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A Local Do-Gooder Got Jared Leto's Nuclear Bomb Film Studio Landmarked For Him

How was the Lookout Mountain Air Force station not already a city landmark? Used by the military between 1947 and 1963 as a top secret nuclear bomb film studio—complete with screening rooms, processing labs, a soundstage, and more than 250 filmmakers (probably with super-high security clearances)—the facilities processed film for the Manhattan Project, and was visited by Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and then-President Harry S. Truman, according to the Cultural Heritage Commission's report on the station. Decommissioned in 1968, the house was a private residence and then a rehab center (not a great one). Now, it's owned by Dallas Buyers Club actor/rock star Jared Leto and, as of December 2, is officially a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

Lookout Mountain's nomination wasn't submitted by Leto, but by Jim Nelson, a man who, by his own account, did some restoration work on the cool, Manhattan Project-era parts of the property after the disastrous rehab center got kicked out, but before Leto bought it. (Nelson was also a former Vice President of Planning and Development at Universal Studios and helped oversee the creation of Universal CityWalk.)

Nelson says that Leto knew that he was planning to nominate the property for Historic-Cultural Monument status and seemed to be supportive, but that a lawyer for the actor still showed up at a hearing to speak against the nomination. According to Nelson, he submitted the application to the Office of Historic Resources and the Cultural Heritage Commission in November 2014—before Leto bought the decommissioned military facility for $5 million in December 2014.
· Investigating the Shadowy Conspiracy That Led Jared Leto to Buy the Nuclear Bomb Film Studio of Laurel Canyon [Curbed LA]
· Military's Secret Nuclear Bomb Film Studio Compound in Laurel Canyon is Now a Rehab Center [Curbed LA]
· Lookout Mountain Air Force Station [LA City Planning]