Columbia Square

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Columbia Square

Postby SkipHome » Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:28 am

i have heard some speculation that cbs will be abandoning columbia square at gowe and sunset, to consolidate all operations in a new building at their radford lot in studio city.
does anyone know the background of the building(s)? i know they are historically important, but architecturally?

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Postby nichols » Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:59 pm

1938
William Lescaze abd E.T. Heitschmidt

This has been called the only International style office building in Los Angeles.

Historic Photos: http://www.knx1070.com/info/history/photos/default.html

The newish owner of the Hollywood Palladium has purchased this adjacent property from Viacom. He has previously announced plans for a housing development on the Palladium site that have not come to pass.

This is the same guy who was in the news recently when he repossesed the community garden in South L.A.

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From LAWEEKLY.COM
A Patch of Green

On the last Sunday in February, I drove down to Alameda and 41st streets, to the community garden tended by low-income residents on 14 acres of land in the heart of an industrial zone. This was to be the last day of the garden’s life; the land had been rented from the city since 1992 by the Los Angeles Food Bank on behalf of local farmers for a dollar a year, while the city and other agencies tried from time to time to do something else with it.

From the get-go, the community garden was supposed to be temporary — two years was the original estimated life span. The Los Angeles City Harbor bought the land in 1994, but never used it, allowing the nopales cacti, the guava and the papaya trees to mature; the lean-to arbors to acquire a sense of permanence; the gardeners to feel ever more connected not only to their individual patches of earth and the food they produced (not to mention the grocery money they saved), but also to the garden as a community. A decade and some is a long time to till ground. And the garden, the third largest in all of Los Angeles, now represents a living dream to the green community and idealists everywhere. The day before my visit, Dennis Kucinich stopped by and declared that the garden was an example of what should be done in cities all over the United States. Kucinich is right, of course — dead right — but on that day his lovely values seemed to have as much chance of triumphing as his bid for the presidency. For the garden sits on prime industrial real estate, and if there is one thing that it does not do, it does not make anybody (or any municipality) rich. Thus, the acreage was eventually sold to developer Ralph Horowitz, who, despite organized protests, intends to replace the garden with warehouses and soccer fields and ordered the gardeners out. Although, of course, the story is more complicated than that.

I entered the garden through a side gate and wended my way down narrow, perpendicular paths between fenced-in, padlocked plots. With spring still a few weeks away, many of the gardens were fallow. Even so, thick green mounds of cilantro scented the air; cabbages glowed blue-gray in tidy rows; green papayas hung off small trees like swollen, pendulous breasts. I had expected to see people carrying off perennial plants and the last of their winter harvests; instead, only a handful of gardeners were in their plots, while over at the main entrance, a band was playing and various people were selling tacos, tamales, grilled corn. This was a celebration. The gardeners sued and won a temporary restraining order against Horowitz, the city of Los Angeles and others — until this week. The judge seemed to be motivated by a lack of due process: When the city decided to sell the land, the gardeners were never informed or offered a chance to buy it — conceivably, with the help of various civic organizations, they might have pulled off a sale, especially considering the price Horowitz was given in a closed-door deal, a price that seems unduly sweet for 14 acres of prime development property. Then again, the story is more complicated than that.

My writing pad and pen attracted a garden organizer, a well-spoken, fedora-wearing young man who gave his name as Tezozomoc. He led me through the acres to the plot his father once farmed, pointing out along the way traditional fruits and vegetables and medicinal plants that the mostly low-income, Latino gardeners have cultivated: chipalin, chayote squash, guajes (a tree bean), huantxontle (whose seedy flowers taste like cauliflower), the anise-like oja de santissima. Banana leaves clattered around us in the breeze. Tezo knew his facts by heart: 347 families eat from these gardens, which provide a form of family and community recreation in a district with the lowest amount of open space in the city. “There’s no drinking here, no vandalism, no graffiti; for over 12 years the gardeners haven’t taken a single penny from the city,â€￾ Tezo declared. “We pay our for own water, portable toilets and dumpsters.â€￾ Then, he told me the long, complicated, at times murky, story of the land.

Back in 1986, the city purchased the land from developer Ralph Horowitz (yes, the same Ralph Horowitz who just bought it), effecting that long-ago sale through eminent domain in order to build the massive LANCER trash incinerator and recycling plant. Environmental justice activists protested, and the incinerator idea was abandoned. With the help of the Los Angeles Food Bank, which sits across the street from the garden, local gardeners cleared the rubble of old buildings off the property and began working the land in 1992. Meanwhile, Horowitz protested the 1994 sale to the Port Authority, claiming he had right of first refusal in the event of any sale. He took his objection to court several times, only to be told he had no legal claim. Nevertheless (and this is where the murkiness comes in), at some point — at a time difficult to ascertain, since, said Tezo, “it was never disclosed to people like myselfâ€￾ — Horowitz repurchased the land from the city for only a few hundred thousand dollars more than he sold it for in 1986. In short order, the Food Bank was told that the farmers would have to vacate the premises to make way for warehouses and soccer fields. Throughout this transaction, the farmers, the people using the land, received no notice that anything was afoot.

Since the sale, the farmers have marched, attended City Council meetings, and now sued Horowitz. Their action has energized the community, as has the support of public figures like Kucinich, actor James Cromwell (the farmer in Babe), and chef Nancy Silverton, co-owner of Campanile and founder of the La Brea Bakery.

Al Renner of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council allows that Horowitz (who is responsible for both the Home Depot on Figueroa and the creation of the Los Angeles River Center at the site of the old Lawry’s California Center) isn’t “so bad, as developers go.â€￾ He’s been encouraging everyone to keep planting. And just this week his optimism has been rewarded. On Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe granted a preliminary injunction halting the transfer of the land to Horowitz. It’s not a permanent win for the gardeners, but, this time, as the gardener’s attorney Dan Stormer told the press, “it won’t be a backroom deal. It will be something the public gets to scrutinize and my clients get to participate [in].â€￾ Meanwhile, the farmers can stay on their land.

Back on that last Sunday in February, as Tezo and I stood in his sunny plot by a fuzzy tobacco plant, we watched a man reach through the fence of a neighboring plot and pull out several handfuls of greens. Tezo yelled at him in Spanish, “Don’t steal! Don’t steal!â€￾

The man looked up at us, shrugged, and said, “Do you know where there’s any epazote?â€￾

—Michelle Huneven

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Postby Nathan » Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:47 pm


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Postby nichols » Fri Oct 22, 2004 2:59 pm

Contemporary photo of Columbia Square

http://www.gmrnet.com/graphics/kcbstv.jpg

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Columbia Square

Postby lasvegaslynn » Mon Nov 08, 2004 7:19 pm

I am reading Kevin Brownlow's book "The Parade's Gone By" about the days of silent film making. According to the book, Columbia Square is the site of the first movie studio in Los Angeles.

Anybody know if this is true? I don't doubt Brownlow but the book is mainly interviews with the filmmakers of that era and memory can be faulty. Plus the book was published in 1969.

Can anyone verify this?

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Re: Columbia Square

Postby davidk6 » Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:07 pm


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Postby nichols » Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:55 pm

CBS is shutting down Columbia Square on Friday.
Ack.



http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... story?coll
=la-home-local

August 11, 2005

latimes.com : California

THE STATE



Hollywood, Radio Finally Part Waves



By Bob Pool, Times Staff Writer


If everything goes as expected, nobody will really notice.

But with the planned flip of a switch at 11:05 p.m. Friday, another piece of Hollywood's golden age will disappear forever.


Microphones at the last radio station in Hollywood will go dead as announcers and newscasters complete their final on-air shift at the historic Columbia Square broadcast center.

The relocation of Los Angeles' first radio station, KNX-AM (1070), to new studios in Wilshire Boulevard's Miracle Mile area will end an 85-year tradition of radio broadcasting in the place that bills itself as the world's center of entertainment.

Over the years, Hollywood has been home to 68 radio stations and nine television stations. In the last few years, five television stations have left.

And when Columbia Square is shut down next year, two more — KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 — will move to new headquarters being built in Studio City. That will leave just two television stations, KTLA-TV Channel 5 and KCET-TV Channel 28, in Tinseltown.

After KCBS and KCAL depart, the Streamline Moderne building at 6121 Sunset Blvd. is expected to be demolished to make way for new development.

"I never thought I'd see the day when there are no radio broadcasts out of Hollywood," said KNX assistant news director Ronnie Bradford, who joined the station in 1968. "This is a company town — movies, television and radio."

The exodus ironically comes as Hollywood is in the midst of a major upswing. After years of decline, crime is down and a host of new trendy bars, restaurants, hotels and theaters has drawn young people back.

But many believe that the loss of radio has less to do with neighborhood revitalization than corporate economics.

The dozens of radio and TV stations, once independently owned, are now part of big corporate chains. These companies, like Infinity and Clear Channel, save money by consolidating engineering and administrative jobs under one roof. The radio and TV buildings in Hollywood are old, making it hard to conform with the latest technology.

Infinity owns seven radio stations, including KROQ-FM (106.7) and KRTH-FM (101), while Clear Channel owns 10, such as KIIS-FM (102.7) and KFI-AM (640).

For some, Friday will mark a dark day in Hollywood — and a reminder of how much the radio business has changed.

"There was a time when big stars were available to come on radio shows. They'd be passing by a studio and would just stop and come inside," said Johnny Grant, who had a 1951-59 afternoon show on Sunset Boulevard's KMPC-AM (710).

"Someone would call back, 'Bing Crosby's out here — what should I do with him?' And I'd say, 'Bring him on back,' and I'd put him on the air."


With its porthole-windowed studio doors and chrome-accented, round-cornered interior walls, Columbia Square was considered America's most spacious and technologically advanced broadcast facility when CBS built it in 1938. Legendary CBS President William S. Paley personally oversaw its design and officiated at its dedication.

It boasted eight large broadcasting studios, including one theater-like room that could seat an audience of 1,050.

"Radio was so important to everybody back then; there was no TV. Columbia Square was the epitome of radio. Everything was modern. It was beautiful," remembered Sherman Oaks resident Art Gilmore, who was working as a KNX announcer the day Columbia Square opened.

During the 1940s and '50s hundreds would line up in the building's U-shaped forecourt to get in to see live productions of radio shows featuring Jack Benny, Art Linkletter, Burns and Allen, Edgar Bergen, Orson Welles, Jackie Gleason, Steve Allen, Eddie Cantor, Rosemary Clooney and Ed Wynn.

Celebrities rubbed elbows with fans at Brittingham's Restaurant, on the east side of the forecourt. Passersby could watch broadcast engineers sending out the CBS West Coast feed from a large, almost theatrical-looking master control room visible through a wide front window. Forty-five-minute tours of the studios were offered daily for 40 cents.


"It was a little awesome just walking into Columbia Square," said Mel Baldwin, who worked as a KNX announcer, overnight "Music 'Til Dawn" disc jockey and program host between 1951 and 1991. He is now retired and living in Port Orange, Fla.

In the 1950s, radio dramas were still being produced in front of live audiences, Baldwin said.



"We had ushers that worked full time to make sure we had crowds for the shows. Studio B seated about 400 people. If it wasn't filled, they'd be out on Vine Street handing out comp tickets."

Former broadcast executive Don Barrett, who in the early 1970s ran KIQQ-FM in Hollywood and now operates the LARadio.com website, credits a childhood visit to Columbia Square with launching his career.

He was about 9 when his Cub Scout pack went there to watch a western-themed radio show being produced. Remembering the hoofbeats from previous broadcasts, Barrett figured he would be going to a ranch where real horses were galloping about.

"But there were actors reading from pages, and sound effects were doing the clomping. Then Gene Autry came out. Right then I fell in love with radio," said Barrett of Santa Clarita. "My love affair with radio started in that building."

During that period, all four radio networks had Hollywood studios within steps of each other around Vine Street, which was known as radio row.

"NBC was at Sunset and Vine. ABC was across the street on Vine. Mutual was also on Vine. CBS' Columbia Square was on Sunset. It was a very busy place," said David Schwartz, who was KIIS-FM's assistant music director when it was in Hollywood.

With the help of friends who are broadcast buffs or former on-air personalities, radio historian Jim Hilliker has tallied the call letters of 68 radio stations — some with transmitters as far away as Mexico — that were based in Hollywood at one time or another. KNX, which was launched in 1920 in the back bedroom of a house on Hollywood's Harold Way and officially licensed by the federal government as a commercial station a year later, is Los Angeles' oldest station.

No L.A. station has stayed in one place as long as the 67 years that KNX has resided at Columbia Square, Hilliker said. Besides changing addresses, many Los Angeles stations have changed call letters too.

KNX will join four other Infinity Broadcasting Corp. stations — KFWB-AM (980), KLSX-FM (97.1), KTWV-FM (94.7) and KRTH-FM — at 5670 Wilshire Blvd. At that high-rise, KNX and longtime news-radio rival KFWB will share the same floor — separated only by a wall that features a sliding-glass window, said KNX news director Ed Pyle.

KFWB moved there June 24 after spending 80 years in Hollywood.

Left behind at its old Yucca Street studios was a large neon sign bearing the KFWB call letters and twin antique microphones. A community group, the Hollywood Project Area Committee, is campaigning to preserve the distinctive sign, which dates from the days when Warner Bros. owned the station and operated it on Hollywood Boulevard.

Community activist John Walsh said the group was also attempting to block the demolition of Columbia Square. Acquired 1½ years ago for $15 million by a partnership called Sungow Corp. and rented back to Infinity's parent company, Viacom, the structure is widely expected to be torn down so the site can be redeveloped.

Alan Shuman, a Sungow partner, said there were "no plans at the moment" for the property, however.

The most ardent supporters of Columbia Square concede that the broadcast center is probably doomed.

Dan Gingold, who worked 18 years there as a television director for what is now KCBS-TV, is trying to piece together a video documentary about the place.

"I don't think any one of us realized it was a wonderful Art Deco landmark that should be preserved in history. At this point, I think preservation is a lost cause," said Gingold of Sherman Oaks.

George Nicholaw, who spent 36 years at KNX before leaving as general manager in 2003, said he mapped out a plan for preserving Columbia Square shortly after Viacom acquired the CBS stations.

Under his proposal, a new building atop an underground parking garage at the rear of Columbia Square would have housed Infinity's seven local radio stations. That would have cleared the way for the 1938 building to be remodeled and used exclusively by KCBS-TV and sister-station KCAL-TV, he said. The two TV stations are scheduled to move to Studio City late next year.

"That would have saved the building. I sent a presentation to New York but never heard back from them. I gave it a go. Columbia Square is a historical monument and part of Hollywood's history. It's a shame that they can't add on and expand it," said Nicholaw, a Hollywood resident.

Current KNX employees said they would miss walking in the footsteps of broadcasting giants.


"As a kid, I'd ride my bike here. My mom said Jack Benny worked here, and James Dean was an usher here. Bob Crane did his show from this very room," production chief Raul Moreno said.

KNX reporter Michael Linder has produced a 55-minute retrospective of Columbia Square's radio history scheduled to run Friday at 10:05 p.m. It will be the last time that old-fashioned reel-to-reel recorders and cart tape machines are used: The new studios are all digital.

Never mind the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he said. "The stars walked up and down this very corridor."

*

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Once in Hollywood

Here is a list of radio stations that once had studios in Tinseltown:

KFPG-AM (570)

KMTR-AM (570)

KLAC-AM (570)

XETRA-AM (690)

KMPC-AM (710)

KBIG-AM (740)

KECA-AM (790)

KABC-AM (790)

KHJ-AM (930)

KKHJ-AM (930)

KFWB-AM (980)

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Postby Lynxwiler » Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:18 pm

"Left behind at its old Yucca Street studios was a large neon sign bearing the KFWB call letters and twin antique microphones. A community group, the Hollywood Project Area Committee, is campaigning to preserve the distinctive sign, which dates from the days when Warner Bros. owned the station and operated it on Hollywood Boulevard. "

The Museum of Neon Art is also interested in that KFWB neon signage. It was originally located on Hollywood Boulevard next to the Warner Bros. Theater, but was moved to Yucca with the station. If for some reason the neon cannot be preserved in place, MONA would certainly offer it a space next to the Hollywood "Brown Derby".

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Destruction of Columbia Square

Postby lasvegaslynn » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:21 pm


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Postby nichols » Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:53 am


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Postby nichols » Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:47 am

With regard to the Nestor studios, studio historian Marc Wanamaker says NW Corner of Sunset & Gower, not SW.

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Dear Chris, thanks for checking studio facts with ME. Columbia Square is the site of the Nestor/Universal Studio established in 1911 on the NW corner of Gower and Sunset and is the first studio IN HOLLYWOOD (not Los Angeles). Hope this helps your clarification...

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Columbia Square

Postby lasvegaslynn » Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:19 pm

"maybe it will grow wings and fly away, or....>

Or maybe it will be preserved. If it really is the only International style building left in Los Angeles, I would hate to lose it to another box mall type developement.

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Postby nichols » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:41 am

http://www.nationaltrust.org/magazine/a ... 103105.htm

Image
Hollywood Radio Star Threatened

Story by Meghan Hogan / Oct. 31, 2005


Designed by Edward Lescaze, the five-story Columbia Square building on Sunset Boulevard cannot be torn down without an environmental-imapct study.


Another radio star could soon be killed—not by video this time, but by development.

Hollywood's 1938 Columbia Square will be vacant in a few months after Los Angeles television stations KCBS and KCAL relocate to a new building next to the CBS Studio Center in Studio City, Calif. The city's first radio station, KNX-AM, moved out in August.

"The building's future is very much in question," says Ken Bernstein, director of preservation issues at the Los Angeles Conservancy. While no specific proposals have been made, residential, commercial, and big-box retail development have all been discussed, Bernstein says.

The Los Angeles Conservancy is working with city officials to find a new purpose for Columbia Square. The good news is that since the building is classified as a historic resource for a Hollywood redevelopment plan, it can't be demolished without an environmental-impact review conducted first.

Situated on the former site of Los Angeles' very first movie studio, Nestor Film Company, the Edward Lescaze-designed structure already had a past when it was built in 1938. The pilot for "I Love Lucy" was filmed in the eight-studio facility; James Dean ushered there; and in its early days, long lines of fans would wait outside for live broadcasts by Gene Autry, Rosemary Clooney, and Orson Welles. Many radio classics, including the George Burns & Gracie Allen Show and the Bing Crosby Show, were recorded at Columbia Square.

"It's an important site in entertainment history for both Hollywood and the nation," Bernstein says, pointing out that it is also one of Los Angeles' earliest International-style structures.

The conservancy is interested in an adaptive-reuse plan that could involve turning Columbia Square, along with the nearby historic Hollywood Palladium performance venue, into an entertainment complex of sorts, Bernstein says. "We're looking at how we could assemble that whole stretch of Sunset Boulevard."









 

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Postby nichols » Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:37 am


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Postby SDR » Sun Jan 01, 2006 11:13 am

The upper half of Mr Linder's page is gorgeous, the lower half is. . .simultaneously funny and creepy ! I wouldn't change it for the world. . .

Happy New Year ! SDR
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Postby nichols » Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:51 am

I don't get it... This? :eek:
Image

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Postby nichols » Thu May 04, 2006 11:14 am

From Franklin Avenue blog:

Stumbled upon a cool feature on the KCBS/KCAL website: The Building of a TV Station.

The site is chronicling, via video and photos, the construction of its new home on the CBS Radford lot in Studio City. Once it's built (by the end of the year), KCBS and KCAL will move in -- leaving Columbia Square for good -- and CBS Entertainment will eventually move in as well (departing CBS Television City)...

http://franklinavenue.blogspot.com/2006 ... ation.html

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Postby Lynxwiler » Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:19 pm

From GlobeSt.com
By Bob Howard

Historic CBS Radio Complex Commands $66M

HOLLYWOOD, CA-Las Vegas-based developer Molasky Pacific LLC plans to redevelop the historic CBS Radio complex known as Columbia Square at 6121 Sunset Blvd. after acquiring the property for $66 million, according to Madison Partners. Lynwood Fields of Madison Partners, who brokered the sale, tells GlobeSt.com that Molasky Pacific plans to redevelop the 125,000-sf building to continue to attract entertainment industry tenants and is considering options that would include adding some residential units to the office and broadcasting facility.

The property, which is 100% occupied, was built in 1938 as a CBS radio studio and was considered cutting-edge when it was built. During the decades that followed, television shows that were broadcast from Columbia Square included the Jack Benny Show, the George Burns & Gracie Allen Show and the pilot episode for I Love Lucy.

Fields, who represented both Molasky and seller Sungow LLC, calls the property “a rare opportunity to breathe new life into a relic of the golden age of Hollywood." According to Helmi Hisserich, regional adminsitrator for the Community Redevelopment Agency, the redevelopment of Columbia Square will provide new housing, office and entertainment uses “while preserving the key historical elements of the property."

The 6121 Sunset building, situated on 4.69 acres, is home to KCBS-TV, KCAL-TV and KNX NewsRadio. All three are scheduled to relocate to a new facility adjacent to CBS Studio Center in nearby Studio City.

Fields tells GlobeSt.com that the redevelopment of the building will become part of the ongoing renaissance in Hollywood, where a host of retail, office, residential and entertainment projects have taken off in recent years. “This development foresees maintaining the studio portion of the property and developing around it,â€￾ he says.

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Postby lasvegaslynn » Sun Aug 06, 2006 9:56 pm

“This development foresees maintaining the studio portion of the property and developing around it,â€￾ he says.>>

Anybody feeling lucky?

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Postby Lynxwiler » Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:11 am


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Columbia Square

Postby Deco Lover » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:55 pm


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Postby Nathan » Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:29 pm


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Postby nichols » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:51 am

Nathan, I have two restaurant leads for the Brittingham's Radio Center Space... Can you provide a contact? (call or PM)

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Postby nichols » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:15 am

Image
Image

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Postby nichols » Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:48 pm

Image
Folks at Curbed found a rendering of the new project.
http://la.curbed.com/archives/2007/03/e ... unse_1.php

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Postby Lynxwiler » Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:41 pm


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Postby nichols » Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:59 am



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