Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge filed an emergency motion today asking for an investigation into the Church of Scientology's work on its just-purchased KCET site on the Silver Lake/Los Feliz border. The Church, eager to get going on converting the historic-cultural monument into its media hub, has already started taking out brick pavers inscribed with names of KCET donors, reports the Beverly Hills Courier. The problem is that only parts of the site are protected from demolition and no one's sure just yet if the bricks are included. A Department of Building and Safety inspector went to the site today to order that work stop until the issue is resolved and B & S says it could take a few days to sort out what's covered and what isn't. LaBonge says he wants a full historic review of the site.
Updated at 6:46 pm: Seller KCET has sent out a statement saying they were the ones doing the work at the site, and that they believe the removal of the pavers complies with the site's historic-cultural monument status. LaBonge also sent out a statement saying that "It appears from the investigation that the action taken did NOT require a building permit and the demolition work was being done by KCET and not by the Church of Scientology."
Full KCET statement:
"In 1978, the cultural heritage board of the city of Los Angeles unanimously declared portions of the KCET lot site as historic cultural monument #198. This is
the only such designation that’s been given to the property.
"That designation included the two large sound stages, the “Little Theatre” and the old brick buildings and offices connected to and adjacent to those studios. The
bricks in question were not installed until 20 years later and have never been part of any historic designation.
"As the seller--as in any real estate transaction--we are removing all signage that
belongs to KCET and we will pay tribute to all of those whose generosity had
been acknowledged on our studio property at our new location.
"In doing so, we are also making every effort to preserve the integrity of the
historic landmark the studio lot represents."
· L.A. Council Calls For Investigation Of KCET Studio Construction [BH Courier]
· Church of Scientology Says KCET Building Will Be Restored, Used As "Media Hub" [Curbed LA]