Office Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Office Building

Ventura Boulevard has an abundance of eye-catching architecture—so much, in fact, that some of its less flashy commercial buildings seem to fade into the background.

One example that deserves a second look is the fine Mid-Century Modern office building at 17100 Ventura in Encino. Completed in 1953, this two-story building was designed by Howard R. Lane and E. Ray Schlick, architects who practiced together in Encino until the early 1960s. The original occupant is unknown; it may have been the architectural firm itself, which is known to have moved to a new office at 15840 Ventura in 1962.

The building at 17100 Ventura features a dramatic open lobby with interior entrances and a staircase leading to the offices within. It is three stories in height and is angled toward the street in dynamic fashion.

The lobby's front is completely glassed in, with a framework of narrow post-and-beam-like elements highlighting both its verticality and its transparency. The same series of vertical lines is echoed in the two-story main building volume next to the tall lobby, which is otherwise horizontally oriented. The main volume features a classic flat roof and a simple front façade with a horizontal band of windows between matching horizontal bands of opaque black panels. This office building is a lovely example of Mid-Century Modern architecture in a low-rise, commercial context.

Photo courtesy Jocelyn Gibbs

1414 Fair Oaks Building

An exploration of the ideal form of California living, the former office of architects Smith & Williams is an outstanding realization of the blend of indoor/outdoor environments, easy automobile access, natural light, and innovative use of geometric forms.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Kona Kai Apartments

Rosemead Boulevard, from Pasadena to Pico Rivera and beyond, contains an unusually intact assortment of exuberant architectural styles including the Kona Kai, in San Gabriel, which falls right in line as a proud example of midcentury Tiki tradition.