[Image by Flickr user Tara T]
The L.A. Independent alerts us to another instance of one of L.A.’s favorite pastimes: knocking down historic buildings. The apartment building located at 1810-16 Whitley Ave. in Hollywood stands to be demolished in order to make way for luxury condos unless the City designates it as a historic monument. The two story apartment building, built 85 years ago, is constructed in a Mediterranean and Italian Renaissance style characteristic of that time period. Though preservationists argue that it is historically significant because of its reflection of the architecture of the early 1920s and provides an overall neighborhood context, the Cultural Heritage Commission staff’s report recommends that it not be designated as a historic monument.
L.A. Manager of Historic Resources Ken Bernstein, who prepared the new staff report, says that while “The building helps contribute to an overall context” of L.A.’s architectural history, it does not individually qualify as a historic cultural monument. Specifically, Bernstein says, the building is not significant because it is not associated with a master builder, designer or architect and because it lacks some defining features of Mediterranean Revival architecture.
Why, if it doesn’t meet one of these criteria, it must not be worthy of saving! After all, we could have many more luxury condos in its place. We don’t care about the character of the neighborhood as long as we can have modern plumbing and granite countertops. The Cultural Heritage Commission is yet to make a final decision.
· Fate of Tinseltown Landmark Rests with the City [L.A. Independent]
· 1810-16 Whitley Avenue [Hollywood Heritage]