History Spotlight: Santa Monica City Hall

June 27, 2019
by Miranda Iglesias

History Spotlight: Santa Monica City Hall

The History Spotlight focuses on the landmarks, residents and stories that have shaped Santa Monica into what it is today. Content is being produced in partnership with the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Landmarks CommissionSanta Monica History Museum and the Santa Monica Daily Press.

The article below originally appeared in the Santa Monica Daily Press on June 24, 2019.

Santa Monica City Hall

1685 Main Street

Built 1939, designated 1979

The Art Deco-style City Hall was partially financed by the federal Public Works Administration. Designed by Donald Parkinson and J. M. Estep, the building is a concrete structure in the Classical Moderne style, popular in the 1930s and 1940s, and carries a nautical tone to suit this oceanside community. The entrance is decorated with colorful tile work by the local Gladding McBean Tile Company. The lobby murals designed by Stanton MacDonald-Wright were installed under the auspices of the Federal Arts Project. This building provided jobs and pride to the community during the Great Depression, and it is a standing tribute to cooperation among residents, city officials and the federal government.

Below is a series of photos showing the progression of the construction of Santa Monica City Hall.

Photos courtesy of the Santa Monica Public Library digital image archive.

Photo was taken in January 1939.


Photo was taken in June 1939.

Photo with Public Works Administration sign in front of City Hall construction site. 

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