After two hours of testimony this week, the West Hollywood preservation commission was unable to reach a decision on whether they ought to--or were even able to--designate the old Tower Records site on Sunset Boulevard an official landmark. As West Hollywood Patch reports, the commissioners agreed that the location was a historic one (before it was an iconic Tower, it was the sort-of birthplace of the car stereo), but were unsure if it met the standards under the California Environmental Equality Act, or even West Hollywood's own, more lax, preservation code. As one commissioner explained, "it's always tricky dealing with retail locations because we're really talking about designating not so much the building, but the tenancy of the building," and with the iconic red and yellow signage gone there's nothing Tower Records-y left about the site.
He went on to say that problem before the commission was "not a significance issue, it's an integrity issue." City staff had recommended that the commission reject the application to landmark the building, which they may yet do when they take the matter up again at the next commission meeting. In the meantime, the city attorney has been asked to provide guidance on the issue of "historic integrity." Some boosters hope to get the site landmarked so it can be turned into a music museum.
· Historic Preservation Commission Undecided on Tower Records [WeHo Patch]
· Sunset's Tower Records/Birthplace of the Car Stereo Could Have Tough Road to Landmarking [Curbed LA]