Just Above Sunset
Zig-Zag Moderne Repurposed

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Beaux Arts meets Art Deco

Zig-Zag Moderne Repurposed

Mission Revival, Revived

Renaissance Revival in the Roaring Twenties




The Helms Bakeries Building, 1930, E. L. Bruner, Washington and Venice Boulevards, Culver City - Zig-Zag Moderne or PWA Moderne.  From the business history -


Helms won a contract to supply bread for the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. One of the Olympic villages was nearby in Baldwin Hills. Early coaches sported the Olympic symbol, which is still recognizable on the historic sign atop the structure. The five rings symbolize the five major participating continents, and the colors come from the nations' flags. With Paul Helms' interest in athletics, it was not surprising that with the help of his assistant, Bill Schroeder, and Syd Kronenthal, he established the Helms Athletic Foundation, an incredible athletic museum/library. Culver High's football field still carries the name of Helms Field.


Over the years, the bakery grew. The familiar whistle of the Helms Coaches delighted locals as the vehicles traversed the southland as far north as Fresno, east to San Bernardino, south to San Diego and up to the moon! In 1969, an aggressive marketing campaign netted Helms a contract to furnish the first bread on the moon, via Apollo 11. The Helms motto "Daily to your Door" is still inscribed on the building. Although their products were never sold in stores, Helms Bakeries became one of the major employers in the city.


Those days are gone.  The place is now in the hands of Walter N. Marks Realty, Inc. - it's all furniture stores, and a small Helms Museum, and the best jazz club in the city, the Jazz Bakery, and a little theater, and a good French restaurant, La Dijonaise, and just retail stuff.  But the building is impressive.


The Helms Bakeries Building

The Helms Bakeries Building

The Helms Bakeries Building - the jazz end

The Helms Bakeries Building

The Helms Bakeries Building

Things change...

The Helms Bakeries Building these days...

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If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik

The inclusion of any text from others is quotation for the purpose of illustration and commentary, as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law.  See the Legal Notice Regarding Fair Use for the relevant citation.
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