Jones Dog & Cat Hospital Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Hunter Kerhart

Jones Dog & Cat Hospital Building

The former Jones Dog & Cat Hospital building at 9080 Santa Monica Boulevard is a notable and rare surviving example of a Streamline Moderne commercial building in the City of West Hollywood. 

The building was designed by the prominent architecture firm of Wurdeman and Becket. It is an intact, early work by the firm, and it may be the only remaining example of their work in the city.

Two other examples of the work of Wurdeman & Becket include the former Mobil Oil/General Petroleum Building, now Pegasus Apartments, and Bullock's Pasadena, now Macy's. As Welton Becket & Associates, the firm went on to design many of L.A.'s iconic landmarks, including Capitol Records Tower, the Music Center of Los Angeles County, and the Cinerama Dome

Dr. Eugene C. Jones, a progressive veterinarian whose clients included the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino, commissioned Wurdeman and Becket to expand and remodel his original 1928 animal hospital, transforming it into a sleek and modern facility. 

Dr. Jones’ animal hospital, which specialized in dogs and cats, was considered one of the first in Southern California. 

Its location at the western edge of West Hollywood near the border with Beverly Hills put it within short distance of the homes of wealthy clientele and their pets. 

The building operated as an animal hospital for several decades. Between 1951 and 1981, the building was owned and operated by R. Nichol Smith, D.V.M. as a dog hospital.

The redesigned structure, completed in 1938, is an excellent example of the Streamline Moderne architectural style that emerged in the 1930s. It features smooth wall surfaces, curved corners and volumes, and an emphasized horizontal design. 

The windows are arranged in continuous ribbons across the façade, with extensive use of glass block. Accentuating the building’s sleek lines, polished stainless steel is used for the entrance canopy and vertical fins rising above the main door.

Taking its name from the curved form of a teardrop, which was the most efficient shape in lowering the wind resistance of an object placed in the stream lines of a wind tunnel, the Streamline Moderne evoked a sense of modern efficiency with curved surfaces, sleek finishes, and a spare use of detailing which often included pronounced horizontal banding and, in some cases, contrasting vertical accents.