W.T. Grant Building

Known As
Art Deco, Classical Moderne
Webber & Nelson
1338 Third Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Another member of the variety store retailers that clustered on this section of Third Street, this building is a fine example of the late phase of Art Deco known as Classical Moderne, which revived classical forms with an abstract geometrical treatment. This style was austere and monumental, and was most frequently used for public institutional buildings.

The Grant building uses vertical and horizontal lines and unadorned flat surfaces for an impressive effect. Above the modern storefronts, the horizontal frieze with three deep grooves echoes the lines of Streamline Moderne, a motif repeated above the filled-in windows. Piers on the sides with vertical grooves recall stylized column fluting, and dentils – a row of repeated small rectangles – are also inspired by classical prototypes.

Only the parapet contains some curves, but does little to relieve the severity of the façade. The W.T. Grant name remains inscribed on the building.


  1. Santa Monica Conservancy. “Downtown Walking Tour.”
  2. Innovative Room Design. “An Enriching Journey throughDowntown Santa Monica’s Architecture.”
  3. Tobias Studios. “WT Grant Building.”