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Mid-City burger stand denied landmark status, but it will be partially preserved

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Parts of the building will be integrated into a new development

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A 1960s-era hamburger stand in Mid-City isn’t likely to gain landmark status after the Los Angeles City Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee voted against adding the structure to the city’s list of Historic-Cultural Monuments Tuesday.

But elements of the Googie-style building may still be preserved as part of a mixed use development project planned for the property, which is located at 6001 West Pico Boulevard.

Earlier this year, Councilmember Paul Koretz led an effort to landmark the property, fearing that it would be demolished to make way for a six-story residential building.

Koretz told Curbed that the tiny hamburger stand was an example of a type of architecture that is “fast disappearing in LA.”

On Tuesday, however, Faisal Alserri, senior planning deputy for Koretz, told the committee that the councilmember had withdrawn his support for the nomination after meeting with developer Matt Nelson to find a way to preserve key elements of the building.

According to Alserri, the project’s developer has agreed to a covenant with the city guaranteeing that the restaurant’s most architecturally recognizable features—its zigzagging roof, facade, and flamboyant signage—will be integrated into the design of the new project.

The 281-square-foot structure once housed an Orange Julius and is today home to a restaurant called LA Burger, which will stay on as a tenant in the new building. Designed by influential architecture firm Armet & Davis (which also designed classic Los Angeles eateries like Johnnie’s Coffee Shop and the La Cienega Norm’s), the building was unanimously recommended for landmark status by the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission.

But Alserri said the compromise with the developer was the city’s best chance to preserve the building—at least in part.

Nelson told the committee that he’s consulted with Armet Davis Newlove—as the firm is known today—on how to integrate the structure into the new development.