William J. Fleming

The Six Twelve Medical Center

High-Rise Look Comes to Arcadia. That was a headline in Dec. 27, 1964’s Los Angeles Times. “The profile of Arcadia, which has changed from a community of chicken ranchers to a city of homes and apartments in two decades, is on the threshold of high-rise building.”

Apparently the first building in Arcadia to reach eight stories was this one, the “Six Twelve Medical Center” from 1965, designed by the partnership of Fleming & Coppedge (two Oklahoma-bred architects operating out of Arcadia in the 1950s and 60s).

It’s the kind of building — hidden, as it is, behind a number of tall Canary Island pines — that’s easy to ignore from the street. But when you park your car in the expansive lot and approach it from the south, there are no trees to obfuscate what is surely one of the strangest buildings for miles around: a steel-and-glass tower surrounded on all sides by a latticework of shallow concrete patios, piers, and panels meant to block out the harsh summer sun — a design strategy that recalls most clearly Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation in Marseilles, though I keep wondering: is it really possible that this unassuming medical office building in Arcadia was inspired by Le Corbusier’s proto-brutalist masterpiece?

Bowling Square

I finally got to stop by 1020 S Baldwin Ave with a camera. I’d been meaning to photograph this building for quite a while, as I’m always struck by the dramatic cantilever and brickwork whenever I drive past on Baldwin in Arcadia. Turned out to be a handsome building; I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the overhanging forms on the south side were.