The front façade of this market building by R. Leon Edgar features a combined roof and walls of smooth concrete, bending up from the ground to flatten out and shelter the building.
In this age of the big box store, it’s always nice to see a reminder of a time when commercial buildings were built with an eye toward distinctive architecture. Supermarkets in particular used to have a little something extra, and the Hughes Market on Ventura Boulevard is a wonderful demonstration of that idea.
Now a Ralphs and still splendidly intact on the exterior (the interior has undergone the usual renovations), this supermarket was completed in 1972 after several years of controversy over its once-residential property’s re-zoning.
It was designed by R. Leon Edgar, a Tarzana-based architect who completed multiple designs for Hughes Markets in the early 1970s. The front façade of the building features a combined roof and walls of smooth concrete, bending up from the ground to flatten out and shelter the building. This dramatic feature frames an enormous angled floor to ceiling picture window that covers nearly the entire front of the store, supported by a low cut stone wall.
The effect of the horizontally oriented, Mid-Century Modern building is one of confident, stable futurism.
Most of the buildings that once held Hughes Markets have been altered beyond recognition, so this supermarket is a rare and invigorating example indeed.