Los Angeles magazine hosted a small breakfast yesterday with actress/preservation hero Diane Keaton, LA Conservancy director Linda Dishman, and Los Angeles editor Mary Melton. A Curbed special correspondent on preservation and breakfasts filed this report, and as suspected, there really is nothing like Diane Keaton in the morning. Also we're told there was fresh-squeezed orange juice.
"Did you know Diane Keaton was born in Highland Park? I didn't. She talked at length about growing up in LA and her emotional connection to certain buildings in LA (like the Ambassador). One of the reasons she thinks the bid to save the Ambassador failed was because the hotel shut down in the 80s so there was a whole generation of Angelenos who had no emotional connection (no weddings, proms, parties there). She thinks those connections are essential to inspiring a preservation ethic.
"In contrast, the Century Plaza Hotel has been in operation since the 1960s - linda and diane think that really helped in terms of getting popular support for preservation. also, they worked closely with the developer on this issue. Linda pointed out the difference between dealing with a private developer versus the LAUSD. I believe she called the process of working with the LAUSD on preserving the Ambassador "a charade." she did not have kind words for the LAUSD. [Century Plaza saved]
"Diane seems to be placing a lot of faith in LACMA and Michael Govan. she seems to believe one of the best potential stewards for historic homes in LA will be LACMA. I'm not sure her faith is warranted - LACMA hasn't shown much initiative when it comes to architectural preservation but maybe she knows something I dont.
"the ennis house is still on the market (now down to $10.5 million) and the issue of public versus private ownership came up again...Diane said she thinks brad pitt should buy it. don't we all? [Ennis' latest pricechop]
"diane also brought up the importance of trying to recruit young hollywood into LA's preservation movement. All bemoaned the lack of philanthropy in LA. diane believes it will take just one major (younger) celebrity to kickstart the movement in LA. good luck getting the kardashians, keaton."
Dishman also talked about the Conservancy's many education initiatives, and Keaton referred to herself as a flipper--which might explain the two restored houses she has on the market right now (a Ralph Flewelling in Beverly Hills and a Lloyd Wright in Pacific Palisades).
· Diane Keaton on Century Plaza Hotel: "I'll Fight Harder than I Did For Ambassador" [Curbed LA]