Although the postwar growth of the Wilshire Center area left its greatest mark on Wilshire Boulevard itself, a few previously residential side streets, primarily in the Vermont Avenue vicinity, were left with a collection of small and mid-sized office buildings. During the late 1950s, nearly two full blocks of Virgil Avenue were single-handedly rebuilt into a minuscule office district by the Carter Company Contractors & Developers.
The four-story office building at 500 S. Virgil Avenue was completed by the Carter Company around the end of 1960, with a design by architects Allison & Rible. Its aluminum exterior walls were given sharp visual definition by dark porcelain enamel panels that lined the roofline and window frames. The aesthetic importance of the porcelain enamel trim is made all too clear by its absence; its removal during a later renovation has left the facade with a flat, washed-out appearance.
1. “Insurance firm moves to new office building.” Los Angeles Times. 19 Mar. 1916. I16.
2. “New Wilshire area offices being built.” Los Angeles Times. 6 Dec. 1959. F16.
Original photo: Cross, Herbert Bruce. “Stauffer Chemical Building, 500 S. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles, 1961 – examiner-m3351.” 1961. Los Angeles Examiner Prints Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assetserver/controller/view/EXM-P-S-LOS-ANG-CIT-BUI-496.