Marcus O.Tucker was the first African American physician to live and work in Santa Monica. Graduating from the University of Kansas in 1925 Tucker and his wife Essie moved to Southern California in 1932. He soon opened his medical practice in Santa Monica. This 10-room Colonial Revival-style home designed by Paul R. Williams was built for the Tucker family in 1937. One of the residence's unique architectural features is its set of bow windows on either side of the recessed front door. The home was built for the Tuckers by general contractor Wince V. King at a cost of $7,500.
In the 1930s King was a well known African American contractor who specialized in small commercial and residential buildings in the Los Angeles minority community. One of the most important factors attracting African Americans to Southern California was the possibility of home ownership. By 1910 40% of all African Americans in the county owned their own homes. (U.S. Dept. of Interior. NPS 27th St. Historic District LA, CA Report 2009) King's company was often hired to build the homes Paul Williams designed for successful African American businessmen and professionals like Dr. Tucker. Though there was considerable demand for King's skilled crews, the contractor often lamented the lack of qualified architects in the African American community to meet a growing need. (California Eagle. September 28, 1939)
Dr. Tucker died in 1945 but Essie and her son, Marcus O. Tucker, Jr., continued to live in the residence. Essie began a career as an elementary school teacher and successful businesswoman who promoted minority entrepreneurship with the motto "work for yourself." Marcus O. Tucker, Jr. would serve from 1963 to 1965 as the first African American deputy city attorney in Santa Monica and later was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court.
The Tucker residence is one of only a handful of known surviving Williams projects in Santa Monica.