Howard Motor Co. Building (Western Ave and 4th St)

(1930)^ - View showing the Howard Motor Company Building shortly after it was built. Located at 356 S. Western Avenue, the single story Art-Deco building has an impressive center tower and large front display windows.  The tower features Buick on its side.  


Historical Notes

The Howard Company Automobile Building was one of the most stunning car showrooms in all of LA.  Completed in 1930, the building on the northeast corner of Western Avenue and 4th Street originally served as a Buick dealership for the Howard Automobile Company.




(1930s)^ -  The Howard Motor Company at 4th and Western, NE corner.  Architect: Stanton Reed and Hibbard.  


Historical Notes

The Howard Co. building's showroom boasted a striking Art Deco design centered around a stylized tower soaring to eighty feet. Its execution additionally reflected the emergence of a standard architectural form for automobile dealerships; the comparatively staid ground floor façade served to highlight its expanses of tall showroom windows.

The building has changed hands and uses several times. In search of a larger, more prominent space, the Howard Automobile Company moved its Wilshire District location in 1940 to Wilshire Boulevard and Mariposa Street. For some time after that, the building housed the city’s main offices of Lerner Shops, a New York-based fashion chain. Lerner Shops moved its offices in 1956, and the building was converted into a printing facility.*




(2020)** – View showing the Howard Motor Company Building (now a multi-unit commercial building called Cosmos Village) as it appears today, NE Corner of Western Avenue and 4th Street.  


Historical Notes

In its most recent incarnation, the former showroom has been rebuilt as a shopping center known as Cosmos Village, an unfortunate mess of gaudy Postmodernism and automobile-orientated design. While the tower remains largely intact, the building’s lower façade has been walled up and appended with thick pilasters, signboards, and fake fan windows.*




Then and Now

(1930) vs. (2014) - Howard Motor Company Building - 356 S Western Avenue  


Historical Notes

As is typical of late-century shopping centers, the building’s retail spaces are only accessible from the parking lot at the rear of the property.




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