The Streamline Moderne-style building on Silver Lake Boulevard that once housed the colorful gift and homewares store Yolk has been largely demolished—without warning.
Building owner Silverlake Jbg Jogani LLC had obtained permits for a remodel, but the level of work it actually did went beyond what those permits allowed, says Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety spokesperson Kim Arther. A demolition permit had not been issued.
The unpermitted work obliterated the 1930s-era facade of the building. The whole front half of the building appears to gone, photos of the site show.
Earlier this year, plans had been submitted to LADBS to add a four-story office “addition” to the existing one-story building. Those plans had yet to be approved, public records show.
Arther says that since the property owner didn’t have a permit for the work they had been doing, an “order to comply” will be issued that will halt all unauthorized work on the site. Silverlake Jbg Jogani LLC will have to get all the proper permits before any work can continue. The owner did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
The Moderne building was not landmarked, but it did have a connection to midcentury Los Angeles history as the one-time office of renowned structural engineer Eugene Birnbaum—a pioneer in his field and a gamechanger for the construction of residences and high-rises in the city, the Los Angeles Times reported in Birnbaum’s 1999 obituary.
The neighborhood site NextDoor erupted with Silver Lake residents enraged over the unpermitted erasure of the building. Many saw it as the latest unsavory addition in a trend of new development coming into the neighborhood and taking out charming older structures.
The Yolk store is about three doors away from an old gas station on Silver Lake Boulevard that the community rallied to save. The nearly landmarked gas station was slated to be razed to make way for a 14-unit apartment building. In a compromise, the gas station will be moved near the LA River, where it will be repurposed as a concession stand. The residential project can proceed on the property.