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16. Vanity Fair Apartments, 1935 16. Vanity Fair Apartments, 1935
822 Third St.
Architect: Carl Henderson

Vanity Fair Apartments - 822 3rd St

View of turret

2 Pillars

Another streamline modern apartment

Built in 1935, the Vanity Fair Apartments are the oldest known example of Streamline Moderne residential architecture in Santa Monica. These distinctive apartment buildings were designed by Carl Henderson, a businessman from Iowa who became a prominent figure in Santa Monica business and civic affairs.

The Streamline Moderne design of the Vanity Fair Apartments is representative of the shift in architectural style from the lavish Art Deco style to a more Depression-friendly style. Streamline Moderne architecture emerged from an economic need for simpler, inexpensive buildings, not to mention a growing fascination with transportation design. The baroque constructions of the Art Deco period may have facades decorated with delicate metal work, gold leaf tracings, and colorful mosaic tiles. Streamline Moderne is better known for using simplier materials - stucco, concrete, and glass. The overall building profile shifted from a vertical (think the Georgian Hotel) to a horizontal emphasis with a flowing "wind tunnel" appearance inspired by the aerodynamic stylings used for ships, planes, and automobiles.

Carl R. Henderson, a prominent Santa Monica resident, businessperson and active civic leader, constructed the Vanity Fair Apartments. At the time of its construction, the Vanity Fair Apartments were considered a modern, innovative approach to design because, to date, Streamline Moderne architecture had been used predominantly for commercial constructions.

The 1941 edition of the Santa Monica Blue Book (a publication that provides biographies of notable City residents) notes that Mr. Henderson owned the Santa Monica Packard Dealership between 1921 and 1931. He then became a local real estate broker and businessperson. He served as president of the Santa Monica Realty Board, the Santa Monica Chapter of the Property Owner's Association of California, and president of the Santa Monica Taxpayer's Association. He was also captain of the Santa Monica Mounted Police, and was an advocate of the City Manager form of Government for
Santa Monica.

The Blue Book sites the Vanity Fair Apartments one of Mr. Henderson's achievements. It confirms, "He has built several distinctive apartment buildings in Santa Monica, one of the best being the Vanity Fair Apartments, erected in 1935, of modernistic architecture, and one of the first of this type erected in Santa Monica."