At about 1:30 this morning, an "historic fire" broke out at the construction site of the Da Vinci, a massive, fortress-style apartment building where Temple meets the intersection of the 110 and the 101 Freeways in Downtown LA (both freeways were closed at various points this morning). The fire has mostly been extinguished by now and a public information officer for the LAFD tells NBC News that the Da Vinci appears to be "completely lost." No one was hurt; there was some damage to the neighboring Figueroa Plaza and to a city-owned building. The Da Vinci, from serial fortress developer Geoff Palmer, was going to be 1.3 million square feet and a full city block, practically on top of the freeway as you can see from the photos, and, like Palmer's other projects, a very bad addition to Downtown LA. We can't say we feel too sad about it going up in spectacular flames.
As we listified recently, Palmer has no regard for Downtown Los Angeles. He's responsible for the destruction of the last old house in the lost Bunker Hill neighborhood (it was supposed to be moved off the site of his Orsini development, but workers "accidentally" backed into it with a bulldozer). His Renaissance Collection—the Pieros, the Orsini, the Visconti, etc. etc.—suck the life out of their neighborhoods, besides just being ugly.
Earlier this year, city planners tried to stop Palmer from including an urbanity-killing skybridge in the now-burned Da Vinci; Palmer argued the tenants at his building needed to be protected from scary homeless people on the street-level. The City Council allowed the bridge. Palmer's buildings are also known for being squat and wide, probably because it's cheaper to build short buildings, which require wood rather than steel frames. The fire this morning was fueled by the Da Vinci's exposed wooden frame.
Unfortunately, Palmer will probably get a big insurance payout from this fire and go back to building the Da Vinci. But in our hearts, it'll always be ablaze, flames leaping into the sky high above its tawdry little seven stories.
huge fire downtown Los Angeles. looks really bad pic.twitter.com/h6GuBOik2s— Eric Politzer (@epolitzerphoto) December 8, 2014