Brown Derby Dome | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Flora Chou/L.A. Conservancy

Brown Derby Dome

The success of the first Brown Derby restaurant at 3427 Wilshire Boulevard, originally constructed in 1926, led to its relocation and expansion half a block east to 3377 Wilshire in 1937. The famous hat-shaped dome was reconstructed at the corner of Wilshire and Alexandria with expanded dining space and an open-air patio.

It was an iconic example of the roadside vernacular architecture that was especially popular in California. Whimsical in nature, roadside vernacular buildings were designed to capture the attention of passing motorists. While the Brown Derby restaurant business eventually expanded to include several locations, this was the only location actually built in the shape of a hat.

Photo from Tom Gardner Collection/Conservancy archives

The Donut Hole

This La Puente icon is one of SoCal's best examples of Programmatic architecture.