Build a shop, unearth L.A. history

When we started building our shop in the Spring Arcade building, there were decades-worth of materials and paint covering up the space's original details.

There was a clumsy dry-wall partition separating the space and a square plywood casing covered up an original octagonal column. We knocked down the partition and ripped away the plywood to expose that grand column. But the floor was a different story.

It was comprised of layers upon layers of old tile, cement and what may have been tile glue. The floor was so thick and at-first impenetrable that a subcontractor could only suggest that we cover it with a new coat of concrete and paint it a soft gray tone. I reluctantly agreed. Of course, I hated the result, and decided to grind down deeper through the decades of new floors in search of the original. I rented a more powerful machine and hired a more determined helper. As he broke through the surface, the distinct pattern of terrazzo flooring emerged.

photo_2.JPG

Just inside our two storefronts, we now have two patterns of terrazzo, with faint brass outlines. They’re simple, welcoming, elegant reminders of an era when the arcade was a special Los Angeles destination for shopping, sitting and socializing. 

My first goal is to provide fresh, delicious gelato, great coffee and other memorable treats. But it’s always been part of the plan to do so in a welcoming space that respects the history of the neighborhood. When I saw the floors, I knew I was on the right path.

photo_3.JPG

Reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.