The Taft family came to Hollywood in the 1890's as ranchers, and as Los Angeles grew they subdivided their holding and became real estate developers. The building was designed to give its owners the prominence on the Boulevard that they had earned within the community.
Walker and Eisen, prominent Los Angeles commercial architects, selected a conservative neo--Renaissance motif,as suitable for an office building of such stature. Classical ornament decorates the lower and upper stories, while the middle is unadorned brick (sort of a "spacer" between the two halves of a palace). It was the first structure on the Boulevard built to the maximum height limit of 150 feet, imposed by the City of Los Angeles in 1905 for earthquake protection.
Walker and Eisen also designed the Oviatt Building downtown.