Wilshire and La Brea - Columbia Savings

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Lynxwiler
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Postby Lynxwiler » Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:00 pm

I'm actually surprised the two mid-rise towers are not located against Wilshire boulevard, but are closer to the southern portion of the block towards the more residential area. I would have thought the towers would be on Wilshire.

Or am I just assuming this view is from the intersection of Wilshire and La Brea?

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Postby FinFan » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:55 pm

Lynxwiler wrote:
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

I'm here for quite a long time on this board...what I see most frequently are such threads like this : some vintage building is going to be bulldozed to make space for new skyscraper with flats inside (if I understand that right :oops: ). What comes to my mind, is : are those American cities so completely built-up, that any new building requires destruction of something what is already standing there ? I mean, if they want to make big development, can't they get the land in other place ? Buying ground with a building must be more expensive than getting a clear one. I know, if someone has planned something like this, with 2 towers, then the money aren't an issue probably...but I'm just trying to think logically (my weak part :wink: ).

Recently, we had old brewery building adapted for a mall. It was standing abandoned since I remember. THere was big remodelling done, but still original parts of the brewery could be found. Seems, as if it was standing in USA, it woudl be first torn down, and only then anything would be built there.

I also wanted to ask, if such decorational horizontal beams like those white ones on the quoted picture have some special name ? I like them, and they're also frequently used as an overhang over the driveway to motels and casinos.

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:07 am

New plans unveiled (everything still goes away)
Image

http://www.larchmontchronicle.com/Archi ... hiveID=742

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Dan O.
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Postby Dan O. » Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:27 pm

Out of all the hideous buildings in L.A. why is it always the good ones that have to get sacrified to make room for these monstrosities? I know the thought is silly and taste is certainly subjective but there should be some sort of rule that you can't replace an existing, functional and aesthetically appealing structure(s) with one that is just plain ugly.

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Postby nichols » Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:14 pm


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Postby Gnomus » Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:02 pm

"What comes to my mind, is : are those American cities so completely built-up, that any new building requires destruction of something what is already standing there ?"

To respond to your question, FinFan: I can't talk about other cities, but my understanding is that in L.A. there's not a lot of open ground to develop. If you want to build something in the best parts of the city, you have to tear something else down first. The area where they are reusing old buildings is downtown; former office buildings are being converted to lofts. But pretty much everywhere else, it's demo, demo, demo...

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Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:14 pm

Wow. That is a ginormous development.

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La Brea & Wilshire

Postby Deco Lover » Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:08 pm

Well, I'm so glad that Nadel Architects heard my "comments" and
returned to the drawing board, following the presentation of the
monstrocity they planned for this major intersection.

As for this new proposal, am I the only one who feels this one already
looks dated, even before it's built? Doesn't it look like something often
repeated in other cities? The typical low development in the foreground,
with towers at the back. The real opportunity of this development
relating to the fine "deco-style" building with the Samsung sign across
the street, was missed. What could have been?

I really regret not living in Los Angeles in the golden years, when
Wilshire Boulevard was in it's prime, as "the" shopping street. Imagine
the May Co., Desmond's, Coulter's, the Ambassador Hotel, Perino's,
I Magnin, Bullock's Wilshire, the Brown Derby, as well as all the other
small shops and restaurants in between.

But at least we can be thankful these have been "preserved" for
future generations in photography books.

The future of Los Angeles will feature dozens of Pinkberrys, Trader Joe's,
Fresh & Easy's, Starbuck's, Famina's, and hundreds? of "loft-style"
apartment/condo complexes in their place. Talk about a trade-off. :cry:

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:42 pm

The EIR has been released and comments are due by October 13. The bank and the car dealership have been found to be NOT SIGNIFICANT so they will not be considered historic resources. Please write and tell the planners they are significant.

http://cityplanning.lacity.org/EIR/Wils ... aBrea.html

EIR Case No.: ENV-2007-1604-EIR

Project Name: Wilshire and La Brea Project

Location: 5200-5224 Wilshire Boulevard, 700-758 La Brea Avenue, 719-757 Sycamore Avenue, Los Angeles, California

Council District: 4


Please direct comments to:

Srimal Hewawitharana, Project Coordinator, or
Jimmy C. Liao, City Planner/EIR Unit Head
Room 750, City Hall
Department of City Planning
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-978-1343 (fax)
srimal.hewawitharana@lacity.org
jimmy.liao@lacity.org

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Vavala
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Postby Vavala » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:20 pm

Last edited by Vavala on Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:44 pm

We're getting lots of flak over at Curbed today...

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2009/03/c ... r_comments

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Postby daybreaker » Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:29 pm

The Curbed folks make some good points. It's an ugly building. I won't miss it. Sorry, but I have to break with party line on this one.

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Sat May 23, 2009 10:13 am

Just to state again, the EIR calls this Murphy Oldsmobile not historic. With apologies to Casa de Cadillac... How many intact 1940s car dealerships exist in this town?
Image

There's a hearing on Wednesday

The latest from Curbed:

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2009/05/c ... r_comments

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:29 pm

CURBED
Image
(via curbed)
...a project which would take out the old Columbia Savings bank (news that rankles the LA Conservancy, which wants the building protected) and replace the now-vacant Metro Plaza shopping center--has shrunk again. The project will consist of 482 apartments and rise 6 stories...

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2009/07/h ... r_comments

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Save It!

Postby Marcala » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:26 pm

Image

Image

Image

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:18 pm

CURBED

Planning Commission OKs Wilshire La Brea Project
Thursday, August 13, 2009, by Dakota
Image
Developer BRE's contentious Wilshire La Brea project, that Thomas P. Cox Architects-designed development, was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission today...

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2009/08/l ... r_comments

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Re: Any Recent Real Art Deco?

Postby jamworks » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:20 pm

Lynxwiler wrote:
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.


Forum Journal, the Journal of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Summer 2007, Volume 21, No. 4 issue, features an article titled "'Differentiated' and 'Compatible': Four Strategies for Additions to Historic Settings" by Steven W. Semes.

The four strategies are: 1.) Literal Replication, 2.) Invention within a style 3.) Abstract Reference and 4.) Intentional Opposition.

I love the Literal Replication approach. I like Invention within a style. I'm likely to have mixed feelings about examples of Abstract Reference. And I despise Intentional Opposition.

The author concludes, "When additions or new construction are appropriate at all, they should be added in such a way that the new is distinguishable from the historic fabric by informed observers or trained professionals. No differentiation should be made that would result in an incongruous appearance or a ruptured integrity. Where the new construction might not be readily distinguishable by the public at large, interpretive materials should clarify the construction history of the site rather than expecting this to be self-evident from the appearance of the new construction alone."

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Postby nichols » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:52 pm

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Plan to demolish building on Wilshire Boulevard is opposed by L.A. Conservancy
The conservancy says the 1965 Columbia Savings building at La Brea Avenue is worth saving. Area residents worry that a planned 482-unit apartment and retail complex would add to congestion.

By Cara Mia DiMassa
December 2, 2009

... a backlash is now gaining steam, and it's centered on a mid-century former savings and loan building at Wilshire and La Brea Avenue.

The squat building, with a ribboned facade and a stained-glass skylight, is an example of a type of architecture that was prevalent in the years after World War II, when financial institutions pushed for bold buildings to symbolize their own emergence from staid practices and reputations...

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... 3724.story

egads
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Postby egads » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:43 pm

Boy did that story need better pictures.

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Postby sky » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:13 am

Yes, the photo is terrible, but what's also bad there is the use of the adjective "squat" to describe the building. That's never a good thing.

The last thing from LA appropriately described as "squat" was Dodger third baseman Ron Cey.

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Postby scottkaycee » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:08 am

I was watching "In the Line of Fire" with Clint Eastwood the other day and I noticed that the LA bank he goes to in the scene where he finally figures out who the would be assasin is and it was this bank. Only it was called "Southwest Savings". The phone number was SKELLUM....
How about a career in Architecture? www.scottkirkcueto.blogspot.com

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:02 pm

CURBED

PRESERVATION WARS
Adios, Columbia Savings! Wilshire Blvd Building Will Come Down


As expected, this morning the City Council voted unanimously to approve BRE's planned 482-unit apartment building at Wilshire and La Brea, a move that allows the developer to begin demolition of the 1965 Wilshire Savings building. The LA Conservancy fought to save Wilshire Savings...

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2009/12/a ... e_down.php

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:32 pm


nredom
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Postby nredom » Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:31 am

Maybe this has been discussed already, but are there any plans to save the exterior brass sculpture or the stain glass skylight...?

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Vavala
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Postby Vavala » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:52 pm

The sculpture is already listed for sale online: http://www.bogatzantiques.com/forsale.html

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Lynxwiler
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Postby Lynxwiler » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:58 pm

The screen by Taki is listed as "on hold" on the For Sale page as well as "sold" on their Sold page. Hmmm.

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Postby Pal George » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:10 am

I had the same question and so I assume the sculpture was removed from the site? Though I really upset about the demolition of the building I never read any threads here about salvaging the sculpture or the skylight.

Is there clear photographic reference of it and is anyone aware of how it was assembled?

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:24 am

CURBED LA


Salvaging Columbia Wilshire

MID-WILSHIRE: Scott Bogartz, the art collector who bought both that outdoor fountain and a stained glass window at the doomed Columbia Savings building provides some more info about his purchase. In an email he writes: "I buy Modern Sculptures all over the country and have been doing it for 25 years. It's getting harder and harder and more expensive to have great pieces saved. BRE Properties had many people wanting the art, but I offered the most money and have the most experience for a professional removal. The removal of the stained glass cost over $50,000.00 just to remove. That does not include the purchase price, trucking, insurance, workers x 15 and other costs for both items... I hope people in LA are glad I saved both items from the wrecking ball. Both items are still in LA and for sale...

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2009/12/_ ... gh_the.php

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:42 pm

Image
Image
this afternoon

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:16 pm

Image
Image
Murphy Oldsmobile
1945-2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4waQcnnc4c


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