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More Calls to Save Century Plaza

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The Century Plaza hotel in Century City, which developer Michael Rosenfeld wants to replace with two towers and a new hotel, is having a particularly good week. First, Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne wrote an editorial over the weekend arguing that the hotel should be saved. There are couple of reasons why, but design-wise, there's not much to get excited about, according to Hawthorne. "The [new] towers are competent, unexciting presences in the skyline and little more." Secondly, while critics might deride Century City from a planning point of view, Hawthorne argues the neighborhood has a "vivid appeal as an urban artifact" and that Rosenfeld's proposal-- and other developments pose a problem: "Any plan to prettify its outdoor spaces and break down its scale risks creating a muddle that is the worst of both worlds..." Please, not a muddle. Meanwhile, the Architects Newspaper covers the battle over the hotel, ending with a quote from Leo Marmol, known for his midcentury modern preservation work. He tells the paper: “To make our cities more dense is a positive thing, and I support development. But Century City has seen a loss lately.” He added, “The question is, will they allow the continued destruction of the fabric of their history, or will they say enough is enough?” Still, AN seems to think the hotel won't survive. The caption on their lead photo: "Minoru Yamasaki's Century Plaza Hotel is almost certainly bound for the wrecking ball." [LA Times/AN]