These shops are a little-known Wright creation, overshadowed by his larger projects and more famous residential designs. However, it is notable for the fact that it's the only commercial project Wright ever created from scratch and his last project in the Los Angeles area. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Nina G. Anderton commissioned the work in December 1951. That was after he had designed the V.C. Morris Gift Shop in San Francisco and during the time the New York Guggenheim Museum was being planned. In the decade before his death at age 89, Wright was also working on no less than 40 residential designs.
Anderton wanted to name the complex after her friend a couturier Eric Bass. Bass was to manage the shopping center, live upstairs and have a showroom for his creations. Unfortunately, the two fell out before the project was completed and the name became Anderton Court.
The building is 50 feet wide by 150 feet deep and faces west in the middle of the upscale Rodeo Drive shopping area. Wright designed four shops on two floors and a penthouse apartment.
An angular ramp which wraps around an open parallelogram-shaped space to provide access to the shops, which are on two levels. Decorative elements include piers that taper downward and chevron patterns on the central spire and edges of the roofline.
Due to budget constraints, several elements of the original design were changed or deleted during construction. They include replacing copper metal trim with fiberglass-reinforced plastic.
The concrete foundation supports walls made of gunite, a concrete mixture which is sprayed over steel-reinforced forms, then finished with plaster.
More About the Anderton Court Shops - and More of California's Wright Sites
The original facade was a pale yellow-brown color with oxidized copper-colored fiberglass trim. Today it is painted white with black trim. The complex is mostly unchanged otherwise, with the most noticeable change being the removal of a mast that crowned the central spire. A canopy and new signage were also added. The penthouse space is now used as an office.
Today's canopy and signage are later additions, not consistent with Wright's original design. The original, pale, yellow-brown with oxidized-copper-color trim was painted over in black and white.
The tower at Anderton Court is similar to the one at the Marin Civic Center.
What You Need to Know About the Anderton Court Shops
The Anderton Court Shops are located at:
333 N. Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills, CA
There are no organized tours, but you can see it from the street anytime and the shops are easily accessible.
More of the Wright Sites
The Anderton Court Shops are one of nine Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures in the Los Angeles area. Use the guide to Wright Sites in Los Angeles to find the rest.
They are also one of Wright's designs which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Others include Hollyhock House, Ennis House, Samuel Freeman House, Hanna House, Marin Civic Center, the Millard House, and the Storer House.
Wright's only other retail design in California is the V.C. Morris Gift Shop in San Francisco. You'll have to go to New York City to see his only other remaining retail work, the Hoffinan Auto Showroom.
Wright's work isn't all in the Los Angeles area. The San Francisco area is also home to eight of them, including two of his most important works. Use the guide to Frank Lloyd Wright in the San Francisco area to find them.You'll also find several houses, a church, and a medical clinic in some of the most unexpected places. Here's where to find Wright sites in the rest of California.
Don't be confused if you find more "Wright" sites in the LA area than are mentioned in this guide. Lloyd Wright (son of the famous Frank) also has an impressive portfolio that includes Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes, the John Sowden House and the original bandshell for the Hollywood Bowl.
More to See Nearby
If you're an architecture lover, check this list of famous Los Angeles houses that are open to the public, including Richard Neutra's VDL house, the Eames house (home of designers Charles and Ray Eames), and Pierre Koenig's Stahl House.
Other sites of particular architectural interest include the Disney Concert Hall and Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles, Richard Meier's Getty Center, the iconic Capitol Records Building, Cesar Pelli's boldly colored geometric Pacific Design Center.