Blaisdell Medical Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Blaisdell Medical Building

Whitney Smith and Wayne Williams worked together from 1946 to 1973, designing a number of homes and low-rise office buildings in the Pasadena area. Williams, a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture, designed facilities for the army during World War II and was familiar with new types of materials and construction techniques that emerged after the war.

Most Smith & Williams buildings use the post-and-beam system of construction made possible by the introduction of these new materials. This type of building, with a horizontal beam attached to a vertical post, created an architectural style with an emphasis on low slung forms, horizontal lines, and large expanses of glass.

Architectural photographer Julius Shulman believed that the work of Whitney Smith and Wayne Williams “…was instrumental in bringing architecture down to earth, to the level of the average client.”

Almost all of Smith and Williams’ buildings wrap around central patios and are landscaped with vines, trees, and wood benches.

This emphasis on integrated landscaping makes commercial buildings built of steel and concrete, like the Blaisdell Medical Building, feel more natural, warm, and welcoming. In addition, the Smith & Williams “signature” was an interesting roof element. For Blaisdell, they created a concrete brise soliel, a permanent sun shade that appears to hover around the top of the building like a halo. Over time, this feature has served as both sun shade and trellis, supporting a wisteria vine as it has grown over the front façade of the building. "

Photo by John Sequeira

Keiro Retirement Home

Located on land adjacent to the original Boyle family home, this complex operated as the Jewish Home for the Aged from 1916 to 1974.
Queen Anne Cottage at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Photo courtesy Historic Resources Group.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The Arboretum's Cultural Landscape Report and Treatment Plan provides a vital guide for caring for the wide range of resources on this historic site.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Norwalk Civic Center

Architectural firm Kistner, Wright and Wright designed Norwalk City Hall as a one-story square steel box clad in tinted glass and panels covered with vibrant blue and green mosaic tile.