Short of landmarking the building, this is probably the happiest, most fitting ending that the old flagship Tower Records building on Sunset Boulevard could have hoped for—instead of being redeveloped, it'll become a showroom for musical instruments and electronics from Gibson Brands, which include not only the legendary Gibson guitars, but also Wurlitzer, Epiphone, Kramer, and musically-focused electronics brands like Philips. The LA Times reports that Gibson plans to drop at least $1 million into renovating the 8,700-square-foot building into something "very evocative of Tower, not a 20-story palace or anything."
Plans surfaced nearly a decade ago for a retail development called Centrum Sunset that would require demolition for the famous old Tower Records building, fondly recalled in the minds of locals as a place where you could shop for records next to famous musicians. Several versions of the project were presented to the West Hollywood City Council—with a gym, without a gym; with digital signs, with fewer digital signs—none were ever approved, though the specter of destruction continued to loom large over the site until now. (Preservationists fought for landmarking, which was denied on the grounds that the building itself was nothing special without its history.)
Gibson's signed 15-year lease for the property, and after the makeover, plans to host occasional live music in the Sunset Strip tradition. The new, as-yet-unnamed space is scheduled to open by the end of the year, hopefully with a lot less white paint on it.
· Gibson to open store at former Tower Records site in West Hollywood [LAT]
· Flagship Tower Records On The Strip Won't Be Landmarked [Curbed LA]