View Full Version : LOS ANGELES | METRO Project Rundown 2.0 (non-downtown)

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Nov 13, 2008, 10:13 PM
Interesting to hear that the 1801 Ave. of the Stars building will be demolished, as I worked in its twin building across the street in the early 80's, when the Century City Shopping Center was rather drab and not terribly upscale. (Also, since there was no parking available in our building, many of us parked on the nearby neighborhood streets, which of course is no longer an option.)

Now when I return for a visit to the Westside, the traffic congestion I complained about back then seems almost quaint, as the increased density has certainly come with a price. Needless to say, mass transit will continue to be a major challenge for L.A. as it tweaks its mostly suburban template into something more urban and compact.

Nov 13, 2008, 11:45 PM
I actually don't mind the decrease to 39 stories. It'll give CC some height variation, and since this is on the "outside" of CC, it'll help step the skyline up towards the middle. Some of the models shown on the last page show a kind of boring flat top effect happening with all the proposed and built towers. I like more variation.

As for the design, it's no worse than the existing building, but it's no better either. So if this adds more residents and activates the street a bit better, it's definitely a net gain.

Nov 15, 2008, 1:49 AM
^ Do you think buildings with spires would look nice in Century City?

Nov 21, 2008, 9:22 AM
Mid-City Area Attempts a Makeover (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-outthere21-2008nov21,0,5716765,full.story)

Once a high-crime zone, the district's Washington Boulevard corridor is in a process of gentrification. Some remain skeptical about the neighborhood's progress.

By Scott Gold
November 21, 2008

Where to start?

With the transgender prostitutes who just moved into the cheap hotel down the street? With the taco vendors who are so indifferent to the law that they set up shop on the side of the road like a full-fledged restaurant, with tables and heat lamps? And what about the troubled old lady who stands at the gas station all day, slapping herself in the face, spitting on your shoes if you get too close?

On a recent Saturday morning, a dozen civic leaders from the Mid-City district of Los Angeles met over coffee and muffins to mull, and fret about, the Washington Boulevard corridor stretching roughly between Fairfax and La Brea avenues. Considering the corridor has degenerated at times into lawlessness, it was evident that progress has been made, that these leaders are no longer urban pioneers.

Crime has dropped. Volunteers have planted 77 shade trees along the boulevard. It was evident, too, in the venue they picked for their meeting -- the Atomic Cafe, a bright, hip, locally owned bistro that opened recently in the 5000 block of Washington, replacing a chicken joint where they used to lock the cashier inside a cage for safety.

There was no time, however, for resting on their laurels. It did not appear that there would be time for that sort of thing for quite a while.

Can anything be done, someone asked after a few minutes, about the sketchy characters outside the methadone clinic? When is the city going to remove more pay phones, because the only people who use them are drug dealers?

As the conversation ricocheted off the cafe's concrete floor, the leaders passed around summaries of old police reports: "Three susps, two brandishing guns, enter business. Victs in fear fled."

There were so many troublesome properties on the agenda that by the end, they were having a hard time discerning halfway houses from rehab clinics from run-of-the-mill flophouses. "Wait a second," someone said when one property came up. "Is that the drug recovery place or the mentally ill place?"

Most striking was their vision for the future, which sounded a lot like L.A. neighborhoods that have been thoroughly gentrified: Los Feliz, Koreatown, Venice.

There was a time when this stretch of Washington would've been grateful for any hint of economic activity. That time, said Allan DiCastro, Mid-City Neighborhood Council president, has passed.

"No more liquor. No more motels. No more mental housing," DiCastro said. Also out: bars, rehab clinics, check-cashing stores.

"We want a real bank and real restaurants," he said. "We want antique stores. Boutiques."

DiCastro passed around a letter he planned to send to a target of the group's cleanup effort -- a corner store called Liquorama, whose very name hearkened to the gleeful sort of Bacchanalia that once took place here. The letter asked the owner to add security cameras and better lighting, and concluded:

"Mid-City's Washington Corridor will evolve into a fashionable district of art galleries, shops and cafes."

Really? Can this forlorn stretch of Washington, for so long an open marketplace offering just about everything bad for you, be transformed so completely? Is this the moment when gentrification in Los Angeles goes one step too far?

Hookers and horses. Yvonne Erwing-Davis was born here in 1947, and that's what she remembers most about the old days -- when the cops would swing through to chase off the prostitutes.

"They used to come on horseback and run them right back into their hotel rooms," she said. "It was better than TV." She smiled, but only briefly. "The drugs and the prostitutes," she said, "wore this neighborhood down to the dirt."

By the 1990s, however, the corridor had something to offer again: it was centrally located, lined with quaint side streets of bungalows and Craftsman houses. And it was cheap. Newcomers arrived, with expectations. An era of activism got underway, slowly at first, then blossoming into the fever it is today.

Its face has become that of DiCastro, a financial analyst by trade, a Mid-City reformer by passion. DiCastro, 47, moved here in 1987 for the same reason many others did, because he could afford it. "I was kind of scared," he said.

He began filing regular -- incessant, some at the local police precinct might call it -- complaints about graffiti. He documented every tag -- 180 incidents a week, at first, then 130, then 50. He's still at it; it's down to 15 a week.

He now leads a remarkable makeover campaign. Activists report peeling paint on the sides of businesses, potholes, damaged street signs and trees that need trimming. "So they don't block the lights and so rats can't get to the roofs," DiCastro said.

They've raised money for banners identifying the neighborhood and repainted their own fire hydrants. They've harangued police into chasing off men selling bootlegged DVDs and gotten a crime-ridden store's liquor license revoked.

"Do you know what my husband and I did last week? We went for a walk on the boulevard," said Joy Williams, vice president of the Neighborhood Council and a resident since 1978. "We never walked the boulevard. Never."

No one is more surprised than lifers such as Erwing-Davis, who has launched a new business selling single-sized servings of banana pudding and peach cobbler out of a gold-painted basket draped over her arm.

"Everybody wants to be proud of their neighborhood, right?" she said. She leaned in close. "I don't mean to brag," she said, nodding toward her basket. "But these things are good. The banana pudding is screaming."

It only gets harder from here; the next step, beyond cleaning up the most evident problems in the neighborhood, is energizing its economy.

Redevelopment is buzzing all around them -- the Culver City Arts District to the west, the Midtown Crossing shopping center to the north, the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center to the east. But this stretch of Washington is still, by and large, $40-a-night hotels and auto repair shops, many protected by spirals of razor wire.

"People are still skeptical," Williams said. "There is a cloud that hangs over the boulevard."

DiCastro has begun trying to recruit new businesses and acknowledged that he has finally run into a wall. He gestured toward a carpet dealer as he walked by; the company, like some others here, keeps its doors locked even during business hours.

"You have to knock on the door and convince them that you are sane," he said. "Then they will let you in."

A closer look at the boulevard reveals a mosaic of poverty and crime that would seem to belie all the progress.

On a Friday night, Los Angeles Police Senior Lead Officer Adam Green rumbled through the neighborhood in his black-and-white cruiser. Green has spent nine of his 14 years on the force here. He is a pro; on one crime-ridden street he turned on his high beams so people would have a hard time seeing his lights and siren approaching.

Most of the area, he said, is the turf of the Mansfield gang, a Crip "set," sort of like a subsidiary. On particularly worrisome streets, Green drove without a seat belt. He doesn't like to do it, he said, but you never know when you'll need to jump out. At Washington and Hauser boulevards, he pulled in front of a liquor store; six teenagers, all suspected gang members, were clustered in front. "Who you claiming?" he yelled at one boy, asking for his affiliation. "Mansfield?"

"I don't even know what that is," the boy said.

Green chuckled sarcastically. "Get out of here!" he yelled. "I got nothing else to do but take somebody to jail. You feel me?"

The boy nodded and moved on, and so did Officer Green.

"It's not a bad neighborhood," he said. "Just a few bad apples."

Nov 26, 2008, 6:04 AM
Los Angeles Times,

San Fernando Valley development draws flood of public comment

Some business organizations appear to favor the $800-million project in the Universal City corridor. But homeowners groups and public officials worry that it could add to gridlock.

By Jennifer Oldham

November 25, 2008

Hundreds of comments from homeowners and business groups poured in to city planners Monday expressing an array of opinions about plans to build an $800-million studio and office project on the Universal City corridor that would house NBC's West Coast headquarters. It's expected to take weeks for planners to sift through the details, but a sampling of the comments boiled down to this:

Homeowners' groups, and city and L.A. County officials who represent the southeast San Fernando Valley, fear the project would result in perpetual gridlock at key intersections and damage a historic monument, Campo de Cahuenga, on the site. Some business organizations, meanwhile, favor the plan because they say it would create thousands of construction-related jobs and help to retain entertainment industry positions in the Valley.

The closing of the public comment period marks another milestone in what already has been a months-long campaign waged by Thomas Properties to promote what would be among the largest developments ever proposed in the San Fernando Valley.

City officials and the developer hope to release a final environmental report, which under state law must respond to the public's comments, by the end of the first quarter of 2009 and hold public hearings on the proposal next spring. The L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the parking lot across the street from Universal Studios where the proposed development would be built, must also sign off on the plan.

The developer has been wooing Valley residents for months with an advertising campaign that included colorful postcards touting the project's economic benefits and informal gatherings over coffee. At one point, veteran developer Jim Thomas knocked on doors to talk up the project with residents. But in comments on the environmental report, neighborhood leaders questioned the premise that the project would benefit the region's ailing economy.

The study "indicates that this proposed project will provide needed office and production space for the entertainment industry," wrote Ben R. Neumann, president of the Studio City Neighborhood Council, in a 25-page letter to city planners. "We are not aware of any study that exists indicating that additional office/production space is needed."

The influential Valley Industry and Commerce Assn. offered another opinion.

"While there would be some impact to the community, VICA has determined that the impact will be relatively minor when compared to the significant benefits," wrote Greg Lippe and Stuart Waldman, chairman and president of the business group, in a two-page letter to city planners.

The development is one of several large and controversial projects proposed for a four-mile corridor stretching from Universal City to the upper reaches of North Hollywood that would include about 5,500 residences and millions of square feet of commercial and office space.

NBC/Universal has even bigger plans for its 390-acre studio lot across Lankershim Boulevard -- a $3-billion redevelopment proposal that would include 2,937 residential units, new production facilities and retail space.

Oldham is a Times staff writer.


Nov 26, 2008, 7:22 AM
^ Thanks for posting, although it *is* "technically in Los Angeles"

(The area of Universal City in which this development is planned is within the borders of the City of LA.)

Nov 26, 2008, 7:48 AM
Yeah, you should know that JDRCRASH!

Which is why I always say it's so dumb that people get too technical about city limits when it comes to LA. Half the time people mistake "City of LA proper" with independent cities like Universal City or even Hollywood. To me, this region is pretty much all LA.

Now, where "The City" is. That's a different story. and it's still in the making.

Nov 26, 2008, 7:55 AM
LAB -- Eeek, I agree generally with your ideas, but I know you didn't mean to imply that either Hollywood or Universal City is an independent city. To clarify:

Hollywood is in its entirety a district of the City of LA.

Universal City is split between the City of LA and the County of LA (an unincorporated area, independent of any cities in the county).

Don't mind me, I get off on these technicalities. I'm a lawyer, after all.

Nov 26, 2008, 7:59 AM
Oh sorry for the confusion. Yes I do know (VERY WELL) that Hollywood is a district in LA proper. I did not know that Universal City had an unincorporated area, but I was aware that it was also part of LA proper.

My point was that people get terribly confused with LA's technical city limits. Therefore, I really don't try to get too pedantic with LA limits, and just think of this area as simply LA. Mainly West Central. I do think of Pasadena as being part of LA too.

Nov 26, 2008, 7:13 PM
This is where I think an extension of the Red Line especially comes in handy; too many NIMBY Homeowner Associations and Neighborhood groups are whining about the traffic.

Dec 1, 2008, 9:56 PM
Residents Ponder 4900 Hollywood, Worry About Views

Monday, December 1, 2008, by Dakota

Remember that neighborhood-changing 4900 Hollywood Blvd project, a 5-story hotel and 18-story condo tower proposed for a site across from Barnsdall Park (and close to Vermont Avenue)? Well, area residents are certainly familiar with the project, coming out of a meeting earlier this fall, according to the Los Feliz Ledger. One worry: Views. "Many at the meeting spoke of possible restricted views of Barnsdall Art Park, which lies directly east of the property, should the development be approved as is. 'It would trouble me to see this project moving forward as it is currently designed,” said Gary Slossberg of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council." According to the paper, a representative for developer Cen-Fed Ltd told residents at the meeting that this type of high-density, transit-orientated development is necessary to curb urban sprawl. Meanwhile, neighbors also want to know how big this thing will look: Kenneth E. Owen, Chair of the Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation Committee of the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council, says his group may "ask the city’s planning department to demonstrate the height of the project with poles or even balloons." It's not clear what Los Feliz area businesses would think of the development, but one would imagine that the project would provide a boost to the restaurants and shops along Hillhurst and Vermont.

Dec 1, 2008, 11:55 PM
^ High-rises can look nice too and add to the views. I usually don't quite understand what people mean by "views" when usually they are looking at either a parking lot or some sort or ugly stucco buildings. In this case, however, I have seen the views from up there and it is quite spectacular looking at the Hollywood Hills to the north of the park.

Dec 2, 2008, 2:53 AM
Measure H has passed by a margin of 129 votes.

Dec 2, 2008, 7:12 AM

Dec 2, 2008, 8:21 AM
I think Wilshire/SM will look a lot nicer in the future with Waldorf and the Broad Art Foundation's new museum.

Dec 2, 2008, 11:03 PM
Walking down Ivar to the cinerama dome to catch a movie I got a few shots of Space 15 Twenty. I didn't have time to go in and check the place out but it is like a little alley type mall with different shops and a bookstore:





Dec 3, 2008, 2:21 AM
I love Space 15 Twenty.

I walked from Amoeba over to Urban Outfitters last Friday night and fell in love with the development. It felt very organic, and reminded me of the little shopping nooks you find in European cities.

Dec 3, 2008, 8:42 AM
Yeah it's very authentic and would definitely be considered organic! It's better than "The Lab" in Costa Mesa.

Now all that has to happen is something mixed-use and big to replace the Jack-in-the-Box suburban style restaurant right next to it. Even if the restaurant were to come back in a mixed-use project, that would be much better. Sorta like how the Mickey D's in Downtown Santa Monica at Colorado and 2nd Street used to be suburban style and came back in a nice mixed-use project.

Dec 4, 2008, 5:18 AM
More renderings of the Beverly Hilton/Waldorf=Astoria project...

From yesmeasureh.com

From yesmeasureh.com

From yesmeasureh.com

From yesmeasureh.com

From yesmeasureh.com

From yesmeasureh.com

Dec 4, 2008, 9:44 AM
I like it!

As I said before, along with the Broad Art Foundation at the intersection, that area will be getting a lot nicer...

Dec 4, 2008, 4:53 PM
Looking at the size of the streets around it, i'm so glad Measure H passed....

Dec 4, 2008, 8:16 PM
From Curbed LA,

Casden's Pico-Sepulveda Project Jumps on Expo Line Bandwagon


Wednesday, December 3, 2008, by jwilliams

Casden Properties is pushing forward with a massive mixed-use development at the corner of Pico and Sepulveda, which hopes to tie into the Sepulveda Station of the Expo Line - Phase II. The project application, filed on November 14, identifies 538 proposed apartment units with an affordable housing component, and "266,800 square feet of retail uses over five levels of subterranean parking..." Among the retail tenants moving in will be a big new Target. One reader emailed us awhile ago about the project noting that it will convert some of that precious industrial land into housing, among other concerns.

"This project is right near the freeway; I didn't think the State of California allowed construction of homes near freeways. Also, what about the preservation of industrial land in Los Angeles? I thought the Planning Department just put out a study in which the confirm their pledge to preserve the industrial land, especially light industrial, which has very flexible use. Not to mention the gridlock."
Based on all the entitlements requested (zone change, alcohol permit, general plan amendment, density bonus and site plan review) we're guessing this project has a long ways to go before any ground can be broken - at least two years worth of hearings and studies. And let's not forget the crappy economy.

Dec 4, 2008, 11:28 PM
From Curbed LA,

New View-Blocking Tower Planned for Howard Hughes Center

Thursday, December 4, 2008, by jwilliams


You got to feel bad for the poor residents of the Westchester Bluffs. When they're not coughing up dust from Playa Vista, they're getting peed on by drunken Loyola Marymount students. And now the bastards at the Howard Hughes Center are erecting a twenty-four story condo tower to ruin their northerly views. Gary Walker of The Argonaut reports that plans for a 24 story apartment tower at 6055 Center Drive and a smaller 7 story tower at 6040 Center Drive are quickly making their way through the planning department, to the chagrin of Westchester Bluffers who can't takes no more:

The possibility of having another high-rise in close proximity to them has upset some Westchester homeowners who live in the bluffs that overlook the area.

"The cumulative development that surrounds us is a very big concern to me and many of my neighbors," said Myra Kriwanek, who has lived on the bluffs for over 25 years. "So there is definitely a need for more responsible development that does not negatively impact our quality of life."

The Entrada Tower project site — a proposed 12-story, 176-foot-high office complex next to the Radisson Hotel — that is in Culver City, but within a few feet of the Los Angeles border, would be in direct view of many of the hilltop residents in Westchester. Kriwanek and many of her neighbors say that the tower would obstruct the northern view of many of those who live in the bluffs, which was a prime reason that some purchased homes there more than three decades ago.
"It's really starting to look like an oasis surrounded by development," Kriwanek lamented. "And it's getting more difficult to get off."

A hearing notice about the project, forwarded to Curbed by reader Will Campbell in November, indicated that the seven story building at 6040 Center Dr. will contain 325 apartment units and 1,500 square feet of retail. The 24 story tower at 6055 Center Dr. will contain 275 condominium units. The project is being developed by Equity Office Properties and will be "part of the build out" of Howard Hughes Center, that will include the previously discussed Gensler designed 5901 Center Drive.

Dec 7, 2008, 8:05 AM
The Century

From Flickr, by Atwater Village Newbie

Dec 14, 2008, 6:39 PM
On my way to the Beverly Center to take part in some unabashed consumerism, I noticed an obvious facade test in one of the parking lots of Cedars-Sinai on San Vicente. It was glassy, modern and rather transparent.

Does anyone know of a proposed new building or re-clad on the Cedars-Sinai campus?

Dec 15, 2008, 8:32 AM
Here's a recent pic (by me)


from 12/12

Dec 15, 2008, 10:55 PM
nice pic! its looking good.

Dec 16, 2008, 5:40 AM
Wow, they almost look like they're gonna fall down.

Dec 18, 2008, 6:38 PM
Here's some interesting news from today's Los Angeles Business Journal (http://labusinessjournal.com/enews_article.asp?aID=59812891.804893.1722175.5315303.9467722.353&aID2=132466&lid=35&sid=&cID=Z):

Century Plaza Owners Unveil Redevelopment Plan

Los Angeles Business Journal Staff

Next Century Associates LLC, a partnership between Los Angeles based real estate investor Michael Rosenfeld and an entity of D.E. Shaw Group, on Thursday unveiled plans to demolish the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Century City and create a $2 billion mixed-use project on the 5.75 acre site.

Next Century Associates, which bought the property for $367 million in June, said the redevelopment should generate 5,000 construction related jobs and at completion the development would employ more than 1,000 people. An economic benefit of $7.7 million annually in city tax revenue is anticipated.

“The Century Plaza project has the potential to become one of the most significant mixed-use projects in the country,” Francis Cappello, a senior vice president in the Shaw Group's real estate unit, said in a statement. “In a period of economic uncertainty, this project demonstrates our high degree of confidence in the city of Los Angeles."

The project, which is being designed by noted architect I.M. Pei’s firm, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, will feature two towers rising from a plaza. The buildings would include a 240-room Five Star hotel and 163 hotel residences, 130 luxury residential condominiums, 100,000 square feet of office space, 106,000 square feet of retail shops and restaurants, and a spa and fitness center. The hotel would continue to operate as a Hyatt Regency.

“What excites me about this project is the opportunity to reinforce the original design intent for Century City our firm helped create nearly 50 years ago and incorporate new planning ideals that create a lively, eventful and memorable urban experience.” said Pei partner Henry Cobb in a statement.

Approvals are expected to be complete in three years, the partnership said.

Dec 19, 2008, 4:23 AM
Here is the LA Times article and render on the proposed towers to replace the Century Plaza:

In this architect’s rendering, the Century Plaza hotel is at left, but some existing high-rise buildings
in the background have been removed to better show the site. At right are two 50-story towers
that would replace the hotel in a developer’s $2-billion plan.
(render: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners)

Developer proposes to demolish Century Plaza hotel
Michael Rosenfeld, who bought the property for $366.5 million last May, calls for razing the 19-story arc-shaped hotel and erecting two 50-story towers in its place.

By Roger Vincent and Martha Groves
Los Angeles Times
December 18, 2008

The new owner of the Century Plaza hotel has revealed bold plans to demolish the renowned facility and replace it with two sleek skyscrapers containing condominiums, stores, offices and a smaller luxury hotel. The Century City proposal comes during a crushing downturn in both the commercial and residential real estate markets. And the $2-billion plan, which has yet to make its way through the grueling city approval process, is sure to alarm many Westside residents, who say the area is already too crowded.

The 726-room Century Plaza has played host to U.S. presidents, rock stars and business moguls, and served as the location for countless galas and social functions since it was completed in 1966 as the centerpiece of an office, retail and residential development carved out of the former back lot of the 20th Century Fox film studio. For many years the Century Plaza's doormen wore red Beefeater costumes. The hotel's ballrooms welcomed high-profile events, including an opening charity gala in 1966 emceed by Bob Hope, who with singer Andy Williams entertained the likes of Ronald and Nancy Reagan and Walt and Lillian Disney. President Nixon hosted a state dinner there in 1969 for the Apollo 11 astronauts after their successful journey to the moon. In 1995, Hollywood studio head and notorious embezzler David Begelman committed suicide in a room at the hotel. The architect was Minoru Yamasaki, who also designed New York's World Trade Center towers.

The proposal by Los Angeles developer Michael Rosenfeld, who bought the property for $366.5 million in May, calls for razing the 19-story arc-shaped hotel on Avenue of the Stars and erecting two 50-story towers in its place. At 600 feet, they would be the tallest buildings in Century City and among the tallest in the region, with 293 condominiums, 100,000 square feet of office space, 106,000 square feet of retail space and a 240-room luxury hotel. Unlike the existing hotel, the new Century Plaza would actually have a plaza -- two acres of public space with fountains and gardens. The proposal won praise Wednesday from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who through a spokesman said it could "transform an aging hotel into an iconic destination and a state-of-the-art, mixed-use development in the heart of our Westside."

But the development is certain to face scrutiny from neighbors worried that the Westside is becoming overbuilt. Traffic is already a nightmare much of the time, and city resources such as water and emergency services are stretched to their limits. Some opponents signaled that they would fight to protect the existing hotel. "We're seeing an assault on the '60s," said Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy and one of several preservationists who increasingly are focusing their efforts on structures from the 1960s imperiled by new development. "If you look at Los Angeles in the '60s, the Century Plaza was one of the most significant projects," she said.

Rosenfeld faces the worst climate for real estate since the early 1990s. The D.E. Shaw Group, Rosenfeld's financial partner in acquiring the hotel, will back the new development, said Francis Cappello, a senior vice president at D.E. Shaw, an international investment firm. But the firm is among large Wall Street hedge funds caught up in the scandal around the $50-billion fraudulent investment scheme allegedly run by former Nasdaq chief Bernard Madoff, and has stopped redemptions of some of its funds. Cappello could not be reached for comment late Wednesday, but Rosenfeld said the firm's real estate fund was not one of the affected funds. "This is wholly unrelated," he said.

Rosenfeld has a strong track record in large-scale projects. His real estate investment company, Woodridge Capital Partners, has substantial hotel, residential and office assets in the U.S. and Canada, including a 3.5-million-square-foot, mixed-use project being developed in Calgary. Last year he sold the luxury Carlyle condominium tower under construction on Wilshire Boulevard near Westwood for almost $150 million. By the time the new Century Plaza project is completed in 2015, Rosenfeld said, the economy is likely to have turned around. "This is a great opportunity to plan for the future," he said.

Stan Ross, chairman of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, said getting rolling on a major development in the midst of a downturn made sense in some key ways. Developers can negotiate favorable terms for construction materials and labor, he said, and lock in financing at favorable rates if it is available. Under Rosenfeld's proposal, the Century Plaza hotel would continue to operate throughout the city approval and planning process, which Rosenfeld estimates would take as long as three years before demolition and construction could start. He said his ideas to redevelop the site were influenced by a proposal that property owners, developers and planners devised two years ago to make Century City greener, less car-centric and more pedestrian-friendly.

That plan, in the works at City Hall, was the community's response to the recent boom in the construction of luxury condominium towers. The design called for rows of stately trees and a pedestrian loop that would connect the new housing with the vastly expanded Century City shopping center, office towers and a growing number of eateries and cultural amenities. The intersection of Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Boulevard -- with the existing Century Plaza occupying the southwest corner -- was envisioned as the focal point. Ordinances that would implement the plan are expected to be ready for public hearings next year, said a spokeswoman for City Councilman Jack Weiss, who represents the area. Weiss described the proposal as "very interesting," saying it had major elements consistent with the vision for a greener Century City.

Mike Eveloff, president of Tract 7260, a homeowner group named for its subdivision in an area just west of Century City, said he and other homeowner representatives would meet with the developer to hear about the project, but he expressed concern that local roads, fire, police, schools, parks and libraries could not handle more development. Rosenfeld said the project would generate no more car trips than the Century Plaza does now, but Eveloff was skeptical. Moreover, he said, residents have grown weary of the constant construction in a community that has faced more than a decade of building. "The residents of this area already face some of the worst traffic in the city," he said. "And we have the perpetual 'temporary' impacts of construction."

But Rosenfeld said the hotel had seen its best days. "We recognize that the Century Plaza has its place in West L.A., but we also think planning is an evolutionary process and this is an important opportunity that can't be lost," he said. His architect, Henry N. Cobb, said the new design would help Century City live up to its original vision as a dense urban neighborhood with 24-hour living. In large part because it was built in an automobile-centric era, the area has always favored cars over people, a configuration that many say is not compatible with the surge in new residences.

Cobb's firm, led at that time by architect I.M. Pei, was one of the original designers of Century City, though not of the Century Plaza. Cobb said the new design would help connect key parts of the neighborhood and create a gathering spot. "What we want is a space that sort of does for Los Angeles what Rockefeller Plaza does for New York, a place that people celebrate and think is emblematic of the city," Cobb said. "The whole thing is about public life and public space. It will be a place for people, enlivened by shops and restaurants around it."

Dec 19, 2008, 4:52 AM
The hotel should've been included in the design of the towers. I don't see how this is gonna get built if there is so much history to it.

Dec 19, 2008, 5:03 AM
The Century (http://la.curbed.com/archives/2008/12/constructionwatch_century_citys_other_big_condo_project.php#)

From Curbed by Dakota

From Curbed by Dakota

From Curbed by Dakota

From Curbed by Dakota

From Curbed by Dakota

Dec 19, 2008, 8:48 AM
I think they should leave Century Plaza Hotel alone. I actually like it. If they really wanna tear down a hotel they should blow up the Beverly Hilton and build those towers on that site. The BH Hotel is a hideous eyesore stuck in the 70s.

Dec 19, 2008, 10:27 PM
the BH Hotel is going through a major remodel since Measure H passed

Jan 7, 2009, 7:05 AM
Scaffolding, Reveals Sexy Red Self

curbed la

Palihouse Vine, described as an "extended-stay luxury, boutique hotel," flashed locals in late November, and now the project--located at 1717 Vine Street in Hollywood--is showing it all off. The scaffolding dropped last weekend on the development, a relative of Palihouse Holloway in West Hollywood. It's not clear how much prices will be at this Palihouse, which'll open this spring, but Palihouse Holloway goes for anywhere from $250 (for month long stays)-$400 a night, according to the web site. (Hey, but all the hotels are on sale right now!)

The concept, for those just catching on, is targeted at celebrities, it would seem, or busy professionals who want to crash for a week or two or six. The LA Times wasn't entirely thrilled with the concept when they reviewed the West Hollywood location in March. So far, this newest sibling gets points for its robin red exterior.
· Construction Watch: Hollywood's Palihouse on Vine [Curbed LA]

curbed la

The red sure isn't as bright as it appears to be in the rendering. I also don't see James Dean anywhere.

Jan 7, 2009, 7:57 AM
I also don't see James Dean anywhere.

Supergraphics prohibition ordinance?

Jan 7, 2009, 9:27 AM
and LA continues to be a place where it almost seems like we always have to tear down a large building in order to build a large building. we hardly ever just add new structures here. i'll be sad to see another piece of history go. but that's how it is in a city which never anchors itself to the ground (figuratively and literally). no wonder we still struggle to find our cultural roots - our identity

"What we want is a space that sort of does for Los Angeles what Rockefeller Plaza does for New York, a place that people celebrate and think is emblematic of the city,"

oh the irony ;)
and the beat goes on and on and on...

Jan 7, 2009, 6:05 PM
It's hard to tell from that picture, but Palihouse appears to be red-painted stucco. I'll have to check it out for myself to make sure. If it is, it's another sad example of LA fauxchitecture. If not, it's not a bad building.

Jan 7, 2009, 6:13 PM
If anything, it appears more smoother than stucco.

Jan 8, 2009, 2:45 AM
Thanks for the update on the Palihouse DCB. I thought the Palihouse was going to be condos and didn't realize it was going to be a boutique hotel.

I know the back of it has an exposed brick facade (hopefully not faux brick). I just hope the lot next to it with the recently torn down building doesn't become a parking lot. Maybe the Palihouse owners can buy the lot and expand the Hotel onto Hollywood Blvd.

Jan 9, 2009, 1:04 AM
It would be great if they are able to keep this thing alive-


Jean Nouvel’s Los Angeles debut has been delayed. Construction of 10000 Santa Monica Boulevard, a 45-story condominium tower designed by the French architect and 2008 Pritzker Prize winner, has been put on hold due to financing problems.

Lehman Brothers, which declared bankruptcy in September, was underwriting the $400 million project. The project’s developer, SunCal Century City LLC, has since filed for bankruptcy itself. “No work is taking place on the project at the present,” says SunCal spokesman Joe Aguirre. “We don’t consider it dead. Our goal is to obtain new project funding.”

SunCal has a tentative financing agreement in place with D.E. Shaw & Co., a global hedge fund, for up to $75 million. But the deal is contingent upon the court approving SunCal’s plan to reshuffle financing.

Situated on 2.4 acres in Century City, the 600-foot-tall and 50-foot-wide glass tower was conceived as a thin “green blade.” The building would rise from a 40,000-square-foot garden, and every level would be ringed with planted balconies. Rios Clementi Hale Studios is the landscape architect for the project.

The tower’s 177 units would range from 3,400 to 9,500 square feet. Prior to its bankruptcy filing, the developer had yet to receive planning approval or start selling condos. A new timeline has not been established.

The project would be Nouvel’s first building west of Minneapolis, where his Guthrie Theater opened two years ago.


Jan 11, 2009, 5:54 PM
Just a couple more of the Palihouse. Great loft style rooms with big windows and great balconys. I think it would be a great place to stay. The finish is definitely a smooth stucco finish but it think it looks great and compliments the Avalon and the surrounding older buildings around it. It certainly isn't cheap or faux looking IMO:



Jan 11, 2009, 6:22 PM
The parking lot that was next to the big Jefferson development is also being developed, which is really cool thinking 2 large blocks of a sea of parking behind Hollywood are history. Anybody know what the below lot is going to be? It is the lot bordered by Hollywood, Las Palmas, Yucca and McCadden:


Jan 11, 2009, 7:03 PM
^ WOw! I'm really surprised that the project you have in your pic actually broke ground! I had my doubts about that project breaking ground anytime soon. The project is called the McCadden Place. Here's the info from LA Times and Hollywood BID:

McCadden Place

The project will consist of two, eight-story structures with 218 apartments and just under 630 parking spaces - 218 of which will be designated for public use. Construction started in fall, 2008. Occupancy is anticipated in 2010.

Developer: Wood Partners

Location: 1714 McCadden Pl.

http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/9485/hollywoodrl2.gif (http://imageshack.us)

Jan 11, 2009, 10:43 PM

Thats just so cool.

Jan 11, 2009, 10:44 PM
It would be great if they are able to keep this thing alive-

Who said Nouvel's project was dead? It was said before that it was "ON-HOLD", not "CANCELLED.":rolleyes:

Jan 16, 2009, 6:12 AM
Some pics of The Century and Beverly West condos, Jan 15, 2009. All shots are taken from our penthouse near Olympic & S Beverly Glen.

The Century next to Century Plaza towers

The Century next to Fox Plaza. I'm glad the two appear to be the same height from this angle. It really spreads out the whole CC skyline.

Century City at night

The Century closeup, night

Century City wide-shot

Beverly West condos viewed from the south

Jan 16, 2009, 6:14 AM
I think my sister lived at that building years ago. East side of Beverly Glen, and residents had roof access (which is pretty rare in L.A.)

Jan 16, 2009, 6:19 AM
I think my sister lived at that building years ago. East side of Beverly Glen, and residents had roof access (which is pretty rare in L.A.)

That's cool, it's a neat area. Our building is only several years old and is right off Beverly Glen on Louisiana.

Jan 16, 2009, 6:21 AM
Oh, just a similar view, then.

I didn't know Park View or whatever is now known as Beverly West. Looks topped out.

Jan 16, 2009, 8:55 PM
Did Basque ever reopen after the fire?

Jan 17, 2009, 1:39 AM
1600 North Vine

From Flickr, by lacurbed

Jan 17, 2009, 2:05 AM
I think my sister lived at that building years ago. East side of Beverly Glen, and residents had roof access (which is pretty rare in L.A.)There are many, many apartment complexes in Hollywood with not only roof access but with the swimming pools on the roofs too all with awesome views. I lived in such an apartment complex for 5 years just under Runyon Canyon. At night there was always lots of people on the roofs... it was actually pretty cool you'd see parties, people shooting music videos and all sorts of stuff.

Jan 26, 2009, 2:08 AM
Solaire on Wilshire

From a couple of weeks ago. Taken with my iPhone, so excuse the quality.


Feb 1, 2009, 6:47 PM
From a car??!?!

Feb 1, 2009, 8:13 PM
Did Basque ever reopen after the fire?

Saw it last weekend. The building has been leveled and there is a fence around the lot. That’s a prime location right on Hollywood and Vine for some future development.

LosAngelesBeauty:WOw! I'm really surprised that the project you have in your pic actually broke ground! I had my doubts about that project breaking ground anytime soon. The project is called the McCadden Place. Here's the info from LA Times and Hollywood BID:

McCadden Place

The project will consist of two, eight-story structures with 218 apartments and just under 630 parking spaces - 218 of which will be designated for public use. Construction started in fall, 2008. Occupancy is anticipated in 2010.

Developer: Wood Partners

Location: 1714 McCadden Pl.

I'm unable to find any renderings of this one. This one snuck under the radar. Anyone have renderings?

Feb 1, 2009, 8:24 PM
From a car??!?!

Sitting in traffic at a red light, what is the big deal?

I like to shoot from a moving car and even have gotten some great shots at highway speeds.

Feb 2, 2009, 4:30 PM
^ Umm, your not supposed to use cell phones directly while driving in California.

Pretty nice pictures, though.

Feb 3, 2009, 3:28 AM
You can use it for anything except calling or texting. Taking photos is not prohibited.

Feb 3, 2009, 7:35 AM
^ Is that what police would say if they caught him? Do you really think they would let that fly just because of a technical loophole?

Methinks not.

Feb 15, 2009, 1:28 AM


Feb 17, 2009, 8:35 PM
Looking pretty nice. I like the window pattern.

Feb 27, 2009, 1:59 AM






what's this one?

Vue San Pedro

Feb 27, 2009, 6:39 AM
cool update. Thanks King! The materials used for the first tower seem to be top notch, can you verify that?

Feb 28, 2009, 5:38 AM
Excellent photos, KotH. The Carlyle looks like they're using real stone. Kudos for using good materials for once in L.A. :cheers:

Mar 4, 2009, 5:51 AM
Palihouse Vine

From Flickr, by Benjamin Page

Mar 4, 2009, 6:14 AM
looks fantastic!! i wish we had more buildings like that all over LA instead of the crap palmer and the others put up.

Mar 4, 2009, 9:31 AM
^ I can't wait to see what the corner of Hollywood and Vine will be like in 5 years (after BLVD6200 and whatever else is to be constructed in the burned down club seen in the pic).

Mar 6, 2009, 6:12 AM
^ It'll be years before Hollywood achieves any sort of three-dimensionality, urbanity-wise. The Jefferson @ Hollywood, McCadden Place, 1600 North Vine, Palihouse Vine, BLVD6200, etc. are all baby steps in the right direction. I don't understand why Hollywood has yet to explode with construction, given the fact that there are two subway stations that can accommodate high-density development.

Mar 6, 2009, 3:29 PM
^ Two words: eco mony

Mar 6, 2009, 9:37 PM
Hi everyone, I managed to snap a few shots of The Century and Beverly West yesterday evening.

Century City general view

The Century general shot

The Century upper floors closeup

Beverly West shot

Mar 7, 2009, 1:07 AM


Wow, I really wish more of LA looked like this, architecture-wise.

Mar 7, 2009, 4:25 AM
^ Two words: eco mony

F**k the economy!:hell:

Mar 8, 2009, 1:18 AM
Driving through the valley today I noticed a 10-12 story office building that looks like it recently topped out. It's a somewhat modern looking deep blue glass tower that's much taller than any of it's surroundings and quite noticeable from the 101 and 134. It looks like it's about 2 or 3 blocks NW of the Disney animation building. Anyone know what that is? It caught me completely off guard.

I would have taken a picture, but I was, well, driving.

Mar 8, 2009, 2:37 AM
i think its called the Pointe and its 13 stories tall.

Mar 8, 2009, 3:25 AM
The parking lot that was next to the big Jefferson development is also being developed, which is really cool thinking 2 large blocks of a sea of parking behind Hollywood are history. Anybody know what the below lot is going to be? It is the lot bordered by Hollywood, Las Palmas, Yucca and McCadden:


McCadden Place

The project will consist of two, eight-story structures with 218 apartments and just under 630 parking spaces - 218 of which will be designated for public use. Construction started in fall, 2008. Occupancy is anticipated in 2010.

Developer: Wood Partners

Location: 1714 McCadden Pl.

Not sure if this is the rendering of the building under construction, but it does come up on google images when searching McCadden Place. The image is very small so I enlarged it and it is not tied to any story, so that's all I know.


Mar 19, 2009, 4:58 AM


Mar 19, 2009, 5:22 AM
Nice pic KOTH! that area is looking so much better than the past. And that pictures sums up LA pretty well, a shitload of mixed architecture of variable heights and styles, mountains, palm trees, haze, cars.

Mar 19, 2009, 7:25 AM
^ It'll be years before Hollywood achieves any sort of three-dimensionality, urbanity-wise. The Jefferson @ Hollywood, McCadden Place, 1600 North Vine, Palihouse Vine, BLVD6200, etc. are all baby steps in the right direction. I don't understand why Hollywood has yet to explode with construction, given the fact that there are two subway stations that can accommodate high-density development.

two more words...

critical mass

Mar 20, 2009, 10:45 AM
There's something under construction by The Grove across the street from the park. It's right next to the parking structure with a big crane sticking out of it. Does anyone know what it will be? Apartments? Another parking structure perhaps? :P

Mar 20, 2009, 8:51 PM
I think it's a storage facility.

Mar 26, 2009, 2:09 AM
A Hollywood Pitch: Bring the Junkets Back

New York Times

Published: March 24, 2009

LOS ANGELES — The developers of a $350 million luxury hotel and condominium project in this city’s historic “filmland” district are making a pitch to the motion picture industry: bring the business of promoting movies back to Hollywood.
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Stephanie Diani for The New York Times

Marty Collins of Gatehouse Capital is the developer of the W Hotel.

Marty Collins, chief executive of Gatehouse Capital, which is based in Dallas and is building the 305-room W Hotel & Residences in partnership with HEI Hotels & Resorts of Norwalk, Conn., says the hotel has been designed to host an elaborate ritual of movie promotion known as the press junket.

Typically, a junket is a weekend-long event involving reporters, publicists, cameramen and film stars. Currently, these promotional events take place almost entirely in the luxury hotels of Beverly Hills, several miles west of Hollywood.

One hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, by itself enjoys “about 90 percent” of the junket trade, according to Mr. Collins. Jorge Collazo, the Four Seasons’ director of marketing, said he could not quantify the market share, but confirmed that his hotel “definitely has the majority of the junketing business.”

Mr. Collins says he wants to emulate the success of the Four Seasons by bringing movie marketing to the iconic corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, where the W Hotel is nearing completion. In his words, “I want to bring Hollywood back to Hollywood.”

The success of the junket business in Beverly Hills, Mr. Collins added, is “largely a default position, because there are no five-star hotels in Hollywood.”

The new hotel will “fill a vacuum in Hollywood in a big way,” said Leslie Lambert, a regional administrator for the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, which is overseeing the revitalization of the historic Hollywood district. Developer interest in Hollywood appears high, to judge from more than a dozen current proposals, including a 1.3-million-square-foot Millennium Hollywood residential, office and retail project. Directly across the street from the W Hotel is the proposed Boulevard 6200, with 1,042 rental units.

Designing a hotel that can accommodate junkets is not a casual undertaking, according to Edward Abeyta, principal of HKS Inc., an architecture firm based in Dallas that is responsible for the hotel-and-condominium complex.

Junkets are highly structured events and require a specific configuration of hospitality rooms and reception rooms, according to the architect. Some hotel rooms need at least three bathrooms, with two of them large enough for a hair stylist or makeup artist to work in.

Those same rooms need to be capable of being emptied of furniture at a moment’s notice so they can be transformed into “taping suites,” where actors can chat on camera with a succession of reporters and camera operators, who wait their turns in the adjoining hallway. In a single weekend under the lights, actors might grant up to 50 interviews.

The hotel floors used for junketing need extra electrical capacity, so that cameramen can plug in their equipment without special backup generators. Fiber optic cables are also helpful, so film crews can transmit interview video directly to stations.

Even without the choreography of the junketing floors, the W Hotel presented complex design demands.

Part of that complexity reflects on-site constraints. The redevelopment agency insisted that the developers work around two historic buildings: the Taft Building, a red brick 1920s office building on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, and a single-story retail building immediately south of the Taft on Vine.

Accordingly, the new building, which faces Hollywood Boulevard, rises no higher than 15 stories, the same height as the Taft, which figures prominently in the front facade of the hotel. Before construction of the new hotel and condos, the site was occupied by a group of aging commercial buildings and a parking lot.

The Taft, which like the second building is not owned by the developers, is an evocative fragment of old Hollywood, and might be seen as reinforcing the theme of preservation in the historic district. “On the four corners of Hollywood and Vine, three of them have integrated historical buildings into their new structures,” said Mr. Abeyta, the architect.

Directly beneath the hotel is an underground station of the Metro Rail Red Line subway, a line between the San Fernando Valley and downtown Los Angeles. (The hotel site, in fact, is owned by the subway operator, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of Los Angeles County, which leased the land to the developers for 99 years.)

The resulting design is a Chinese puzzle of a building, with many interlocking parts. The front of the W Hotel & Residences has a U-shaped footprint that leaves an open courtyard above the subway station. The hotel and a 143-unit condominium complex each occupies a separate tower, connected by a “bridge” building. The condo units range in price from $800,000 to $9 million.

The hotel tower’s second story, which is part of the junket complex, has an open courtyard, for use if the hotel needs extra space for a large party. For a screening room, another attraction aimed at junketeers, the W is building an open-air movie theater in the same courtyard.

Like several recent buildings in Hollywood, the front facade of the W Hotel integrates billboards, one horizontal and one vertical, as architectural elements. “Signage is a key element of many historic buildings in Hollywood, and we thought it was important to identify ourselves with that,” Mr. Abeyta said.

When the W Hollywood hotel opens in November, the junketing wars can commence.

Mr. Collazo of the Four Seasons, for his part, says he is not anxious. “It is easy to create a building and make it pretty and have all the proper equipment,” the marketing manager said.

“The part you cannot produce so easily is the wealth of knowledge that comes from experience,” he added. “The human resource is clearly an advantage over any new product.”

Mar 26, 2009, 8:05 PM
Another parking structure perhaps? :P

Oh god no!:yuck:

Apr 13, 2009, 10:14 AM
Two pics. One is the W sign in Hollywood lit up! :) Two is the new lighting Santa Monica is installing along 2nd and 4th Streets.



Apr 22, 2009, 8:32 PM
1600 North Vine

From Flickr, by impalergeneral

Apr 22, 2009, 8:40 PM
Thanks West

Apr 25, 2009, 3:25 AM
Well, thank you so much for your great beautiful modern buildings pictures.:)

maison de credit (http://maisondecredit.com)

Apr 28, 2009, 8:21 PM
Preservationists, developer square off over Century Plaza Hotel (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-century-plaza28-2009apr28,0,4185240.story)

Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times
New owners have revealed plans to demolish the Century Plaza hotel.

By Martha Groves
April 28, 2009
Minutes after their return from the moon in 1969, the three Apollo 11 astronauts gazed out the window of their isolation chamber as President Nixon welcomed them home and invited them to a state dinner in their honor.

The setting would be a magnificent ballroom in the Century Plaza hotel in "Los Angeles' space-age Century City complex," as the Los Angeles Times described it.

Forty years beyond, that crescent-shaped monument of mid-century modernism, where guests enjoyed specially created "moon rocks" of green almond paste dusted with chocolate, is poised to become the focus of what promises to be an intense battle over preservation.

New owners have revealed plans to demolish the hotel, no longer the VIP magnet it once was, and replace it with a $2-billion complex that includes two 50-story towers containing condos, offices, shops and a smaller luxury hotel.

The Los Angeles Conservancy is determined to stop them. To bolster its campaign, it has enlisted the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which today put the 726-room Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel on its annual list of America's 11 most endangered historic places.

"By naming this structure to the list, the National Trust is demonstrating that the preservation of recent past and modern buildings is as important to our cultural record as preserving architecture that's from the Victorian period or Art Deco era," said Christine Madrid French, director of the trust's nascent Modernism + Recent Past Initiative.

Of course, there is some debate about whether a hotel less than half a century old deserves the same level of protection as century-old structures.

When Los Angeles developer Michael Rosenfeld announced his redevelopment plans last December, he said the hotel's nearly 600-foot length impeded pedestrians' connections with other parts of the neighborhood. The new design, he said, would feature an open, tree-lined area between the two proposed towers that would facilitate people's meanderings among offices, shops and restaurants.

"The naming of the hotel as a historic place is not supported by the facts," Rosenfeld said. "The building . . . does not qualify for consideration under stringent criteria for historic designation of a building of this recent age.

"We're building a landmark for the future," he added.

But the notion of razing the Century Plaza alarmed the Los Angeles Conservancy. It nominated the structure for the trust's endangered list. Previously, other sites it suggested had made the list, including the original McDonald's in Downey, the Santa Anita racetrack, St. Vibiana's Cathedral and Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House, one of the first residences constructed from concrete block.

Having seen the demolition of other Century City landmarks in recent years -- notably the ABC Entertainment Center, home of the Shubert Theatre, and the headquarters of Welton Becket & Associates, the firm that first designed Century City -- the conservancy did not want to see another mid-century building destroyed.

"This building has both architectural and cultural significance," Linda Dishman, the conservancy's executive director, said of the Century Plaza. "We really thought this was the line in the sand."

The 19-story hotel on Avenue of the Stars at Constellation Boulevard, which opened in 1966, was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, later to gain fame for designing New York's World Trade Center towers.

Almost from its beginning, the hotel attracted celebrities, with Prince Andrew credited as the first international guest of renown. Politicians and other world dignitaries stayed so often that in the 1970s the hotel earned the nickname "the Western White House." President Reagan threw two victory parties there.

More notoriously, Hollywood studio chief and embezzler David Begelman committed suicide in one of the rooms.

Dishman noted that the hotel has been an epicenter of Westside social, political and celebrity functions.

"That unique cross-section has brought many people into contact with the building," she said.

She acknowledged that buildings typically must be at least 50 years old for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, unless they have exceptional significance. A mid-century building from the 1960s, she said, "is not the first thing people think of when they think historic preservation.

"We believe this building has exceptional significance," she said.

Rosenfeld, who bought the property a year ago for $366.5 million with backing from D.E. Shaw Group, has said his idea was influenced by a proposal unveiled in early 2007 to make Century City greener, less car-centric and more pedestrian-friendly. His architect, Henry N. Cobb, contends that the new configuration would help connect key parts of the neighborhood and create a public gathering place.

National Trust President Richard Moe took issue with that.

"The owners bought it and called it a jewel in their hometown but now want to demolish it as part of the greening of Century City?" he said. "They're doing just the opposite. They couldn't do a more un-green thing."

Moe maintains that the building contains a great deal of "embodied energy," the energy required to manufacture the materials, transport them to the site and assemble them into a building. He has recently been speaking to groups nationwide about this notion to demonstrate that historic preservation can be a tool to achieve sustainability.

"It's an 800,000-square-foot hotel," Moe said. "The embodied energy is estimated to be the equivalent of 7 million gallons of gasoline. . . . If you tear the building down, you lose all that energy."

Not every old building deserves to be saved, Moe said, but if an older building can serve a new use, then preserving it makes sense for environmental as well as architectural and cultural reasons.

"We are trying to save this building," Moe said. "We're going to be fully engaged with the Los Angeles Conservancy to try to use every means possible to save this building."


Apr 28, 2009, 8:46 PM
As much as I'd like to preserve this hotel, I'm not totally convinced that it merits historic preservation. The building is nice and it sounds like a played a big part in a handful of fancy celebrations, but that doesn't really sound like something that we need to protect. If preservation means slowing LA's development, I say knock it down.

The Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire - that's an entirely different story. Still can't believe that LAUSD of all people was responsible for that one.

Apr 28, 2009, 11:31 PM
11 sites make new list of 'endangered historic places'

(CNN) -- After Hurricane Ike slammed into Galveston, Texas, in September, the 12-block Strand Historic District, with its 19th-century buildings and their elaborate cast-iron storefronts, was awash in 13 feet of saltwater, oil and debris.

The Ames Shovel Shops in Easton, Massachusetts, played a key role in the gold rush.
1 of 3

The water "permeated the columns and arches, weakening the interior brick support and greatly accelerating rust," said Peter Brink, vice president for programs at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In other words, the forces of nature put a historic area in jeopardy.

In response to Ike, and as part of an ongoing effort to save threatened historic sites across the United States, the National Trust has added the Galveston district to its annual list of "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places."

Since 1988, the National Trust has announced an annual list of sites it aims to restore, protect and preserve.

"Whether these sites are urban districts or rural landscapes, Native American landmarks or 20th-century sports arenas, entire communities or single buildings, the list spotlights historic places across America that are threatened by neglect, insufficient funds, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy," the group said on its Web site.

"The list, which has identified 200 sites through 2008, has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts across the country and rallying resources to save one-of-a-kind landmarks that, in just two decades, only six sites have been lost," the organization said.

On Tuesday the nonprofit organization is scheduled to announce that Galveston's cast-iron architecture and 10 other sites are on its 2009 List of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Organization President Richard Moe, accompanied by actor and organization trustee Diane Keaton, planned to release a report on this year's list at a Los Angeles ceremony near the Century Plaza Hotel, one of the sites on the 2009 endangered list.

Keaton has lobbied to save the hotel, a notable example of 1960s architecture and a magnet for the rich and famous. It is scheduled for demolition.

Late last year, Keaton told the Web site Curbed LA, "I'd say that the Century Plaza has been a late 20th-century counterpart to the Ambassador Hotel." The Ambassador, a 1920s-era landmark, was razed a few years ago despite considerable protest.

"If ever there was a place where show biz merged with politics, the Century Plaza has been it," Keaton said, referring to a hotel that has counted among its guests every president since Lyndon Johnson.

Proposed sites for the National Trust list are submitted to its regional offices. The final list aims to represent "different kinds of historic places ... suffering from different kinds of threats in different parts of the country," Moe said.

In Galveston, it was the fury of nature hurled in a hurricane. The flooding was "horrible. It was a very shocking and depressing sight," said Allen Flores, president of the Strand Merchants Association.

In addition to Galveston's Strand district and Los Angeles' Century Plaza Hotel, the sites on this year's "Most Endangered Historic Places" list are:

Ames Shovel Shops Easton, Massachusetts

The 19th century industrial village is threatened by a plan to demolish several of its historic buildings and extensively alter others to allow for a new mixed-use development.

Dorchester Academy Midway, Georgia

Initially a one-room schoolhouse, it was founded in 1868 as a school for freed slaves and served as a voter registration center during the civil rights movement. The academy's last remaining building, a 1934 Greek Revival dormitory, is seriously deteriorating.

The Manhattan Project's Enola Gay Hangar Wendover Airfield, Utah

The hangar that housed the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, is in a major state of disrepair.

Human Services Center Yankton, South Dakota

The center was founded in 1879 as the South Dakota Hospital for the Insane, and resembles a New England college campus, with neoclassical, Art Deco and Italianate buildings. These have been vacant for years. The state, which is moving to demolish 11 of these, built a new psychiatric facility on the grounds in the 1990s. There is potential to reuse the buildings, the National Trust says.

Lanai City, Hawaii

Lanai, known as the "Pineapple Isle," is one of Hawaii's six main islands. It was developed by pineapple baron James Dole in the early 1920s, and has a feature none of the other islands have: an intact plantation town. There are vintage homes, a jail, courthouse and police station. The city, population 2,400, is threatened by a proposal for commercial development that would destroy 15 to 20 buildings. Lanai Island is 18 miles long and 13 miles wide, and is eight miles west of Maui.

Memorial Bridge Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Kittery, Maine

The nation's first "vertical lift" bridge spans the Piscataqua River to connect the historic downtowns of Portsmouth and Kittery. Maine and New Hampshire are considering replacing the structure, against the wishes of many residents. The bridge has a center span that rises vertically to 170 feet to allow ships to pass underneath.

Miami Marine Stadium Virginia Key, Florida

The 1964 stadium is a South Florida landmark and is considered an icon of modern design. It was designed by a Cuban immigrant architect who directed it be built entirely of poured concrete. It has a dramatic cantilevered, folded-plate roof that resembles white sails above Biscayne Bay. The city closed the stadium after Hurricane Andrew damaged it in 1992, and it is a prime target for developers. The structure suffers from deterioration, vandalism and neglect.

Mount Taylor Grants, New Mexico

Mount Taylor is located in the southwestern corner of New Mexico's San Mateo Mountains, midway between Albuquerque and Gallup. It has an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet, and is a sacred site for as many as 30 Native-American tribes. The area is threatened by more than 160 proposals for uranium mining.

Unity Temple Oak Park, Illinois

The Unity Temple near Chicago was one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's favorite commissions, and thousands of people visit it each year. He designed it for a Unitarian congregation, of which he was a member, after the original church was destroyed by fire. The cubist, flat-roofed structure is one of the earliest public buildings to feature exposed concrete, one of Wright's signature design elements. Years of water infiltration have damaged the structure, prompting a multimillion-dollar rescue effort.

May 1, 2009, 4:51 PM
I was out in West LA yesterday and snapped a few shots of The Century and Beverly West under construction.

Century City general view

The Century top floors view

The Century whole view

Beverly West condos on Wilshire

Looking at these pics and just in general, I personally would like to see the Century Plaza Hotel replaced by something more modern, but given its role in hosting events of historic nature, I can see the preservationists' concerns.

May 1, 2009, 9:06 PM
^^Great Job! thanks!!!

May 1, 2009, 9:37 PM
Two cranes that will be disappearing soon from the westside skyline.

May 2, 2009, 4:50 AM
eric owen moss architects: glass tower



the glass tower by eric owen moss architects is posed to be encourage a re-development in south central
los angeles. the building has been in planning since the nineties but was stalled for some years until it was
re-designed in 2006 as a single tower. a rail line installed nearby spurred the redesign. the structure is part
of the redevelopment of south central LA, an area plagued with poverty and violence for many years.
the project was originally conceived of with a structural strategy, consisting of curvilinear ribbons wrapping
two main volumes.

the new design remains very similar with the same ribbon theme, but as a single volume. as the area’s only
high-rise, office tenants will enjoy wide, open views of the city. a train stop sits directly outside the building,
but car parking was also a main concern for the architects. the aforementioned ribbon scheme provides the
building’s structure, making each floor completely open. the ribbons are made from steel tubes filled with
concrete. each floor was the same flexible plan but comes in three distinct heights of 13, 16 and 24 feet,
to offer further flexibility.





All photos from: http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/9/view/6179/eric-owen-moss-architects-glass-tower.html

This was a proposal on the list the first time I stumbled on to SSP. Then it disappeared for a couple years. Well it's back. If built, it's in the strangest location for a building that's trying to be so artsy.

May 2, 2009, 2:08 PM
^Artsy or not that looks ugly as fuck. From close up it looks like it was TP'd. From far away (first pic) it looks like the federal building in Oklahoma City, after the bomb.

May 3, 2009, 5:02 PM
So Virgin at Hollywood and Highland is closing its doors:


Building across the street starting to be revealed:


May 3, 2009, 10:12 PM
^Artsy or not that looks ugly as fuck. From close up it looks like it was TP'd. From far away (first pic) it looks like the federal building in Oklahoma City, after the bomb.

Too true.

Just because computers now give us the ability to create many interesting building designs doesn't mean every crazy ass design should become reality.

That building is a total mess. Maybe on a taller scale it would look okay.

Can you imagine all of the pigeons that will be attracted by that weird cage like structure and all of the crap that will accumulate below.

May 3, 2009, 10:22 PM
Very sad about Virgin, but once Tower and Virgin on Sunset closed, this was only a matter of time. :(

Praise the gods that the building across the street is beginning to shed its tarp. How many years has that building been covered?! Is Zara still going in there? It looks like a gorgeous building!

May 3, 2009, 10:44 PM
Anyone know whats being built next to the Grauman Chinese theatre on Hollywood and Highland?


May 4, 2009, 12:08 AM
^ Madame Tussauds Wax Museum