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31. Lido Hotel, 1931 31. Lido Hotel, 1931
1455 Fourth St.
Architect: Harbin F. Hunter

Lido Hotel, 1931 - 1455 Fourth St.

Female motifs along the roofline

Side view

Earlier photo - Lido Hotel

This building is the epitome of commercial art deco, circa 1931. The Lido Hotel (today used an apartment building) is crafted of Roman brick and incorporates female motifs along the roofline. The building’s design made it a standout property as Santa Monica’s central business district expanded in the late ‘20s and early ‘30s.

Fourth Street between Wilshire Boulevard and Colorado Avenue was the third major street to be developed in downtown Santa Monica, and is one of the most intact historic areas. Fourth Street was largely residential through the 1920s whereas Second and Third Streets were the commercial thoroughfares. When commercial development began on Fourth, the buildings were grander than their predecessors.

The Lido is a good example of the street’s commercial development and also an excellent example of the Art Deco style. Art Deco was a movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s and developed into a major style in western Europe and the United States during the 1930s. Its name was derived from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, where the style was first exhibited. Art Deco design represented modernism turned into fashion, the intention was to create a sleek and anti-traditional elegance that symbolized wealth and sophistication.

The Lido follows the art deco philosophy in that it has a style all its own. It is crafted of roman brick - a long, thin-face brick, usually yellow-brown and having a length about eight times its thickness - and incorporates outstanding stylized terracotta streamlined female motifs along its roofline. With its fluted design, the Lido offers a vertical emphasis, which is augmented through the use of pylons across the primary elevation and vertically oriented casement windows. It is a graceful reminder of times past.