Physical Los Angeles

'House of Tomorrow' for sale again

LAPL photoOne of the most unusual, and storied, commercial buildings on Wilshire Boulevard is back on the market. The one-story, ranch-style office complex at the southeast corner of Wilshire and Highland Avenue was designed (by Welton Becket's firm) in the 1940s as a model home for selling postwar families on the tract neighborhoods of local real estate pioneer Fritz B. Burns. After House Beautiful devoted forty-two pages to his Post-War House in 1946, returning GIs and their spouses paid a dollar each to see new gadgets like TVs, garbage disposals and air conditioners. When the novelty wore off, Burns retooled with updated features and reopened as the House of Tomorrow. A Korean-oriented realty firm bought the place in 2006, and now Curbed LA finds the corner is for sale again. "Rare Wilshire Boulevard development site," says the listing.

Noted: For those who grew up in that area, this is the corner where Burns used to display live reindeer on the roof at Christmas. Burns was a huckster of the old school who built a herd of reindeer to show off at his shopping centers, and inadvertently ended up with a huge herd at his ranch in the Valley that originally belonged to film pioneer D. W. Griffith. The herd was eventually culled, I believe.

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