Wilshire Colonnade | Los Angeles Conservancy
Wilshire Colonnade
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Wilshire Colonnade

The third of Edward Durell Stone's buildings constructed on Wilshire Boulevard, the Wilshire Colonnade (originally called the Ahmanson Center) is at once a tribute to its namesake, financier Howard F. Ahmanson, and to the classical forms of Roman architecture. Ahmanson, an active client and instrumental in the planning and design of the complex, died in 1968; the building, completed in 1970, became a monument to him and his contributions to Los Angeles finance and culture. It was Ahmanson's vision that the imposing complex of two, eleven-story buildings includes a central plaza with fountains and sculptures in the tradition of some of the great plazas of Europe.

Stone, who traveled often to Italy, drew upon European precedents in his work, making him an early pioneer of the New Formalist style. New Formalism is often seen as a reaction against the stark minimalism of the International Style, turning instead to the beauty and lushness of classical architecture. As a result, New Formalist buildings are often monumental in appearance, constructed of precious materials, and feature abstracted classical ornament.

The Ahmanson Center is no exception; the buildings are clad entirely with travertine and the walkways are paved with Italian Carrara marble. The symmetrical, curving buildings form a broken horseshoe shape, recalling the curved colonnades in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. A lasting landmark on Wilshire Boulevard, the Wilshire Colonnade is one of Stone's finest achievements in Los Angeles and a worthy tribute to a great patron of Los Angeles arts and culture.

Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Warner Bros. Office Building (1)

What appears to be a deconstructed residential building turned commercial high-rise features a wood post-and-beam structural system like many classic Mid-Century Modern homes but draws on the traditions of the Craftsman style.
Great Western Savings
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Chase Bank, Gardena

Completed in 1961, the building was the prototype for all other Great Western Savings buildings and boasted an all-concrete design and walls made entirely of glass.
Glazier House
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Glazier House

One of Encino's loveliest Mid-Century Modern designs can be found in the Glazier House, perched above its curving hillside street.