Legend has it that Mr. Stein was driving by Corbin Avenue and Sherman Way in Canoga Park, an area located within Los Angeles, California. He loved what he saw. A Queen Anne-Victorian Style office building. Anne was the Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland in the early 1700’s. Art flourished during her reign and one hundred and fifty years later, British architect Richard Norman Shaw and his followers used the term Queen Anne to describe their work. The buildings from the later era did not resemble the formal architecture of the Queen Anne period, but the name came to describe their unique architectural style. Mr. Stein inquired about the structure and spoke with the architect, T.M. Layman. He asked him if he would design a building just like that one for a lot that Bill owned on Washington Blvd in Culver City. Mr. Layman replied “Not just like it, but I will be happy to design a Queen Anne building for your site”.
Dennis Platt was the shaping force behind the Queen Anne on Sherman Way, and was asked to assist in providing parts and advice. Dennis had acquired the rights to the parts of a turn of the century bar in downtown Los Angeles that was about to be demolished. He took the doors, windows, ceiling and moldings out of it and constructed a new building around those parts.
Needing more moldings and artifacts than were salvaged from the old bar, Mr. Platt made molds including the “tin ceiling” and other custom moldings found throughout the building. From these molds, additional parts were made, mostly out of “Plaster of Paris.” These plaster works of art were custom painted to accurately resemble the original hand cut items made from wood circa 1880. Later many of these molds were used for designs for the Stein Building, but Mr. Stein created many of his own moldings and produced them in the shop in the garage.
Newly discovered plaster molds during the Queen Anne era also afforded the opportunity for ornate decorations at a fraction of the cost of hand carved moldings. They are represented in the lobby and hallways above wainscoting and oak paneling. Also characteristic of the Queen Anne era, the building is asymmetrical and displays its Palladian windows, dentil moldings, bay windows, turrets, corbel brackets supporting overhanging sections, quoins on the corners, board –on- board siding and elaborate masonry work. A raised prominent covered entry leads up to double-beveled and stained glass doors with sidelights and transom windows. It takes awhile to take in the marble floors, oak molding, wainscoting, high “tin” ceilings from the 1880’s bar in downtown Los Angeles, and a three tier polished brass “gasolier” light fixture when entering the lobby.