The Unimart Building


(Note: It is now Fry's Electronics at 2311 N Hollywood Way, Burbank.)


Hi Wes,


I just wanted to give you some more info on the Unimart building in Burbank.


This is all from memory, so sorry I can't give you any written documentation.


This building was designed in the late 1950s or early 1960's by my late father's architectural firm Maxwell Starkman & Associates.


I remember it well, because, as a kid (I was around 10 years old at this time) my father, rather than playing baseball with us on the weekends, or other pursuits a bit more "normal" for dad's and their kids, he would take me and my brother Laurence to construction sites of buildings his firm was working on.


I seem to recall actually seeing some of the kite-shaped pre-cast concrete sections being lowered into place to create the distinctive front wall of the building. As a kid the shapes stuck with me, as they looked a bit like the shape of classic paper kites that we could buy at that time. It used a pre-cast concrete system to create the tent shaped roof. I remember my father explaining pre-cast concrete to me, and his firm used it in a lot of buildings at the time.


I had forgotten about the Unimart building until about six months ago, when a friend took me with him to the Fry's in Burbank to buy some computer parts.


As we drove up to the building and I got my first glance at the distinctive front, I said to my friend "I recognize this building! It's the old Unimart building that my father's architectural firm designed in the 1960's!" He was a bit surprised, but he had a Blackberry with him, and a quick Google search showed up your website photo of the Unimart building, confirming my memory about this. Thank you for that, as I have no photos or record of this, as this sort of information was probably discarded after my father retired and the architectural firm closed its doors. I had long forgotten the location of the building, and did not know whether it still existed, as Unimart did not stay in business for very long.


I'm pleased to see the building still stands, and that the design from almost fifty years ago looks as good as ever incorporated into the science fiction theme of the Fry's electronics store that now occupies it. I'm sorry my father never got to see it looking like this! (With a flying saucer embedded into the building above the entrance, appearing to have crash landed there!)


David Starkman


From Bob Thomasson: "That Unimart store was the reason they tore down Shoman's Dairy and the Unimart store was built right on the old dairy location."

Opening Day, 8/31/1962