Back in August, news broke of plans for the Alexan South Broadway tower, proposed for the corner of Ninth and Hill. The Alexan would bring with it 26 stories of luxury apartments to Downtown's Historic Core, as well as a yoga studio, pool, and a "retail bike kitchen." What it does not offer is views of the iconic clock that sits atop the nearby Eastern Columbia Building, a historic piece of Art Deco architecture fronting Broadway. Some Angelenos think that having a modern tower loom over the neighborhood doesn't fall in line with the whole "Historic" part of the neighborhood's name and from that outrage has emerged a new nonprofit organization, the Society for the Preservation of Downtown Los Angeles. They've begun a petition telling Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Jose Huizar ... Don't Block the Clock!
*A rep for developer Trammell Crow Residential emails to point out their tower is only 26 stories; the filing with the planning department, however, shows a 30-story building with only 26 numbered stories and four various mezzanine levels at the top and bottom of the building
The petition, up to nearly 600 signatures since being launched two weeks ago, claims the Alexan project would "obscure the entirety" of the western facing clock of the Eastern Columbia Building and has three demands:
1. An environmental impact report with "shade and shadow analysis"
2. For the Secretary of the Interiors Standards to weigh in on the building not being "aesthetically congruent with its historic neighbors"
3. "'Viewshed' and 'zone of respect' protection of OUR Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments."
While this is only the first major project for the SP-DTLA, it looks like it will be far from their last. Their goals are outlined on their website, with future plans to weigh in on the Pershing Square redesign, encourage the creation of more green spaces Downtown, streamline the Downtown development process, and create a "zone of respect" around historic buildings. So, look out gentrifiers and developers. There's a new sheriff in town. —Jeff Wattenhofer
· Save The Eastern Columbia Clock Tower! [Change.org]
· Luxury Tower With Some Very Tiny Units Planned For Southern Historic Core [Curbed LA]