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New WeHo hotel/housing project might wipe out half of Eames-designed 1940s showroom

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It’s a rare example of the Eames’s commercial design

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West Hollywood developer Jason Illoulian’s Faring Capital is working on a new project at Robertson and Beverly that would hold a nine-story hotel, ground-floor retail, and units of housing, reports WeHoville.

Some residents, who saw early plans for the development at a community meeting last week, are opposed to the size, and preservationists are keeping their eyes on the its impact on a former Herman Miller furniture showroom—which stands in the path of the proposed mixed-use complex.

The showroom was designed by famed midcentury modern designers and husband-and-wife team, Charles and Ray Eames, Los Angeles Magazine reports. It’s reportedly the only commercial building designed by the Eameses, who were famous for their furniture and residential projects.

Last week, an associate planner with the city of West Hollywood told the magazine that the developer planned to keep half of the glass-fronted Eames building intact, but would scrap the other half, replacing that section with a portion of a new building.

Herman Miller showroom designed by Charles Eames 1950. Now #eames #westhollywood #beverlyblvd #hermanmiller

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Also on the site now are an Art Deco building that once housed the high-end home furnishing store Poliform, a four-story apartment building, and a shop that once housed a Tommy Hilfiger store.Adrian Scott Fine, the preservation director of the LA Conservancy, is hoping that the final plan for the Eames building is more “sensitive” than this preliminary one, says LA Mag.

Roy Oldenkamp, who leads the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance, told WeHoville that his group wants to see the Eames building landmarked. But preserving it would be a challenge, he said, because the developer is planning to install three levels of below-ground parking for the project. Illoulian told WeHoville it would be held up by stilts while digging occurred underneath it to build parking.

Illoulian also emphasized to attendees of the community meeting that the project is in the early stages and is subject to change, saying “This is where we start the project, not where we end it.” Illoulian told Curbed in an email that Faring Capital is planning to make restoration of the Eames structure “the centerpiece of our project.”

Faring Capital is co-developer on the West Hollywood project that will save the bulk (but not all of) the one-time nightclub The Factory and incorporate it into a new retail and hotel project on Robertson near Santa Monica Bouelvard. In that case, the preservation and integration of the legendary gay club was dubbed a preservation win by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.