Dutch Chocolate Shoppe Redux

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For this installment of urban historian Richard Schave’s site-specific discussion series “The Flâneur & The City,” Richard (Esotouric bus adventures, In SRO Land) is joined by architectural historian Nathan Marsak (1947project, On Bunker Hill).


Please join us for a sneak preview of the ongoing refurbishment of the Dutch Chocolate Shoppe interior, in our second dedicated visit to the space.

Commissioned circa 1914 for the “Dutch Chocolate Shoppe” on the ground floor of 217 West Sixth Street, the vaulted interior includes twenty tile murals, and is the largest extant custom interior designed and executed by Pasadena tile artisan Ernest A. Batchelder. Preserved behind steel grates and particle board storefronts for decades, the space is soon to re-open, and can now be seen much as the designer intended it.

The storefront has seen numerous uses since its early days as a provider of hot cocoa to jazz age Angelinos. In the course of our half hour tour and discussion, we will trace the palimpsest of this treasure of the California Arts & Crafts Movement. Discussion topics will include the proposed revisions to the city’s Cultural Heritage Ordinance and the impact these would have on important interiors like this one, a history of the storefront from 1914 to the present, and future plans for the space.

The Dutch Chocolate Shoppe is Historic Cultural Monument #137.

ABOUT THE TOUR SERIES: “The Flâneur & The City” is an ongoing attempt to explore some of the more important issues revealed by the constantly changing heart of the metropolis. The core notion of the series is of culture and history as commodities that are packaged and sold to a target demographic; meanwhile, it’s the ignored and seemingly worthless scraps of meaning found on the sidewalks and marketplaces where the true remnants of positive public space can be found. All interpretations and nuisances of the word flaneur are examined from the modern-day aesthete dreaming of Baudelaire while carried along in the human tide past the stalls and shops of Broadway, to its more recent and perhaps relevant use, someone who is loitering. At its heart this series is a celebration of the simple act of getting out of your car, walking through a neighborhood and learning to see it with your own eyes.