The former Sunset Boulevard home of The Hollywood Reporter is well on its way to landmark status after the city’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee unanimously approved its Historic-Cultural Monument nomination Tuesday.
A representative for Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who reps the neighborhood around the building, told the committee that the councilmember was supportive of the nomination, making it likely the full council will eventually vote to landmark the property.
That could complicate plans for Harridge Development Group, which planned to demolish the property as part of a massive project centered around the nearby Crossroads of the World complex that would bring hundreds of new condos, apartments, retail space, and a hotel to the neighborhood.
If landmarked, the complex of buildings where the Hollywood Reporter published for more than 50 years could still be razed, but city officials would be able to delay demolition for up to a year to explore options for preservation.
Historians, neighbors, and preservationists argued at a September meeting of the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission that the developer’s plans for the project should be adjusted to preserve the Hollywood Reporter building and to keep the Crossroads complex, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, fully intact (current plans call for relocating one of the structures in the kitschy compound).
At Tuesday’s meeting, Celeste Hong, vice president of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, which nominated the Hollywood Reporter property as a local landmark, suggested it could be integrated into the new development—possibly as a restaurant.
Hong compared the structure's Art Deco-influenced facade to Downtown LA's Oviatt Building, which now houses the swanky Cicada restaurant.
Built in pieces, the Hollywood Reporter complex is fronted by a flashy Hollywood Regency Moderne structure designed by architect Douglas Honnold in the 1930s. The venerable trade newspaper moved out in the late 1980s and was replaced, for a while, by LA Weekly. The property now stands vacant.
For now, the complex is protected from demolition while the city considers its nomination for landmark status.