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Preservation Heatmap: LA's 18 Most and Least Threatened Sites

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Historic preservation in Los Angeles is always a rollercoaster--one minute some rich guy is threatening to tear down a lovely old Wallace Neff house and the next minute some conservancy has wrangled a rich donor to pay for a major rehab and open up an 1800s adobe to the public (ok, that's maybe a fantasy--but still, there's lots of good preservation news!). Here we've rounded up 18 historic sites that are either under threat or recently saved. Pop a Xanax, it's going to be a bumpy read.

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1. Terminal Island

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1521 Pier C St.
Long Beach, California 90813

The Port of LA's Terminal Island was named to the list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places this year--there are major plans underway to overhaul the Port, and preservationists are concerned about the threat to the island that was a pre-World War II Japanese-American community and one of the birthplaces of the tuna canning industry.

2. Lincoln Heights Jail

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421 N Ave 19
Los Angeles, CA 90031

The creepy old site is now mostly used for filming, but the LA River Revitalization Corporation and the city are working with architects to turn the property into a green zone and river gateway (they hope to start with an "urban agricultural space" on the roof).

3. Hannah Carter Japanese Garden

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10619 Bellagio Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90077

UCLA has been trying to sell off the lovely Japanese garden, saying it can't afford to keep the gift it originally received in 1964 (they've already started taking some objects off the site). Members of the Carter family are suing to stop the sale, and over the summer a judge granted a preliminary injunction halting any action for now.

4. Kronish House

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9439 Sunset Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

This Richard Neutra house off of Sunset Boulevard sparked a huge preservation battle last year that eventually ended in smiles and hugs when the house sold to Paris Hilton ex/Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos and Beverly Hills finally decided to get a preservation ordinance. However, word on the preservation street now is that Niarchos is working on a not-so-sensitive renovation of the decrepit house.

5. Village Trailer Park

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2930 Colorado Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90404

The quirky old trailer park in Santa Monica will be swept away to make room for the fancy mixed-use East Village project, leaving just 10 trailer spots and a lot of displaced residents.

6. Barry Building

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11973 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Billionaire Charles Munger has been working for years on Green Hollow Square, a retail project on the site of the the landmark International-style retail building. The environmental impact report out this year includes a project alternative that would adaptively reuse the old building, but it's unclear which version will go forward.

7. Chocolate Shoppe

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217 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Who even knew there was a Dutch-themed shop near Broadway completely decked out in tiles from the famous Ernest Batchelder. Once a soda parlor (and most recently a Metro PCS store), it's now on its way to restoration.

8. California Science Center's Air and Space Gallery

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700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

The Frank Gehry-designed building was shuttered last year and the CSC will be getting a new building to house the space shuttle Endeavour, so preservationists are concerned that the old Air and Space Gallery is on its way out. They've just managed to get it listed on the California Register.

9. Santa Monica shotgun house

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2nd St & Norman Pl
Santa Monica, CA 90405

The Santa Monica Conservancy is working on rehabilitating and moving this 1890s shotgun house (they're renting it from the city).

10. Old Atomic Cafe

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422 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The former home of the punk hangout Atomic Cafe (now more well known as Señor Fish) has got to go to make way for the Downtown Regional Connector rail line. Rather than tearing it down, they're selling it for a buck.

11. Pasadena YWCA

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78 N Marengo Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101

After years of wrangling, Pasadena finally wrested control of the Julia Morgan-designed YWCA from its neglectful owner. Now it just needs the money/partner for a full rehab.

12. Home of Waldo Waterman's flying car

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1554 5th St
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Last summer, Santa Monica's Landmark Commission declined to recognize the old home of Waldo Waterman's flying car experiment (now a Midas). It'll become a Courtyard by Marriott.

13. Sixth Street Viaduct

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E 6th St. / Whittier Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

The 1932 bridge that spans the LA River from the Arts District to Boyle Heights has had concrete cancer for a long time now and the city voted last year to replace it. Architecture firm HNTB will be designing a swoopy replacement that references the original.

14. Lankershim Train Depot

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Chandler Blvd & Lankershim Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 91601

Work finally started this year on reviving this 1892 train depot in NoHo (which once served Red Cars and the Southern Pacific Railroad). Metro owns the building and still isn't sure what it's going to do with it, but the Museum of the San Fernando Valley is backing a plan to turn it into a museum.

15. Capitol Records Tower

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1750 N Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90028

No one's trying to tear down the iconic Capitol Records building, but someone is trying to put two very tall mixed-use towers up around it. Its original architect says he always expected it'd be surrounded by taller buildings, but preservationists (and NIMBY homeowners in the Hollywood Hills) say the project will obscure the building.

16. Wyvernwood

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2901 E Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Developers are planning an enormous overhaul of the 69-acre garden apartments, which originally opened in 1939. The redevelopment would take out about 1,000 historic (and rent controlled) apartments, but add 4,400 residential units (condos and apartments) as well as retail, public space, and parks.

17. Hall of Justice

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210 W Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The rehabilitation of the long-neglected but always lovely county Hall of Justice finally got underway last year. Lots of original details will be preserved (like the vintage wood and brass elevator cars) and the building will house crimefighting county employees (the DA's office, the sheriff's office).

18. Barlow Respiratory Hospital

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2000 Stadium Way
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 882-4835
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The owners have major overhaul plans for the 1902 hospital, which originally served a tuberculosis sanitarium--they want to demolish 21 buildings on the site and put up nearly 900 residential units (plus a new hospital). Meanwhile, the property's been put up for sale.

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1. Terminal Island

1521 Pier C St., Long Beach, California 90813

The Port of LA's Terminal Island was named to the list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places this year--there are major plans underway to overhaul the Port, and preservationists are concerned about the threat to the island that was a pre-World War II Japanese-American community and one of the birthplaces of the tuna canning industry.

1521 Pier C St.
Long Beach, California 90813

2. Lincoln Heights Jail

421 N Ave 19, Los Angeles, CA 90031

The creepy old site is now mostly used for filming, but the LA River Revitalization Corporation and the city are working with architects to turn the property into a green zone and river gateway (they hope to start with an "urban agricultural space" on the roof).

421 N Ave 19
Los Angeles, CA 90031

3. Hannah Carter Japanese Garden

10619 Bellagio Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077

UCLA has been trying to sell off the lovely Japanese garden, saying it can't afford to keep the gift it originally received in 1964 (they've already started taking some objects off the site). Members of the Carter family are suing to stop the sale, and over the summer a judge granted a preliminary injunction halting any action for now.

10619 Bellagio Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90077

4. Kronish House

9439 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

This Richard Neutra house off of Sunset Boulevard sparked a huge preservation battle last year that eventually ended in smiles and hugs when the house sold to Paris Hilton ex/Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos and Beverly Hills finally decided to get a preservation ordinance. However, word on the preservation street now is that Niarchos is working on a not-so-sensitive renovation of the decrepit house.

9439 Sunset Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

5. Village Trailer Park

2930 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404

The quirky old trailer park in Santa Monica will be swept away to make room for the fancy mixed-use East Village project, leaving just 10 trailer spots and a lot of displaced residents.

2930 Colorado Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90404

6. Barry Building

11973 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

Billionaire Charles Munger has been working for years on Green Hollow Square, a retail project on the site of the the landmark International-style retail building. The environmental impact report out this year includes a project alternative that would adaptively reuse the old building, but it's unclear which version will go forward.

11973 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049

7. Chocolate Shoppe

217 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Who even knew there was a Dutch-themed shop near Broadway completely decked out in tiles from the famous Ernest Batchelder. Once a soda parlor (and most recently a Metro PCS store), it's now on its way to restoration.

217 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

8. California Science Center's Air and Space Gallery

700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037

The Frank Gehry-designed building was shuttered last year and the CSC will be getting a new building to house the space shuttle Endeavour, so preservationists are concerned that the old Air and Space Gallery is on its way out. They've just managed to get it listed on the California Register.

700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

9. Santa Monica shotgun house

2nd St & Norman Pl, Santa Monica, CA 90405

The Santa Monica Conservancy is working on rehabilitating and moving this 1890s shotgun house (they're renting it from the city).

2nd St & Norman Pl
Santa Monica, CA 90405

10. Old Atomic Cafe

422 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The former home of the punk hangout Atomic Cafe (now more well known as Señor Fish) has got to go to make way for the Downtown Regional Connector rail line. Rather than tearing it down, they're selling it for a buck.

422 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

11. Pasadena YWCA

78 N Marengo Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

After years of wrangling, Pasadena finally wrested control of the Julia Morgan-designed YWCA from its neglectful owner. Now it just needs the money/partner for a full rehab.

78 N Marengo Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101

12. Home of Waldo Waterman's flying car

1554 5th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Last summer, Santa Monica's Landmark Commission declined to recognize the old home of Waldo Waterman's flying car experiment (now a Midas). It'll become a Courtyard by Marriott.

1554 5th St
Santa Monica, CA 90401

13. Sixth Street Viaduct

E 6th St. / Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90021

The 1932 bridge that spans the LA River from the Arts District to Boyle Heights has had concrete cancer for a long time now and the city voted last year to replace it. Architecture firm HNTB will be designing a swoopy replacement that references the original.

E 6th St. / Whittier Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

14. Lankershim Train Depot

Chandler Blvd & Lankershim Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91601

Work finally started this year on reviving this 1892 train depot in NoHo (which once served Red Cars and the Southern Pacific Railroad). Metro owns the building and still isn't sure what it's going to do with it, but the Museum of the San Fernando Valley is backing a plan to turn it into a museum.

Chandler Blvd & Lankershim Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 91601

15. Capitol Records Tower

1750 N Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

No one's trying to tear down the iconic Capitol Records building, but someone is trying to put two very tall mixed-use towers up around it. Its original architect says he always expected it'd be surrounded by taller buildings, but preservationists (and NIMBY homeowners in the Hollywood Hills) say the project will obscure the building.

1750 N Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90028

16. Wyvernwood

2901 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Developers are planning an enormous overhaul of the 69-acre garden apartments, which originally opened in 1939. The redevelopment would take out about 1,000 historic (and rent controlled) apartments, but add 4,400 residential units (condos and apartments) as well as retail, public space, and parks.

2901 E Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90023

17. Hall of Justice

210 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The rehabilitation of the long-neglected but always lovely county Hall of Justice finally got underway last year. Lots of original details will be preserved (like the vintage wood and brass elevator cars) and the building will house crimefighting county employees (the DA's office, the sheriff's office).

210 W Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

18. Barlow Respiratory Hospital

2000 Stadium Way, Los Angeles, CA 90026

The owners have major overhaul plans for the 1902 hospital, which originally served a tuberculosis sanitarium--they want to demolish 21 buildings on the site and put up nearly 900 residential units (plus a new hospital). Meanwhile, the property's been put up for sale.

2000 Stadium Way
Los Angeles, CA 90026