Edwin Building

Known As
Spanish Colonial Revival, Plateresque
Paul R. Williams
April 14, 2008
312 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401

This reinforced concrete two-story commercial building was designed by architect Paul R. Williams and built by H.W. Baum Company of Los Angeles in 1928. Williams (1894-1980), a notable African American architect who is well recognized in the history of southern California architecture. Some of his best-known buildings include the Arrowhead Springs Hotel, the Palm Springs Tennis Club, and the re-designed public rooms and bungalows of Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel and the famed Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel. He also designed many homes for Hollywood celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Lon Chaney; and private homes for Jack P. Atkin, John B. Greene, E.L. Cord, V. Mott Pierce, Fred A. Price, Jay Paley, the Banning Residences, and others.

The building is Spanish Colonial Revival in architectural style with elaborate Plateresque detailing in its stucco sheathes exterior surfaces and flat roof with parapet that is fronted on its primary elevation by a low-pitched shed roof. Flanking each pair of second story windows are Plateresque style panels each featuring a cartouche surrounded by stylized floral patterns and scrolls in relief. A wide belt course framed by a cornice above and a scalloped, wave-like molded edge below adorns the façade between stories. The ivy-covered secondary (east) elevation is punctuated by steel-framed, multi-pane fixed windows on the ground floor and larger casement style fenestration on the second story. The sole exception to this arrangement is the large, fixed, ground floor window with neoclassical wood surrounds located near the north end of the east elevation that mirrors the storefront fenestration in design.


  1. Landmarks Commission Assessment Report. “312 Wilshire Blvd.