A slice of old Atwater Village revealed [updated]

Atwater Village sign on Los Feliz Produce building

Photo by Art Perez

Atwater Village  —  The extensive remodeling of a building at the corner Los Feliz Boulevard and Edenhurst Avenue has revealed a tall strip of signage — including part of an old Dr. Pepper sign — painted on a brick wall.  Now, one Atwater Village resident is asking if it’s possible to preserve this piece of Atwater Village past.

Diana Lee decided to do some digging after she spotted a photo of the old sign taken by Art Perez, who posted it on NextDoor. The sign was revealed as workers apparently stripped away a section of stucco that had covered the commercial sign, which itself is now dwarfed by a large billboard overhead.

The building is currently being converted from a bakery into a banquet hall. But for nearly 60 years, the same building served as home to Allen Wertz Candies, which operated a factory and store here from 1948 to 2006, according to a city historic survey.

But Lee, after checking old street directories and photos on the L.A. Public Library website,  said it appears that the old Dr. Pepper sign might be associated with an even earlier tenant  that occupied the building in the late 1920s — the Los Feliz Produce Mart.

A summary of recent building permits mentions that the remodeling of the exterior facade calls for new stucco. But Lee has another idea.

“I was wondering if it could be saved.”

Update: Netty Carr, who has been involved in efforts to research Atwater Village history, turned up some old building permits provide more info on the building. In 1925 Herman Shapiro took out a building permit to build an outdoor market on the site, one of several markets that operated there until the 1940s. In August 1947 a permit was issued to convert what was then a carpenter shop into an expanded candy shop for Allen Wertz.

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  1. Thanks once again for a story related to local history as it’s revealed in various buildings. I hope Diana Lee’s suggestion is seriously considered. It reminds me of traveling freeways around downtown and looking high above current buildings to see signs remaining from long ago.

  2. Love this! I hope it can be saved!!

  3. Atwater Village, Ruth Reichel Review LAT 1985


    “Resurrecting Good Old Days of Atwater, Village Within City : Chocolate Shops, Clothing Outlets, Ethnic Restaurants Are Reviving”

    October 24, 1985|RUTH REICHL | Times Restaurant Editor
    Newsletter, Office of Historic Resources APRIL 2017 VOLUME 11, ISSUE 2

    Information on Wertz is on page three, but this entire Newsletter is fun and interesting.


  4. seriously a banquet hall!!! wtf! I hope it goes outta business fast.

  5. What a fascinating find! I hope they save it and protect it well. My goodness, LA sure isn’t the best as protecting and preserving its historic buildings, is it? Takes a mighty few to do most of the work it seems. Sad.J

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