buildings!! i think that city hall building is my favorite. something about blue & white ~ so fresh, crisp, clean, just like the era from which it hails.

i don't care what happens with modern design or trends in the future, there are some eras that are absolutely timeless and will always be stylish and lovely. art deco's one of them.

beautiful photo essay, jeff. thank you!!!!