Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Wilshire and La Brea: Say Goodbye to Isermann Cubes

MTA artwork

Take a long last look at the Metro building on the northwest corner of Wilshire and La Brea this week because soon the blue and green 3D cube artwork by Jim Isermann, and the building itself, will be gone. The property is the future home of the Metro Purple Line subway station.

The building was faced in 2006 with the art piece by Jim Isermann, a Wisconsin artist known for his decorative, bold-patterned design work. According to Metro’s website, Isermann’s work was inspired by the “architectural vernacular of Southern California sun screens used to cosmetically ‘modernize’ architecture in the 1950s and 60s. The screens traditionally ignored original ornamentation and simply wrapped the ‘offending’ building.”  In this case, Isermann left the bottom eight feet of the building exposed to reveal the stucco fication of the original design.

tilfords-restaurant-la-brea-wilshire 2
Tilfords Restaurant in a circa 1960s photos, from the Miracle Mile Residential Association.

The original building on the location was designed by famed LA architect Welton Beckett, opened in 1949 and served the Wilshire community as Tilford’s Restaurant and Lounge. Metro purchased the property in 1984 and converted it into a Metro Customer Center. It had stood vacant for many years.

The Isermann art work will be preserved in specially made storage boxes for two years at an offsite location while Metro preprares a new home for it. Metro’s art department will be onsite during the removal process. Demolition of the building is expected to follow later this month.

MTA artwork (1)

Future look of the corner.
Future look of the corner.
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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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  1. OK, When can we see that giant chrome bust of Lenin at 4th and La Brea go away, now….? I mean, the guy is only largely responsible for over 100 million deaths in the 20th century….. :~/

  2. The new design is pretty bland and soulless. LA is really losing it’s laidback look to all the new developing. Yay to the trains and all though. Maybe the Iserman cubes can be installed in front of the ugly new station. Ps Jim iserman has lived in LA since at least 1995 when I met him, certainly longer.

  3. happy to have that eyesore gone. I once saw a picture of what was there before it. beautiful, spanish building. shame.


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