Mini-Malling, also known as Deconstructing Mini Mall Architecture, is our infrequent pondering of the psychology of retail architecture, signage and assembly of tenants specifically related to the mini-malls of Southern California. See a mini-mall worthy of a second look? Email us.
This mini-mall at Santa Monica Boulevard and Fairfax was built sometime in the late 80s, according to John Kaliski, founder of Urban Studio, an architecture and urban design studio, and one of the editors of the forthcoming book "Everyday Urbanism." According to Kaliski, the mall was originally painted a hunter green color, a popular color at the time. So that rainbow gay pride theme came later. Likely it was an attempt to "freshen up" the mall, says Kaliski. Overall impressions? "It's better than banal and more than mediocre...this one at least had some architectural ambition with the bay windows." Today, Crystal, a Russian restaurant, takes up the top floor, but a source in West Hollywood tells us he remembers when there was a Sizzler restaurant in the mall. "There was a whole "Crying Game" androgynous thing going on," he says, referring to the restaurant crowd. "You would sit at the Sizzler, looking down, and you thought it was the height of civilization." Hah! He laughs at the memory. Our takeaways: As for the rainbow colors, do the young kids even recognize the symbolism, or do they presume this mall was built by clowns?
· Mini-Malling Update: Venice Blvd. Drops Blue, Goes Lilac [Curbed LA]For more stories from Curbed LA, go to la.curbed.com.