2523 Third Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Merle Norman House

Known As: Merle Norman House
Architect: Ellis G. Martin
Built: 1935
Designated: June 10, 1996

For over twenty years, this Mediterranean Revival style house featuring bracketed eaves and a central chimney was the principal residence of the nationally famed cosmetics entrepreneur, Merle Norman.  After beginning her business in her kitchen, Mrs. Norman set up a laboratory in a garage in Ocean Park and came up with the “3 Steps” treatment.

Unlike its Victorian and Craftsman neighbors, this  Mediterranean Revival style residence features a tiled and hipped roof with bracketed eaves caps the stucco structure. The asymmetrical façade’s entry is located in a large port cochere with rounded arches.

Aside from her success in cosmetics, Mrs. Norman is also recognized for her innovative marketing techniques, consisting primarily of free demonstrations and word-of-mouth product promotion during the Great Depression.