The Tinder Box | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Jacques Garnier

The Tinder Box

The Tinder Box was founded in 1928 by Ed Kolpin, Jr. as a purveyor of fine pipes and assorted tobacco products. 

This small structure was built in 1951 as the shop's new home and was designed to evoke an Olde English theme.

Successful business led to the franchising of the Tinder Box, though this original location split off from the chain in 1969.

The neon pole sign, erected in 1953, was an iconic feature of the Wilshire streetscape in Santa Monica.

In 2017, the shop closed. The pole sign was removed and is now displayed at the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, California.

In August 2019, City of Santa Monica planning staff recommended the Architectural Review Board approve a small apartment complex with street-fronting retail space at the Tinder Box site. 





Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

University Elementary School

With the school's philosophy of "learning by doing" in mind, the two sections of the campus sit on either side of a ravine, leaving the natural space undisturbed for use as a learning environment.