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In Danger of Demo, William Pereira-Designed Campus Near Echo Park May Get Landmarked

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The developer next-door is intervening

    Preservationists and architecture fans alike were saddened to hear that the down-on-their-luck remains of the William Pereira-designed Metropolitan Water District campus on Sunset Boulevard, near Beaudry Avenue, would be demolished soon.

    But now, at what seems like the eleventh hour, the developers who own the fancy Elysian apartments next-door have applied to have the structures named city landmarks, Eastsider LA reports. If named a city Historic-Cultural Landmark, the Pereira-designed buildings would be harder, though not impossible, to demolish.

    William Pereira was a well-known architect throughout LA and California. He designed the original LACMA buildings, and, in San Diego, the stunning Brutalist Giesel Library.

    Palisades Capital Partners, the new owners of the property holding the Pereira buildings and adjoining church in Victor Heights, near eastern Echo Park, has said it wants to build a large mixed-use complex on the 5.3-acre site.

    In its application, Linear City says the MWD structures, "symbolize the establishment and maturation of Los Angeles and Southern California as a major US city and metropolitan area." Linear City converted a Pereira-designed MWD office tower into its Elysian apartments, and its property is super close to the Palisades site.

    Palisades told Eastsider that its Pereira buildings have been, “significantly altered." It also said it's concerned that the buildings, in their present state “raise concerns about public safety and blight," calling them, "derelict."

    Now, the Cultural Heritage Commission has to decide whether to consider the application. A preliminary recommendation is expected to be handed down this week.

  • Landmark protection proposed for Echo Park area office buildings threatened with demolition [ELA]
  • Former Megachurch and Pereira-Designed Complex in Echo Park Set to Be Razed [Curbed LA]
  • Huge Mixed-Use Development Headed For the Echo Park/Chinatown Border [Curbed LA]