A lovely example of Mid-Century Modern architecture in a low-rise, commercial context, easy to miss in the abundance of eye-catching architecture on Ventura Boulevard.
Ventura Boulevard has an abundance of eye-catching architecture—so much, in fact, that some of its less flashy commercial buildings seem to fade into the background.
One example that deserves a second look is the fine Mid-Century Modern office building at 17100 Ventura in Encino. Completed in 1953, this two-story building was designed by Howard R. Lane and E. Ray Schlick, architects who practiced together in Encino until the early 1960s. The original occupant is unknown; it may have been the architectural firm itself, which is known to have moved to a new office at 15840 Ventura in 1962.
The building at 17100 Ventura features a dramatic open lobby with interior entrances and a staircase leading to the offices within. It is three stories in height and is angled toward the street in dynamic fashion.
The lobby's front is completely glassed in, with a framework of narrow post-and-beam-like elements highlighting both its verticality and its transparency. The same series of vertical lines is echoed in the two-story main building volume next to the tall lobby, which is otherwise horizontally oriented. The main volume features a classic flat roof and a simple front façade with a horizontal band of windows between matching horizontal bands of opaque black panels. This office building is a lovely example of Mid-Century Modern architecture in a low-rise, commercial context.