100 Wilshire | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

100 Wilshire

Genial television bandleader Lawrence Welk was more than just an entertainer—he was also a canny developer who put his mark on the built environment of Santa Monica with his 1970s construction of Lawrence Welk Plaza. The development originally contained two buildings: the Champagne Towers apartment complex and the General Telephone high-rise office tower.

The General Telephone building, named so because the telephone company occupied the majority of the property, was completed in 1971 and remains a landmark of Late Modern design. Architectural firm Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall (DMJM) created a streamlined twenty-one-story tower with smooth, white metal cladding punctuated by simple horizontal bands of windows.

The windows wrap continuously around all four façades, curving aerodynamically around the corners in a sleek application of glass skin technology.

Cylindrical white piers support the building as massive columns at their bases and then shoot up the sides for a striking vertical effect. Now known as 100 Wilshire, the building is sometimes described as “the refrigerator” for its pure white surfaces and simple rectangular plan. At its corner location where Wilshire Boulevard ends at the Pacific Ocean, this futuristic building is a fitting focal point for Santa Monica and a surprising tribute to the traditional entertainer who dreamed it up.

General Motors Training Center
Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

General Motors Training Center

Behind the walls of a low-slung, unassuming Modern building on Riverside Drive in Burbank lies a state-of-the-art training facility for GM mechanics and salesmen.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

6672-6674 Vista Del Mar Duplex

Reported to have been the first built work of architect Eric Owen Moss, now well-known for his visionary designs in Culver City and across the region.
Haugh Performing Arts Center
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Haugh Performing Arts Center

A sprawling building in Late Modern style with some hints of Brutalism, the Center hosts up to 200 performances each year and was a major achievement for the first junior college in L.A. County.