Friday, July 29, 2016

Helms - Adaptive Reuse

Helms Bakery Truck, 1955. Los Angeles

When I was a child, the Helms Bakery Truck would drive by our house in the afternoons and sound it's distinctive whistle/horn. If we were out playing on the street after school, we'd stop the truck, climb inside and look inside those beautiful wooden drawers full of pastries, doughnuts and bread. My Mom would usually purchase a loaf of bread or two. Sometimes, she'd buy sweets for us.
We rarely visited the actual Helms Bakery in Culver City. I do remember, in the late 1960s, going to the Helms Second Day shop on the edge of the main industrial bakery. This was a little store where you could buy day old goods...still fresh and delicious!
Today the main Helms Bakery building is still in use as a furniture store, restaurants and various other shops. It's called Helms Bakery District and is a delightful place to stroll around. This is an excellent example of historic adaptive building reuse. Inside the main building there's a restored Helms Bakery Truck, along with various furniture shops. On the side of the building you can view a mural about the history of the Bakery. 
Helms Bakery, 1941
I'm looking forward to going to Le Dijonaise CafĂ© tomorrow with my girlfriends for lunch. The restaurant occupies the south/east corner of the big building, right where the Second Day Shop used to be!
Le Dijonnaise at Helms Bakery

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At 9:46 AM PDT, Blogger mehitabel said...

Our wedding cake came from Helms--my husband's aunt ordered it from her local truck driver. When it became an antique store, we visited, and my husband bought his beloved display case for his Depression glass there.

At 10:01 AM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

That's such a sweet story, Marie! I'm sure your cake was delish'n


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