Friday, April 11, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday

The George - Paul Company, 8551 Venice Blvd., L.A., 1960

My Dad was in the lumber business.  His company made doors and wardrobes for many houses, apartments and commercial buildings in and around Los Angeles from the mid-1950's through the mid-1960's.  My Dad, George Bloom had a partner in this business, Paul Kane.  They called their business the George-Paul Company.  The lumber yard was located at 8551 Venice Boulevard., Los Angeles, just west of La Cienega Blvd.
This is the only photograph I have of my Dad's office from that era.  George liked to use his "spy" camera, a Minox, because it was so small and handy.  Although this camera was excellent for taking photos of documents for nefarious purposes, it wasn't that great for taking landscape photos, as evidenced by this grainy photo.  The negatives were teensy tiny.  I remember Dad storing them in a small letter file.
I vaguely recall another store-front building in this location before George and Paul erected this "tilt-up," concrete modern structure.  One door was next to George's office (left) and the door at the other end of the building was for Paul's office (right). I just love those super tall doors with the tiny windows.  The whole building is a simplified version of the very popular mid-century Regency architectural style of the time. In-between the bosses' offices was a galley-style room with desks, file cabinets and other office furniture.  Along the back wall was a long window facing into the lumber yard where the office staff could see what was going on in the yard, full of lumber, door frames, hardware, trucks and more.
Business was excellent during the post-war building boom of the 50s and 60s.  Around 1966, new construction ceased in the immediate L.A. area, moving out toward the far reaches of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.  This is when the George-Paul Company folded.  Subsequently, my Dad went into the store mannequin manufacturing business.  That's another story.
That old concrete tilt-up at 8551 Venice Boulevard is still there, now housing an auto upholstery shop. They changed the doors, added security gates and reduced the stylish simplicity of the design, but I'm amazed that the basic building exists.
8551 Venice Blvd., L.A., 2014

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At 10:04 AM PDT, Blogger ken bloom said...

Before this uilding was built, the lumber yard was in a much smaller building further down the street. The old building became the shop where I built doorframes when I was in high school. The main employee at the old lumber yard was a man by the name of Harry Linker and he stayed on when the company expanded. I basically spent a good part of my childhood at that lumber yard. When I was really small, my Saturday job was cleaning out under the table saw. Now I clean out under my own.
Ken Bloom


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