Steampunk Santa Monica

A sketch of the Keller Building from 1893
A sketch of the Keller Building from 1893

So, there’s this building in Santa Monica…

Big Orange Landmarks just published a great post on the Stimson Mansion in South LA. Its architect was one of LA’s great early architects, Carrol H. Brown. One of his most recognizable works is the Keller Block building at the base of Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

The Keller Building in a photograph from 1902.
The Keller Building in a photograph from 1902.

You may know the building better as Larry David’s office building from the first few seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

A photo of the Keller Building at 90 years old.
A photo of the Keller Building at 90 years old.

The Keller Block Building
227 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401
1456-1460 3rd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Constructed in 1893

Although constructed during the Victorian era, this building was designed in a less conventional style for the period, known as Richardsonian Romanesque Revival style.

From the Landmark Assessment Report:

The Keller Block is a good example of a regional interpretation of the Richardsonian Romanesque Revival style. The Romanesque Revival style originated in Chicago in the office of architect Henry Hobson Richardson who was one of the first American architects to study architecture at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Richardson’s interpretation of the Romanesque Revival style incorporated architectural elements from Spanish, Italian, and southern French Romanesque architecture. The style was popular in America during the late nineteenth century and later came to be called “Richardson Romanesque,” after its creator. The style is characterized by building materials of large, rock-faced masonry, and wide arches quarried from local stone. The style was used for public and commercial buildings as well as elaborate residences. Modest interpretations of the style were also executed in wood frame with weatherboard and/or shingle siding. The restrained architectural detailing was in stark contrast with the elaborate Victorian style of the time. Richardson’s innovative plans and functional design philosophy first employed in the Romanesque Revival idiom eventually resulted in the development of the Shingle Style in residential architecture around the turn of the twentieth century.

References

FINDINGS AND DETERMINATION OF THE LANDMARKS COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA IN THE MATTER OF THE DESIGNATION OF A LANDMARK

City Landmark Assessment and Evaluation Report

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Tom Cornyn

I'm just a regular guy. I eat tires.

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