Ring in the New Year with joy and promise for preservation

| December 28, 2023 | 0 Comments

I am happy to say that 2023 was a good year for preservation with lots of activity and few major losses. There was an increased focus on the preservation of the eastern portion of our Greater Wilshire community in Larchmont, Oakwood / Maplewood / St. Andrews as well as Ridgewood-Wilton / St. Andrews Square and Western-Wilton. This positive activity included James Dastoli’s five Historic-Cultural Monument nominations and the recent designation of the historic districts of Ridgewood Place and St. Andrews Square. I am looking forward to a new year that holds much promise with new developments locally and citywide.

New LA Conservancy head
Los Angeles’s premier preservation organization, the Los Angeles Conservancy, has a new chief executive following the retirement of legendary CEO and preservationist Linda Dishman after 31 years. Adrian Scott Fine will assume leadership after serving as director of advocacy. He brings with him decades of preservation experience, including with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C., Indiana Landmarks, the California Preservation Foundation and USC’s Heritage Conservation Summer Program among other preservation gigs. Congratulation’s Adrian!

Citrus Square organizes for National Register designation
I have long advocated for the designation of Citrus Square as an historic district since the surprise demolition of 361 S. Citrus Ave. in 2019 by Reuven and Shevy Gradon. Now a group of homeowners, residents and preservationists have begun the designation process, researching and organizing in preparation for the submittal of a National Register Historic District application. The group is planning a series of outreach events including a webinar in February. I plan to be writing about this in my next column.

California Preservation Foundation Conference
The California Preservation Foundation will be returning to Los Angeles for its annual conference. Entitled “Building Shelter, Community and Sustainability,” the event will be held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel May 29-June 1. More than 600 participants from across the state will attend to learn, network, and share successes. The conference includes in excess of 40 sessions, special events, networking activities, and site tours in and around Los Angeles. It will also be exploring special localities and regionally-focused sites through “Loving Los Angeles,” taking an up-close look at some of the Los Angeles region’s best preservation successes and stories.

Local preservation developments to watch
There are a few historic sites to “watch,” sites that have been covered in this column and in other articles in this paper. These sites are attached to developments that are in various stages of progress.

The Fairfax Theater, 7901 Beverly Blvd, a designated Historic Cultural Monument is now a shell — its theater and interior gone as it awaits its entitled project to begin.

CBS Television City project (TVC 2050), 7800 Beverly Blvd., has just completed a six-week community relations blitz in which 10,000 residents, stakeholders and interested parties weighed in on the design and its potential impacts to the local community. The historic studio designed by William Pereira is to be preserved but surrounded by new construction.

The Wilshire Professional Building, 3875 Wilshire Blvd., whose owner Jameson Properties was recently chastised for allowing the landmarked treasure to deteriorate, is due to be restored as part of a larger development under construction on St. Andrews Place.
LACMA’s Japanese Pavilion by self-taught avant-garde architect Bruce Goff, celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The pavilion, which underwent a two-year restoration and renovation, is set to reopen upon the completion of the new Peter Zumthor designed Geffen Galleries in late 2024 (fingers crossed!).

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Category: Real Estate

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