May 17, 2007


I took these pics a couple week ago - this is the Sears store in Santa Monica. It always intrigued me, because its far from what you'd expect a department store to look like. (When was the last time you saw bas-relief sculpture on the side of a department store?) I always assumed it was built as some civic building and later turned into a Sears. Turns out I have it backward. This Sears, built in 1947, was designed by Rowland Crawford and is a classic example of late-Moderne architecture. It has been designated a landmark and was bought by the city of Santa Monica last year. Their plan is to make it a rail center as the terminus of the Metro Expo rail line, though that plan is now threatened by classic "not-in-my-backyard" protests by residents of Cheviot Hills that could force the Expo line to not go to Santa Monica at all. It would be a shame for this to not become that rail station, which would be an almost-echo of the old (classic) Pacific Red Car line that went to nearly the same location. I particularly love the beautiful neon typography (classic!), I hope they can find a way to incorporate that into the buildings preservation as well.

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