Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Marsh, Smith and Powell, Architects (firm); Norman Foote Marsh (architect); Herbert James Powell (architect); David D. Smith (architect)

Dates: constructed 1926-1927

2 stories

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2942 Main Street
Ocean Park, Santa Monica, CA 90405

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The Parkhurst Building occupied the corner of Pier Avenue and Main Street; it also had the address of 185 Pier Avenue.


The owner of this small retail/office block was C. Gordon Parkhurst, who worked early in his career for the Sibley Realty Company, became, at age 20, the "Boy Mayor" of Venice, CA, then an independent city. While mayor, Parkhurst probably interacted with Norman Foote Marsh, whose previous partnership, Marsh and Russell, worked on the planning of the community. (See Delores Hanney, "Vitalizing the Vision," Venice Historical Society Journal, vol. 25, Fall 2011.)

Building History

The notable architectural firm of Marsh, Smith and Powell designed this two-floor retail/office building for the local realtor Clinton Gordon Parkhurst (11/09/1892-12/27/1931), a prominent man in local civic affairs and the one-time mayor of Venice, CA, before it agreed to be annexed into Los Angeles in 1926. Parkshurst, who claimed to have been a great-great grandson of Napoleon Bonaparte, died prematurely in 1931 at at the age of 39. (See "Direct Descendant of Napoleon Takes L.A. Girl as Bridge," Los Angeles Herald, no. 176, 05/26/1914, p. 3.)

Parkhurst's personal story was remarkable. He sold newspapers on Venice streets as a child and came to be befriended by local bankers who assisted him with his career. According to his Los Angeles Times obituary: "C.Gordon Parkhurst, who was widely known when little more than 20-years of age as the 'boy' Mayor of Venice, died at his house here today. He was Mayor of Venice at the time of its annexation to Los Angeles. Parkhurst was born in Los Angeles and at the age of 6 years moved with his family to Venice. At an early age he appeared on the streets of Venuce as a newsboy and as a result of friendships which resulted from his work, formed an association with a group of local bankers. He became interested in the Venice Investment Company which constructed a number of theaters here in Venue and Ocean Park." (See "Parkhurst, Former Boy Mayor, Dies," Los Angeles Times, vol. LI, 12/28/1931, part II, p. 1.)

Santa Monica Landmark: 8

PCAD id: 21114