AKA: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - restaurants; built works - commercial buildings - stores; built works - industrial buildings - factories

Designers: Bass, Saul, and Associates, Graphic Design (firm); Saul Bass (graphic designer)

Dates: constructed 1953

Los Angeles , CA

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Located north of Los Angeles, CA.

The owners of Lawry's California Center, the Thomas J. Lipton Company of Englewood Cliffs, NJ, closed it on 01/03/1992; Lipton turned the land over to the State of CA, and it reopened c. 1999 as the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Los Angeles River Center and Garden.

Lawry's California Center occupied 17 acres and consisted of gardens, a restaurant, wine shop, gift shop, and spice packing plant; tours were offered of the plant. The center proved popular for the staging of special events, such as weddings. In the 1970s, the graphic design firm of Saul Bass and Associates redesigned the signage and "branding" of all of Lawry's products and commercial properties, including Lawry's California Center.

Members of the Frank and Van de Kamp Families, owners of the Lawry's restaurant businesses, expanded the California Center in 1961. A Mexican restaurant serving diners outdoors began in 1970. Two other restaurants, one serving steaks, the other barbecue opened between 1970-1992.

PCAD id: 14922