Thanks for finding yesterday's mystery location, tovangar2
. It seems to be well preserved.
We've seen a couple of Palos Verdes apartment complexes over the last few weeks, so, for a change, here's a Palos Verdes industrial site from Julius Shulman. It's "Job 3332: Charles Luckman Associates, Nortronics (Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif.), 1961"
. There are color images of the building below in the set, but they're either over- or under-saturated and not as well framed. I've also omitted a few of the black & white shots.
This side view shows more of the landscaping.
Looking out from inside the building above.
The other buildings on the campus look like the one on the right.
I'll finish the Shulman photos with this interior shot.
All from Getty Research Institute
Here's an article from the 28 May, 1959 issue of Palos Verdes Peninsula News which announces the site acquisition. It incorrectly lists the location as "Crest Road west of its intersection with Hawthorne Boulevard" - it was actually east of the intersection.
NB. I've rearranged the columns to fit the screen better.
California Digital Newspaper Collection
The 23 February, 1961 issue of Palos Verdes Peninsula News
gives this great description of the site:
Moving day will begin the first week in April by the Nortronics Research Center in their 50 acre development on the plateau of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Official grand opening ceremonies for the center will be held in early summer. The nature of some of the research and development projects will require a slow moving process over a two month period. The division headquarters and administration building, a two-story structure, covering some 35,000 square feet will be completed.
Also scheduled for occupancy are two large office-laboratory buildings containing 30,000 square feet each, expandable at a future date to 40,000 square feet. Two smaller units of 10,000 and 15,000 will be expandable to 20,000.
The four office-lab buildings are constructed of light steel with a double-folded plateconcrete shell raised above a flat steel roof. This shell provides a screen for roof projections. An aerial tunnel or utility core will be located through the center of the raised shell to provide water, compressed air, vacuum systems, various gases, and electrical services.
Lab and drafting areas occupy the center of each research building; engineering offices, arranged along the exterior of each building, offer unrestricted views of the beautifully landscaped grounds and countryside.
Other significant features of the new research center include a multi-level effect achieved by accommodating the building locations to the contour of the rolling hills on the site. An artificial lake in front of the administration building, in addition to its decorative effect, will function as a half-million gallon reserve of water for fire prevention.
Concourse parking areas around each building will enable personnel to park close to their individual work area and will be terraced into the hillside.
A celestial observatory occupies the highest point of the Nortronics properly; a site on the southeast corner of the research center area. This unusual structure will be used to advance the state-of-the-art in stellar-monitored inertial guidance and navigation systems.
I've picked the few sentences below from a page about Palos Verdes Research Park at smecc.org
. The text appears to originate from a 2006 Daily Breeze article:
When first proposed in 1958, Palos Verdes Research Park was touted as "the perfect place to think." Instead the proposal prompted a typical fight over development on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and five years later the nascent idea was all but dead.
Few South Bay residents today remember the proposed 400-acre "campuslike science center," originally envisioned to include an observatory and think tanks.
But the development near Hawthorne Boulevard and Crest Road became a hotly debated issue in what was then an unincorporated area and today is part of Rolling Hills Estates.
Gradually, though, the land was parceled off and sold for residential development.
Northrop remained into the 1990s, but in 1991 the company announced it was in negotiations to sell the 34 acres it still occupied. The reason, according to a March 1991 Breeze article: skyrocketing home values had made it difficult to recruit scientists.
By 2003, the 68-home Vantage Point subdivision -- the last of the city's large subdivisions -- had risen in its place and the last remnant of the research park had vanished.
Below, the site can be clearly seen on the 1972 aerial view on the left. The houses first appear on the 2002 view, but the 2003 view on the right is clearer. I've outlined the Nortronics campus.