The Edwin Building (image 1), a two-story commercial property located at 310-316 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, was completed in September 1928 at a cost of $100,000. Paul R. Williams prepared the plans and specifications and the H.W. Baum Company was the builder. At the time of construction the Edwin Building was described in the Evening Outlook (Santa Monica) as beautifully furnished and “the latest word in buildings of the type—three stores below and eleven offices upstairs.”
The sculptural stylized floral ornament decoration on the building's facade, described as churrigueresque in the 2008 report by the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission, is typical of Spanish Colonial Revival-style aesthetics (image 3).This architectural style, first introduced to Southern California during the Panama-California Exposition of 1915, was seen as compatible with the area's temperate climate. The style was widely used in both commercial and residential buildings. The popularity of Spanish Colonial Revival peaked just as the Edwin Building was completed. The buiding's stucco exterior finish, arched entrance, casement windows and original red clay tile roof (now replaced) were all characteristic of this architectural form.
When comparing this 2008 photograph (image 2) of the Williams’ designed building to the earlier newspaper photograph of the just completed structure, one can see that changes have occurred over time to the lower storefront. Originally three separate units, each with its own recessed entry, the spaces were eventually combined into one large area. (1940, 1947, 1990s)
Considered one of Paul R. Williams’ earliest commercial buildings, the Edwin was owned as investment property by Lovell H. Turnbull a “well to do produce merchant of Detroit, Michigan.” (Los Angeles Times. April 29, 1928) The building has continued to be a sound investment, housing a variety of businesses including a beauty shop, photographer's studio, liquor store, Arthur Murray Dance Studio, and now a restaurant.
In May 2008 the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission declared the Edwin Building a landmark.