We've been talking a lot about the great Organic Modernist architect John Lautner and preservation lately—a long lost (and rundown) house of his in Echo Park just recently hit the market and today we heard about all the work that went into preserving his incredible Chemosphere house. Now a sadder, more complicated tale, about his 1979 Crippled Children's Society Rehabilitation Center in Woodland Hills that's probably headed to demolition in order to make room for an 81-unit assisted living facility, reports San Fernando Valley Blog. The Lautner, located at 6530 Winnetka Avenue, is currently in use as AbilityFirst's Paul Weston Work Center, which is devoted to the awesome endeavor of matching up developmentally disabled adults with jobs. In other words, it has a long tradition of being a home for community service. The Center popped up on a city public notice posted last week, which did not mention it by name, but did say that at 6530 to 6560 Winnetka "[a]n office and employment training center totaling approximately 12,000 square feet [would] be demolished."
Listing site Loopnet and the city's zoning website show two buildings on the property (which is listed as including 6530, 6554, and 6560 Winnetka). The Lautner is listed by both sources as being about 11,200 square feet (they rounded up a bit on the notice). The only other building on the plot is a mere 5,600 square feet, according to the zoning site, and, according to SFVB, it's already been demolished. It would seem indeed that the Lautner is destined for destruction.
Normally, when architectural works of this caliber are torn down (for some McMansion or similar eyesore), it's outrageous. But in this case, it seems almost fitting that a building built to serve disabled children and now serves developmentally disabled adults become a facility for some of the neediest older people there are. Still, very sad they couldn't keep it.
· Woodland Hills Building Designed By John Lautner Planned for Demolition to Build Eldercare Facility [SFVB]
· AbilityFirst's Paul Weston Work Center [LAC]
· John Lautner [Curbed LA]