Saturday, December 29, 2007

Janss to Eurochow to Yamato

Eurochow is now Yamato, as S. Irene Vibila's very inviting review in the Los Angeles Times tells us. And it's a good thing she tells us, because Yamato's own website doesn't even mention the new location.

The most recognizable building in Westwood (which is saying a lot) was originally the office of the brothers Janss and their father, Peter, a trio which built much of Westwood.

Edwin and Harold Janss laid out the streets and buildings south of Wilshire in the early 1920s. When UCLA decided to locate to Westwood in 1925, bonds were passed by the cities of Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, and Los Angeles so that acreage could be bought from the Jansses for the school, at a cost of $1.3 million. (Some sources say the land was donated.)

The Janss Corporation planned Westwood Village--business and housing in support of the 5,000 anticipated students--literally from scratch. A bowling alley and malt shop were included in the designs, according to the Daily Bruin archives. By 1929, 2,000 homes had been constructed, and 25 businesses opened. The Fox Theater went up in 1931. All shared a Mediterranean style.

But the first to be built was the Janss Corp's headquarters, in 1929--now Yamato. True to the Janss' philosophy, it had men's dormitories on the second floor. This picture was taken in 1930, and is online at the L.A. City Library.

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