Auto Chek Smog Center | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Auto Chek Smog Center

Southern California certainly has its share of eccentric architecture, from Googie diners to donut shops shaped like giant, well, donuts (what else?). A later, but very respectable, entry into the lineup of Los Angeles oddities is the Auto Chek Smog Center on Kramerwood Place at Robertson Boulevard.

This 1984 building is the first of six Auto Chek locations in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Ana, Anaheim/Fullerton, Manhattan Beach, and Covina. The small local chain sprang up soon after California began requiring smog checks in 1982, and it remains a family operation to this day. 

The Los Angeles location is as intact as any of them, a stepped concrete pyramid with the top lopped off, accented by red metal ladder-like grids ascending at each corner. The pyramid itself contains the office, while an extended concrete canopy spans the drive-in smog check area to meet an angled concrete support wall. The effect is futuristic and more than a little '80s, a Late Modern twist on roadside architecture so popular at mid-century.


Wholesale Jewelry Mart
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Wholesale Jewelry Mart

Combining Art Deco massing and setbacks with Gothic details, the 1925 structure was one of the earliest Moderne projects by Claud Beelman with his partner Alec Curlett.
Arthur Murray Office and Studio
Photo by Devri Richmond

Arthur Murray Office and Studio

Featuring front studios with floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls, Arthur Murray's ultramodern Los Angeles office and studio was a precursor to the mid- and high-rise office buildings that would dominate Wilshire Boulevard in the coming decades.