New meets old in Westwood

Historic RalphsThe only Westwood Village building listed on the National Register of Historic Places is the more-or-less Spanish-style former Ralphs Market on Westwood Boulevard at Lindbrook Avenue. It was designed by Russell Collins in the late 1920s when Ralphs had a corporate mission to plant interesting architecture all over the L.A. landscape. After Ralphs left, the corner did duty as a series of restaurants, most prominently as the Bratskellar. (The UA Egyptian theatre took part of the building too.) Later tenants divided the Westwood Boulevard storefront into small fast-food joints. Peet's logoOn a recent trip into the village I was surprised to find that the La Salsa which had occupied the primo corner spot under the tower for the last few years is now a Peet's Coffee. The 1940s photo is from the LAPL online collection; an Ansel Adams image showing the detailwork above the corner is also online.

On theme: The city's Cultural Heritage Commission gave landmark status to the 80-year-old Canyon gas station in Santa Monica Canyon, over the objections of the Marquez family. Thursday's Times also has a piece by Wendy Thermos on the WPA-built Burbank City Hall, "one of Southern California's most distinctive examples of Art Deco design."

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent History stories on LA Observed:
Kevin Starr, 76, the historian of California
Winter solstice cave pictograph at Burro Flats
Pink Lady of Malibu Canyon
LA's first presidential election was different
Pink Lady of Malibu Canyon: 50 years ago
James Dean died 61 years ago today. Now the famous gas station is gone
Code 7 in Sherman Oaks: A little bit of history
1932 Olympics tourist map


LA Observed on Twitter