Crockett & Tubbs' Days Inn at 3007 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica

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Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 10:12 AM
click to enlarge WENDY GILMARTIN
  • Wendy Gilmartin

The Days Inn at Santa Monica Blvd. and Stanford St. stands tall on its corner as a sickly pastel monument to long-tarnished Miami Vice dreams.

Like a much uglier and down-on-his-luck Sonny Crockett, this building's year round tan, powder blue suit and manly five o-clock shadow have been replaced by leathery wrinkles, a Grizzly Adams beard and matching slippers and housecoat. On the other hand, the teal and candy-red accents seem to be recently re-painted, but somehow end up even more garish in comparison to the rest of the washed-out scene.

Crockett & Tubbs' sad Santa Monica hide-out features volumes, motifs and colors that are dreadfully copied and pasted from Miami's South Beach vernacular -- the classic Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, and Nautical Moderne architecture of the 1930s and 1940s.

Miami's Streamline Moderne & Deco buildings share a design palette with this Days Inn -- for instance, decorative "eyebrows" were designed to be functional as cooling elements above windows in south Florida's humid climate (but Santa Monica's always-balmy weather doesn't really require such overhangs). Famous Miami Architects like Henry Hohauser and L. Murray Dixon used flamboyant glass blocks, curved corners, porthole windows and ziggurat-like rooftops there in moderation on symmetrical edifices and details. It's like the Days Inn at 3007 Santa Monica Blvd. went on a sloppy bender with the same design palette and half the budget, and is now is hobbling along sock-less in taped-up, knock-off Armani loafers.

Its not hard to see each individual element that was hijacked from the South Beach hodge-podge: There's the dusty salmon pink color of the Berkeley Shores Hotel, a hint of the angled tower of the Breakwater Hotel, the stacked, ziggurat peak at the hotel formerly known as the Ritz, and the blatant lifting of the McAlpin hotel's front courtyard fence design.

Historic precedent and copyright infringement aside, this astute, one-star Yelp review sums it up nicely. "The most ugly color scheme I have ever seen, bright pink with blue. Isn't there a architecture rule in SM?" Honey, you're preaching to the choir.

Hey management, try finishing the paint job on the top white stripe of the stair tower.

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