This building was a major project for its time, a two-story masonry corner block that stood out from neighboring small, single-story shops. With ground floor retail and the Palmer Lodgings above, it originally was an imposing Romanesque Revival building like the Keller Block nearby. It has been much remodeled over the years, but traces of it early design are still visible. Cast iron columns from 1891 still remain on some storefronts. The floral capitals, glased white brick piers and tile entryway date from a later remodel.
Joseph Whitworth, who bought the building after it was built as the Bryson Block, also owned considerable properties in Santa Monica and up the coast.