Wilshire and La Brea - Columbia Savings

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Wilshire and La Brea - Columbia Savings

Postby Lynxwiler » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:27 pm

From the Larchmont Chronicle, March 3, 2006:

MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT ON WILSHIRE
Mixed-Use 27-Story Development Proposed at Wilshire and La Brea
By Suzan Filipek

A 27-floor condo-retail development is being proposed at the northeast [incorrect, should be southeast] corner of Wilshire Blvd. and La Brea Ave.

Cal-Coast Homes plans a development that will stand 16 stories on Wilshire and would rise 27 stories south along La Brea, according to city officials, who met with developer Edward Miller last month.

Designed by architect Herb Nadel, the development includes 336 condos above 32,000-square feet of ground-floor retail, said Renee Weitzer, chief of staff to Councilman Tom LaBonge.

Another 16 townhomes would be built along Sycamore Ave., south of Wilshire. Above and below-ground parking is for 1,083 spaces.

“It’s a very attractive design with a nice corner open element on Wilshire,â€￾ Weitzer said.

Because the property is about one mile east of the Miracle Mile it is not subject to Community Overlay District architecture and setback standards. The developer does, however, seek a zone change to increase allowable square footage. Weitzer added the project is in preliminary phases.

Miller, who purchased the 3.6-acre parcel, which includes Wilshire Grace Church and Metro Plaza mini mall, met with members of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association last fall.

Sycamore president Liz Fuller said the developer outlined plans for the 1,700-square foot-project with two-bedroom condos and ground floor retail.

Residents welcomed quality restaurants and stores into the neighborhood but were concerned with traffic impacts and the development’s multi-story height overshadowing their properties, she added.

Miller, the developer, did not return calls for this article.

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Postby Lynxwiler » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:43 pm

This development threatens the Wilshire Grace Church and Metro Plaza mall which is anchored by the Art Deco, Wilshire-La Brea Recreation Center. I know some people will be upset by the loss of the Wilshire Grace Church, a former bank which I believe dates to the 1960s and retains its bronze water sculpture along La Brea, but I regret the loss of the old Art Deco bowling alley.

I find it vile that the historic Miracle Mile is booming with Fake Art Deco structures left and right, but when it comes time to actually save a true piece of Art Deco architecture in the neighborhood, no one gives a rip! Instead of cherishing the real thing, we worship CityWalk.

The Miracle Mile Residential Association has already put out its request that this new 27-story tower be designed in this Fake Art Deco style to match the other Fake Art Deco buildings in the quickly becoming fake-historic neighborhood. Although I don't know if the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association is of the same mindset, I must say I'm disappointed. Truly disappointed with the neighborhood's and the MMRA's lack of vision.

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Postby nichols » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:28 pm

You don't mean the former Frank Sanders (Murphy) Oldsmobile dealer that's now a mini mall do you? (or are they one in the same?) with the tower in the center?

Incidentally, that '60s mod church originally wiped out the great olde tyme RITZ theater at Wilshire and La Brea

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Condo Bldg. @ Wilshire & La Brea

Postby Deco Lover » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:22 pm

I agree that it seems now fake Art Deco, seems to be the design
dejour along Wilshire. It is a real shame that the authentic
Art Deco buildings are either in jeopardy of being demolished
or significantly altered such as the Desmonds building. A large
example of fake Art Deco, is the office building across the street
from the Peterson Auto Museum.

:cry:

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Postby nichols » Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:49 am

Deco Lover wrote:

"A large
example of fake Art Deco, is the office building across the street
from the Peterson Auto Museum."

Image
http://www.ardenrealty.com/op_show_sele ... ?bldg=1070

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Postby Lynxwiler » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:45 pm

[quote="nichols"]You don't mean the former Frank Sanders (Murphy) Oldsmobile dealer that's now a mini mall do you? (or are they one in the same?) with the tower in the center?[/quote]

I believe it is the same two-story structure. Its Art Deco tower currently reads "Metro Plaza" or some such, and is bookended by a minimall. The windows have been turned to glass block, but it seems very much the same as the illustration.

I hope I'm not off center on this one. It is the same Art Deco building isn't it?

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Postby nichols » Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:32 pm

I'm 99% sure that 740 (Metroplaza) is the recycled auto dealership.

I think your 1938 bowling alley is still sitting there across the street.
735-737 (odd numbers) La Brea is currently up for sale
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http://www.loopnet.com/xNet/MainSite/Li ... t006a00001

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Postby Lynxwiler » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:50 pm

Yeah, you're right Nichols, but the illustration on the matchbook looks more like the structure on the East side of the street than the one pictured above from the West side of the street. I did a little research and 737 is indeed the address for the lanes, but the architecture just doesn't add up.

Regardless, I did find out that actor Harold Lloyd bowled a perfect 300 there!

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Postby nichols » Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:31 am

I feel like I did this on an etch-a-sketch... but lookie here:
Image

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Postby nichols » Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:14 pm

Image

The Headquarters building for Columbia Savings and Loan opened in June, 1965 and was designed by architect Irving D. Shapiro. The "fountain screen" was designed by "Taki." The building was taken over by Southwest Savings and later Wilshire Grace Church.

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Postby nichols » Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:17 pm

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Postby nichols » Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:20 pm

...and that Metroplaza mini-mall on La Brea that everybody thinks is from the 1980s. I'm SURE it must be a partial reworking of the Murphy Oldsmobile dealership.

Image
This morning (excuse the sloppy photoshop)

Image
50 years ago

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Postby nichols » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:32 pm

I KNEW IT!
(1984)
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Postby Lynxwiler » Sun Apr 30, 2006 6:50 am

Hot damn Nichols, you're amazing!

Too bad the Miracle Mile Residential Association only likes Fake Art Deco and not the real thing. It would be wonderful to save the Miracle Mile's true architecture, but no one there seems interested in the area's past.

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Postby Lynxwiler » Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:49 pm

From Nadel architects, the renderings of the possible residential highrise at the Southeast corner of Wilshire and La Brea. I could be wrong, but it appears that the Murphy Oldsmobile dealership structure is not going to be cut down by this highrise. The southern length of the structure appears to fall short of the Art Deco building's location. Interesting.

This new design is unique and original — and universally despised by everyone in the neighborhood. Although the structure DOES comply with the Miracle Mile's Community Design Overlay Zone, the neighbors are up in arms about the scale of the project and its design. Of course, they all want Fake Art Deco instead... sigh.

Image Image
Image Image
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Condo Bldg. at Wilshire & La Brea

Postby Deco Lover » Sun Apr 30, 2006 7:42 pm

UGLY! UGLY! UGLY!

Is this the best that Nadel Architects could do for this major
intersection? I am not impressed at the haphazard design
with the odd "overhang" at the top.

Please go back to the drawing boards and try again! Let the
neighborhood have some imput on what goes here, as they
are the people who will have to look at the complex, long after
the contractors leave, and the developer cashes his check.

As for the large Samsung sign on the building across the street,
I vote to remove this monstrocity, and let the top of the building
show again.

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Postby Lynxwiler » Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:11 pm

Recently arrived from the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association:

Just wanted to let you know about two upcoming meetings where the development proposed for the SE corner of Wilshire and La Brea will be discussed:

1. Developer Ed Miller, or someone else associated with his project, is scheduled to make a presentation at the next meeting of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council on July 12 (7:00 p.m. at the Wilshire Ebell). The agenda and meeting details are available on the Council's website at http://www.greaterwilshire.org

2. Miller will be making another presentation about the project to our Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association on Thursday, July 27, 7:00 p.m., at the Wilshire Crest School auditorium. Unlike the GWNC meeting, this one will be almost exclusively devoted to discussion of the development. We have also invited Renee Weitzer and Carolyn Ramsay (Tom La Bonge's chief of staff and field officer, respectively), as well as folks from nearby neighborhoods, for what we hope will be a good, open discussion between neighbors and the developers on this very important issue.

Please note: both of these meetings are open to the public, so if you want to hear the latest information and opinions, or to voice your own opinions, please feel free to attend either one (or both), and to pass this note on to other interested parties.

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Hey Deco Lover! You're famous!

Postby Lynxwiler » Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:14 pm

From www.laobserved.com

Fighting over Wilshire and La Brea

At one time Wilshire and LaBrea was the most heavily traveled intersection in the city. It's still plenty busy, as marketers for Asahi Beer learned when their neon sign perched atop the Art Deco Wilson Building on the northeast corner. "After twelve years, everybody has seen it," they said in yielding the prime spot to Samsung Digital. Across Wilshire to the south, plans to replace an old bank-turned Korean church with a high-rise, mixed-use condo and retail project is riling the locals and the L.A. Conservancy Modernism Committee at LottaLiving.com. "UGLY! UGLY! UGLY! Is this the best that Nadel Architects could do for this major intersection? I am not impressed at the haphazard design with the odd 'overhang' at the top," rails a poster. "Please go back to the drawing boards and try again." Community meetings are scheduled for July 12 and July 27.

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Not all of us want "fake"

Postby zilf » Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:19 pm

Hi, there --

I'm a Sycamore Square resident, and would love to see more original deco preserved and less fake deco built in the area.

By the way, just to confirm: the project proposed for Wilshire & La Brea takes up the entire city block (two condo towers of 19 and 20 stories on the north end, retail and 5 stories of residential on La Brea, and 2-story town homes along Sycamore), and it will definitely involve tearing down the MetroPlaza mini-mall (which started out as Murphy Oldsmobile in 1948). I, for one, would be very sorry to see that happen.

If you're interested in hearing more, from both the developers and neighbors, please come to our meeting on July 27, at the Wilshire Crest School, at 7 pm.

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Any Recent Real Art Deco?

Postby jamworks » Mon Jul 24, 2006 3:20 pm

I'm new to this real versus fake art deco issue. Can someone please provide an example of real art deco (anywhere) constructed within, say, the past ten years? I guess what I am asking is, is it still possible for a developer to build the real thing if he puts the necessary resources into it?

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Postby Lynxwiler » Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:19 pm

This notice just in from the pres of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association:

Just a reminder that our meeting with developer Ed Miller (who plans a major project for the block at the SE corner of Wilshire & La Brea) will be held this Thursday, July 27, 7:00 p.m. at the Wilshire Crest School auditorium (5241 W. Olympic Blvd., 90036)

This meeting is open to all members and friends of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, as well as other community members interested in finding out more about this new development and the neighborhood's questions and concerns.

I hope you'll plant to attend!

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Re: Any Recent Real Art Deco?

Postby Lynxwiler » Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:59 pm

jamworks wrote:I'm new to this real versus fake art deco issue. Can someone please provide an example of real art deco (anywhere) constructed within, say, the past ten years? I guess what I am asking is, is it still possible for a developer to build the real thing if he puts the necessary resources into it?


Hello there jamworks. What a question. I find it difficult to answer since I'm so close to this topic of fake versus real Art Deco. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it's difficult for many to differentiate "good" from "bad" Art Deco and I have never been an expert at arguing aesthetics since my personal taste would be disagreeable to many (beyond this board).

I think the argument between real Art Deco versus fake Art Deco becomes more clear when it is relabeled real historic versus fake historic.

The Miracle Mile would be my point of contention. It contains many important Art Deco buildings which were constructed during the heyday of the style and the nighborhood. However, there are also many fake Art Deco buildings in the Miracle Mile which were constructed or remodelled in the 1980s in order to appear more or less like their historic neighbors. Who can tell the difference between the real historic and the fake historic and why is the difference important?

In another discussion on this board, a member recently found his/herself fooled by a retro-styled McDonald's and deemed it to be the real thing, an original left over from the 1950s. Without offense to that member, I'm certain they are not alone and that others have confused the real and the fake, the old and the new, and, at a greater reach, the Miracle Mile and a theme park of fake history.

That's how I see it at least. I celebrate real Art Deco and abhor the fake stuff that tries and unfortunately succeeds in fooling/confusing the masses. That said, not all of the real stuff is great and not all of the fake stuff is bad, but in my opinion, the true sin is when the lowest common denominator cannot tell the real and the fake apart.

Perhaps I'll post a few pics at a later date to further the topic, and I hope I at least scratched the surface of your question. It's a good one.

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Postby Lynxwiler » Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:33 pm

nichols wrote:The Headquarters building for Columbia Savings and Loan opened in June, 1965 and was designed by architect Irving D. Shapiro. The "fountain screen" was designed by "Taki." The building was taken over by Southwest Savings and later Wilshire Grace Church.


Here are some recent pics of that metal fountain/screen by "Taki." They're large pics, Hope no one minds the details.

Image

Image

ImageImage

Image

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Postby Lynxwiler » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:14 pm

Ya know, Now that I take a closer look at some of those metal components, I can see spaces that appear to have been designed to hold some flat vertical panel, like a piece of glass. It's like a geometric Claire Falkenstein work, but by Taki!

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Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:06 pm

The atrium really is fantastic!

Reminds me of the Tropicana in Vegas.

Nice, 60s-70s lines as well.

If the church opens a bar, will it have enough cachet to be worth saving?

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Postby nichols » Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:42 pm

Had to stop by the bank so I shot a couple of images of our imperiled Olds dealer yesterday...

Image
Image

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Postby nichols » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:52 am

I was told recently that the architect of Murphy Oldsmobile was Max Maltzman.

Looks like he did some apartment buildings that are special:

http://www.denisemunrorobb.com/articles ... story.html
http://www.santamonicalandmarks.com/landmk21.html

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Postby nichols » Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:57 pm

The new rendering
Image
(http://www.nadelarc.com/)

CURBED LA
"...going to be a 13 floor tower and a 6 floor tower situated a top a 40 foot podium."
http://la.curbed.com/archives/2007/07/c ... e_oran.php
Last edited by nichols on Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Tony » Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:47 pm

Wow,

Doesn't that rendering look horrible! I really have to think that the golden age of Los Angeles architecture is long gone.

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Postby Perks » Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:05 pm

Oy. Wow. Gee.

My last house was within viewing distance of the proposed towers. Having to see those every day would just be saddening.

On the other hand, after staring at the photo for a bit, I've decided there are actually some elements of the "shorter" section that might not look too bad when built. Not that this comes anywhere close to justify ripping down yet another piece of LA's past, of course.
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