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April 09, 2007

Comments

Chris Jepsen

Good one, Chris!

I've heard rumors for years that Lloyd Wright worked on a project on Warner in H.B. However, I'd heard it was at Warner and PCH. Since there's nothing but bland commercial architecture at Warner & PCH, I dismissed the story as bunk. What you've presented here sheds a whole new light on things.

I'm embarassed to admit total ignorance re a story that touches on both HB history and modern architecture. I will do some digging and report anything I learn.

Chris Jepsen

In case it helps anyone figure out the rest of the story, here are some excerpts from a 6-8-69 L.A. Times article:

“A shopping center… will be constructed on the northwest corner of Springdale and Warner Sts., Huntington Beach, with completion scheduled for late 1969.
“Designed by architect Lloyd Wright, son of the late Frank Lloyd Wright, the project will be called West Fair Shopping Center. It will be built on a triangular six-acre site and have total floor space of 67,000 square feet.
“…Atlantic Richfield Co. will also build a service station, also designed by Wright, on a site at the apex of the center. Other tenants will be Safeway Stores and Thrifty Drug Stores.”

Thrifty opened in May 1970. It looks like a Pioneer Chicken moved in to the shopping center the following year.

Chris Jepsen

I thought I'd jog the memories of the good folks at the L.A. Conservancy's Modern Committee (a.k.a. MODCOM). My post to them is here:

https://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=51591#51591

Joe Shaw

I like the idea behind this monument. It's kinda like, "You could have had a Lloyd Wright building here, like what you got now?"

If only all of us could erect a monument when we're pissed off.

chris

Joe--I totally agree. And to boot, it's designed like a tombstone, adding to the attitude of it.

patrick tierney

Dear Mr. Jepson,
I'm not only aware of Lloyd Wright's participation in Westdale and the controversy surrounding it, I was acquainted with one of the developers and have done extensive interviews with those involved.
Also, I'm proud to say I possess the gouche rendering of the abandoned project and some promotional material.
This will all be included in a story I hope to publish soon and an accompanying event with the help of Chris Nichols of the Los Angeles Architectural Conservancy's Modern Commitee. I will keep all informed.

Regards, Patrick Tierney

patrick tierney

Oops!

I realize that e-mail is an informal form of communication, however I must correct my mistake in my previous communication in calling the shopping center "Westdale" rather than by the correct name "The Westfair Shopping Center #330".

--P.Tierney

chris

P--I've come upon some sourcing that actually credits Wright as the designer of the current center--can you verify that?

Chris Jepsen

Thanks for the information, Patrick. I'll look forward to reading whatever you publish about this project. Do you have any information about if/how/why the neighborhood fought this?

Chris Jepsen

I was chatting with historian Barbara Milkovich (who, sadly, left HB for another state some years ago.) She said...

"The monument really says it all about the L. Wright controversy. Seems the neighbors didn't want a sign that large. They had a similar fight over the Beef Palace sign, but the Beef Palace won! Joe [Milkovich] thinks Calvin's [Beef Palace] sign was 'grandfathered' -- so he just maintained it."

dave fitch

I have spoke with the owner of The West End Dress Shop regarding this tower. She has been in the center since 1970 and has sadly closed her shop last week. She tells me the tower was going to be a replica of an oil well.

Buy Online Rx

The gap between NSQ and Stacy was less than six seconds. Way too close for comfort, but she'll take it. Ironically, after some horrific displays in the past, the margin of victory today may have come from NSQ's relatively speedy transitions. We have now burned her sock collection.

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  • Greetings from Downtown Huntington Beach was created by Joe Shaw in 2006 to comment on downtown business, Huntington Beach happenings and politics. Author and cultural historian Chris Epting contributes his thoughts on Huntington Beach life. Local historian and Googie architecture expert Chris Jepsen comments on Huntington Beach and Orange County happenings. Andy Schmidt shares his pictures of Huntington Beach and surfing info.

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