Resource Description

Resource Summary

Colonial Corners Commercial Historic District (Primary)
Colonial Corners (Alternative)
Resource Types
Important Dates
No dates recorded
Keywords (Subjects)
Nelson P. Rice
American Colonial Revival
California Flowerland
Paul Howard

Location Information

Location Description
No descriptions recorded
Administrative Areas
Palms - Mar Vista - Del Rey Community Plan Area (Community Plan Area)
Los Angeles City Council District 11 (Council District)


Type: Commerical District
Related Features
No features recorded

Resource Descriptions

General Description
The Colonial Corners Commercial Historic District is composed of three one- and two-story commercial buildings, located at the intersection of Barrington Avenue and National Boulevard in Mar Vista. Situated at the convergence of several residential neighborhoods, these buildings respond to surrounding development in their pedestrian scale and orientation and articulated facades. Designed in the American Colonial Revival style, each building displays a similar but unique design. Common features include white stucco and red brick exterior cladding; boxed eaves with wooden balustrades at the roofline; divided-light wood windows with fixed shutters; partially-glazed, divided-light wood doors; heavy lintels over window and door openings; and Colonial columns. One building displays an upper-story balcony; another features a brick exterior chimney. In addition, each building presents a double-height, eight-sided tower at the corner, their most prominent feature. Taken together, these three similarly-styled commercial buildings are a visual landmark for the surrounding neighborhoods.

Summary of Significance
The Colonial Corners Commercial Historic District is significant as a cohesive collection of postwar neighborhood commercial development in Mar Vista, constructed between 1948 and 1962. All three buildings are contributing resources to the district. "Colonial Corners" was developed by noted horticulturalist and nurseryman Paul Howard. In the 1930s, Howard operated a highly-successful nursery called "California Flowerland" at Third and La Brea in Los Angeles. In 1940, in anticipation of new residential development opportunities on the west side of Los Angeles, he relocated his business to the southwest corner of Barrington Avenue and National Boulevard. One such development opportunity came in 1947, when prominent Los Angeles real estate developer Paul W. Trousdale subdivided a new residential tract southwest of Barrington National, called Westdale Village. Howard collaborated with Trousdale on the design of the landscape features for Westdale Village, and California Flowerland provided the trees and other plantings for the development. In response to this and other new residential development in the immediate vicinity, Howard retained architect Nelson P. Rice to develop plans for a neighborhood commercial center at the intersection of Barrington and National. Howard planned for three corner buildings to be designed "along the Colonial lines of architecture"; the fourth corner was already occupied by his nursery. The first of these commercial buildings was constructed at the southeast corner of National and Barrington in 1948, and originally housed a Westward Ho market. The additional buildings were constructed in the early 1960s (the northeast corner in 1961; the northwest corner in 1962). Continuing the Colonial theme, the original tenant of the building at the northwest corner was a restaurant called The Williamsburg Inn. California Flowerland was sold in 1966 following Howard's death; the southwest corner was subsequently subdivided and improved with unrelated new development in the early 1970s.

External System References

SurveyLA ID: 99813328-487a-4a46-9e2b-0cacee38ca57

Resource Significance

Evaluation Details

Date Evaluated
Commercial Development, 1850-1980
Neighborhood Commercial Development, 1875-1960
Neighborhood Commercial Centers, 1875-1960
Neighborhood/Village Commercial Center
Eligibility Standards
  • A significant concentration of commercial, institutional and/or residential buildings located within a neighborhood or village center representing important patterns in commercial development, property types and architecture
  • No CDFs/Associative Features checked
  • Should retain integrity of Location, Feeling, Design and Association from the period of significance
  • Because of variations in the type throughout L.A., specific eligibility standards for each to be identified at time of survey
  • Includes a substantial concentration of intact small-scale buildings which form the commercial center for a neighborhood or community
  • Property type encompasses major east/west, north/south boulevards and avenues throughout Los Angeles, some of which cover the entire city
  • Was developed primarily during the period of significance
  • Integrity Aspects
    Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance
    California Historic Resources Status Codes (explanation of codes)
    Significance Statement
    Excellent example of post-World War II neighborhood commercial development in Mar Vista.
    Periods of Significance
    From: 1948-01-01
    To: 1962-12-31

    Related Resources

    Related Historic Resources

    Colonial Corners (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    Colonial Corners (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    Colonial Corners (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)

    Related Historic Districts


    Related Activities


    Related Historic Events


    Related People/Organizations

    Historic Resources Group (Surveying Firm, was surveyed by / surveyed)

    Related Information Resources

    SurveyLA: Palms-Mar Vista-Del Rey Historic Resources Survey Report (Document/Text, is referred to in / refers to)