The very handsome Herald-Examiner Building in Downtown LA, designed by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, has been ripe for revitalization for so long, but previous plans stalled out in the recession. Vacant since the Hearst newspaper closed in 1989, the building at Broadway and Eleventh Street has been used since only as a film set, but a very popular one. But now that DTLA's rising hotness is national news, it's finally time for this massive former newspaper headquarters to go mixed-use. The LA Times says Hearst Corp. is partnering with developer The Georgetown Company to turn the building into a combination of creative office and restaurant space (Georgetown will be the majority stakeholder).
The $40-million project would restore the 1914 building's glorious two-story lobby (which would be accessible to the public, not just future tenants) and rehab that lovely Spanish-Moorish exterior. Perhaps most strikingly, the renovations would also reopen the H-E's windows along the street; they've been closed since a decade-long strike against the paper began in 1968. Right now they just look like arched wall decorations, but they can clearly be seen in old photos, like this one from 1937, via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.
The majority of the building's interior, "which is considered far less architecturally significant" than the lobby and exterior, will be turned into 80,000 square feet of creative office space. Architectural firm Gensler is leading the renovations; a rep for the firm says that "most of the newly restored arched windows will open onto the street to allow for outdoor dining." The whole renovation is expected to wrap up by the end of 2017.
The much-anticipated restoration of the H-E building is a latecomer on the block. Developer Forest City is bringing two mixed-users to the neighborhood—one right next to the H-E building along Hill and Eleventh Streets, and another nearby at Broadway and Twelfth. According to a release by Suffolk Construction, which is the contractor on the project, the mixed-user right next to the H-E building will create 177 units and 7,500 square feet for retail on the ground floor. The building on Twelfth Street will have 214 units and 7,500 square feet of retail space at the street level. Both buildings, designed by Togawa Smith Martin, are scheduled to be finished by June 2017.