The Hull Building

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hull BuildingAfter Culver City incorporated in 1917, the City Trustees went about the business of legislating for city operation. One such action in 1919, Resolution No. 57, appointed Dr. Foster Hull as the second City Health Officer, replacing Dr. Mortensen. The Hull Building was built by the same Dr. Hull in 1925 to be the first hospital in Culver City. It became a victim of the Depression in the 1930s but was acquired by Louis Freeman, whose family still retains ownership. 

Although the uses have changed numerous times over the years, the Hull Building retains most of its original character. Its many occupants have included Freeman Furniture, the Sunset Drug, Ed Tinger's Culver City Flowers, Al Simon's Sada's Flowers, Kamin's Shoes, a boarding house on the second floor, the Bank of Orange County, and Italian restaurants-Riccardo's Restaurant, Bella Pasta and San Gennaro. Office space over the years housed Dauber Security and space for production companies, including Sony Pictures. Many have fond recollections of Joe Wellington who owned Sunset Drugs after Chudacoff. That corner drug store had a soda fountain where young people like Clarita Marquez Young learned to make and serve the most popular drink: Coca-Colas. 

By Council action, the Hull Building was awarded Landmark status under Chapter 38 of the Municipal Code, which deals with Historic Preservation. The outside of the structure is protected, although it probably would not be a candidate for the National Register of Historic Places due to the alterations of the windows. There has been an approved alteration, which required a Certificate of Appropriateness in 1997. The architecture is recognized as Neo-Classical in style, with construction materials of tan and rose colored brick. 

Fortunately, the Bank of Orange County, a tenant in 1978, gutted the Hull Building to bring it up to earthquake standards. This explains its minimal damage from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. Some bricks dislodged and fell during the temblor. Coincidentally, there was a building in the block west of The Culver Studios,with brick. That structure was being demolished for the construction of the new Culver Studios Office Building. With careful examination by owner Sony Pictures, it was determined that the bricks were not only similar, but made by the same manufacturer as those in the Hull Building. Sony Pictures saved enough brick for the Freeman family to make the needed repairs. 

The Hull Building was recognized by the Culver City Historical Society as Historic Site Number Two as you can see by the plaque on the building. Louis Freeman's son, Bert Freeman, was in attendance at the marking and his grandson, Stu Freeman of Freeman Property Management, took over from his father.