Monday, August 29, 2016

From Cars to Cloth

1929. H.R. Gillingham Co., DeSoto Car Dealership. Security Pacific National Bank Collection

I drive up and down La Brea Avenue all the time. I've been a customer at Diamond Foam and Fabric, 611 South La Brea Avenue, L.A. Every time I drive by this interesting building, I wonder what it was originally built to house. I came across a photograph in the Los Angeles Public Library Archives the other day, listing this business as H.R. Gillingham Co., a DeSoto auto dealership. 

2016. Diamond Foam and Fabric, 611 South La Brea Avenue, L.A. Click on Photo to see a larger view.

This building was designed by the architectural firm of Morgan, Walls and Clements, built in 1927. I'd call this building ornate Mediterranean/Spanish Revival Style. This firm was also known for it's Art Deco and Streamline architecture.
Surprisingly, 611 South La Brea is almost intact. Diamond Fabric retained the lines of the exterior as well as the large interior with a mezzanine upstairs. Diamond expanded to include the building next door too, not as grand as the original building, but chock full 'o fabric! Some days, they have a basket of La Brea bread for their customers to munch on while browsing for fabric. The bakery is nearby on La Brea.
1929. Interior of DeSoto Car Dealship. Security Pacific National Bank Collection. Today this interior and loft is filled with racks of fabric!

I wish more of our Los Angeles buildings were almost intact like this beauty!

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At 5:09 PM PDT, Blogger Leah said...

I have bought fabric there, nice to know the history.

At 5:11 PM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks for the comment, Leah! I wish Diamond Fabric would park a DeSoto in the parking area between the two buildings!!


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