Earlier this month, the Harridge Development Group revealed new renderings of a massive development set to rise around Hollywood’s Crossroads of the World complex. As part of the project, the company plans to renovate the kitschy attraction, built in the 1930s and a city landmark since 1974.
But preservationists are concerned about another historic property on the project site: the Moderne-style building at 6713 Sunset Boulevard that housed The Hollywood Reporter for decades (LA Weekly also occupied the building for many years).
According to an environmental impact report, the Reporter building would be one of six historically significant properties demolished to make way for the new development, which would bring a hotel and two residential towers to the area.
On Tuesday, however, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning received a Historic Cultural Monument application for the Reporter building, which could spare the property from the wrecking ball—at least for a little while.
If the Cultural Heritage Commission agrees to consider the application—which seems likely, given the building’s long association with one of the LA’s signature publications—the property cannot be demolished as long as the city is reviewing the nomination.
If the building eventually achieves monument status, it can still be razed, but city officials would be able to delay demolition up to a year so that options for preservation could be considered.
The Historic-Cultural Monument application was submitted by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, which announced its plans to nominate the property for landmark status in a post on its website in 2015.
Author and preservationist Charles Fisher prepared the application on behalf of the group. He tells Curbed that the building deserves to be preserved because of its architecture and historical significance.
Built in pieces over the course of several decades, the Sunset-facing structure was originally developed by Hollywood Reporter founder William Wilkerson as a menswear shop called Sunset House. The entertainment newspaper moved in after the business folded.
The distinctive Moderne facade was designed in the 1930s by architect Douglas Honnold, who later partnered with John Lautner to design the Googie-style Coffee Dan’s restaurants in Hollywood and Downtown. A larger printing structure and connecting building were later added in the back.
In 2010, a survey of the Hollywood area conducted by the Community Redevelopment Agency identified the property as historically significant and potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
Having sat empty for several years (the LA Weekly moved out in 2008), the building has certainly seen better days. One question likely to come up as the debate over its preservation goes forward is how much it would cost to rehabilitate the structure.
Fisher says it would be worth it to repurpose the property. “The building’s here,” he says. “It could be utilized.”