The Darkroom | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Tim Street-Porter

The Darkroom

Originally a camera shop, this unique structure (now a restaurant) is one of the city's last remaining examples of programmatic architecture, in which a building physically resembles its purpose.

The façade's nine-foot-tall Argus camera announced The Darkroom's wares quite literally. Some claim that during the building's heyday, the tenant would project short films through the camera lens/window for pedestrians to watch.

Although the famed store is long gone, the black vitriolite facade remains as a protected city landmark (Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument).

Yet its Art Deco neon signage was not protected. Removed and hidden for decades in a private collection, the sign is now owned by the Museum of Neon Art.

Photo by Don Barrett on Flickr

Cadillac Jack's and Pink Motel

One of many motels and restaurants to spring up along San Fernando Road during the postwar boom but one of very few mid-century roadside commercial resources to have survived.
Belmont High School. Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

Belmont High School

Belmont High School garnered national attention for the role it, along with four other Los Angeles high schools, played in the East L.A. Chicano Student Walkouts (Blowouts) of March 1968. In the 1990s, Belmont High was one of the nation's largest schools with over 5,000 students.
Photo from Tom Gardner Collection/Conservancy archives

The Donut Hole

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