301 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401

301-309 Wilshire Boulevard

Known As: Art Deco Commercial Building
Architect: Irvin Goodfellow
Built: 1928
Designated: April 8, 2013

Originally two separate buildings erected in 1930, the one-story Art Deco style commercial property is now considered a single entity. Capped by a wood truss roof, the most distinctive architectural feature is a prominent parapet with zigzag coping highlighted by four-panel bas-reliefs that repeat along the length of the west and south elevations.

The Art Deco idiom was a popular expression of American commercial architecture through the late-1920s until approximately the middle of the 1930s. And this property is an excellent example of the Art Deco style within the City of Santa Monica in its key signature features, specifically, the building’s zigzag parapet, stepped pilasters, pronounced vertical emphasis, multiple bays, and decorative bas-relief panels are indicative of the style. Although only one story in height, the style’s characteristic verticality is expressed through stepped pilasters and the central bay that rises above the building’s flanking bays.

From 1931 through the early 1960s the property’s retail spaces were occupied by a wide variety of tenants, which included the Albert Sheetz Confectionary (later the Albert Sheetz Mission Candy Company) that remained at the same location until at least 1954, a bakery, cleaners, clothing stores, the Wilshire Cafeteria, a gift shop, tailor, beauty shop, an optometrist, meat shop, florist, drug store, Denise’s Bra and Corset Shop (later the Lov-E Brassiere Shop), a shoe store, photographer, and a branch of the Huddle Restaurant chain. The tenant with the longest history with the property was the Maher Music Company that appeared in the 1936 City Directory at 313 Wilshire Boulevard and was still operating through at least 1961. The building is now the site of upscale boutiques on the north side of Wilshire across from the Third Street Promenade.

Sources:

  1. City of Santa Monica Landmark Assessment and Evaluation Report. “Landmarks,” January 2013.
  2. LA Conservancy. “301-309 Wilshire Blvd.”