The structure forms a complex shape like a tiny medieval village, with bridges, portals, terraces, and courtyards.
Carl Street Studios were originally a Victorian apartment complex. During the 1920s a group of artists took over the building and made extensive additions and alterations in a whimsical ornamental style.
Several successive artists have added to the building's ornamental design over the years according the the demands of maintenance.
The building retains the original name of Burton Place in its own name.
In its early years the building served as a home to the Old Town Artists Colony.
Among the artists who contributed to the design were Sol Kogen, Edgar Miller, and Jesus Torres.
The contributions of Jesus Torres can be recognized for their Mexican character, including some wooden doors with very heavy Aztec-inspired detailing.
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