Batchelder's Chocolate Shoppe murals coming back to light


City of Los Angeles historical-cultural monument #137 is the former Chocolate Shoppe on 6th Street, between Spring Street and Broadway. The shop has HCM status because the interior is covered in early 20th Century tile murals by Ernest Batchelder, the city's most revered old-time tile maker. The commissioned murals reflect a Dutch theme, the styling gimmick of the sweets shop that opened there in the teens. The space held several kinds of business, including Finney's Cafeteria, through the decades. Efforts to clean up and make the tilework visible to visitors, and reopen as the Dutch Chocolate Shop, have attracted scads of attention in recent months. The LA Times heard the buzz and has a Column One story in Thursday's paper.

"It's certainly one of the most beautiful and extravagant tile interiors in Los Angeles or anywhere," said Ken Bernstein, manager of the city's Office of Historic Resources. "It's a remarkable example of the use of ceramic tile and a preeminent example of Batchelder's work."

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