6875 El Cajon Boulevard was known as the home of Ozzies Music. Today’s it’s home to Pixel Productions, who recently learned the fascinating history of the building we now call home.
The building was designed by architect Robert ‘Bob’ Des Lauriers. Des Lauriers was born in Illinois and raised in Los Angeles. He joined the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor.
In February 1942 he was inducted into the Army and began flight training. Graduating as a 2nd Lt. in 1944, B-17 pilot Des Lauriers spent 6 months flying missions over Germany.
He eventually married and relocated to Denver where he entered Morningside College under the GI Bill. While at Morningside, an aptitude test rated him at 90% for Architecture so he changed his major and transferred to the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated in 1949 with a BS in Architectural Engineering.
Bob and his wife settled in La Mesa, building their own home on Calavo Drive. Des Lauriers began working alongside a local designer, Alfred George Mueller. They designed a large number of tract homes in Point Loma.
His year and a half with Mueller proved invaluable in design, mass production and speed drafting. In 1952 H. Louis Bodmer (formerly of Bodmer Wurdman & Beckett Architects) hired Des Lauriers where he aided the office in designing banks, commercial buildings and the original San Diego Airport Terminal Building on Pacific Coast Highway.
In 1957 Bob secured his State of California Architectural License and began working for Paderewski, Mitchell & Dean. Among his assigned projects was the El Cortez Travelator Building located across 7th Street from the hotel and connected by a bridge and the first moving sidewalk and three hydraulic glass elevators.
In 1958 he left Paderewski to launch his own firm from his home office. From his poolside deck and drafting table he completed his first project – St. Lukes Lutheran of La Mesa. In 1959, his 20th project was a hyperbolic parabloid church – Carlton Hills Lutheran in Santee. Earning his first AIA Award of Merit, this project would garner much-deserved accolades and work from the religious community for years to come.
He built the Pixel Productions’ studio facility in 1965. Today, the building still features the charming characteristics of a ture Des Lauriers design, as seen below.