The iconic LAX Theme Building was damaged yesterday when part of the stucco skin fell off the structure and into the Encounter Restaurant.
As there have been past efforts to remove or alter this building, we at ModCom are concerned that this incident will be used as an excuse to significantly alter or even demolish the building.
We are asking concerned members of the public to mail or email their local newspapers and representatives to help insure that the repairs are done in a sensitive manner, and to remind LAX and the city that the public cares deeply about this iconic structure.
LAX is in District 11 of the Los Angeles City Council. Councilman is Bill Rosendahl.
His email address is: email@example.com
LAX is in District 4 of the County of Los Angeles. Superivsor is Don Knabe. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The LA Times format for submitting letters to the editor: http://www.latimes.com/services/site/la ... mo-opinion
Los Angeles World Airports http://www.lawa.org/lax/
. Their email is email@example.com
Here is information about the incident and resulting damage to the structure:
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A spokesman for Los Angeles World Airports said a
1,000-pound lump of the space-age building's stucco "skin" had crashed
onto the roof of the Encounter Restaurant earlier this month.
After a thorough examination, officials decided late Wednesday to close
the Encounter Restaurant to allow renovation work which is likely to
take up to six months, LAWA spokesman Tom Winfrey told AFP.
"We completed an inspection of the building last night and a decision
was made to close the restaurant so we can repair the arches," Winfrey
said, describing the closure as a precaution.
Rising up out of the tarmac on four spindly legs and a central column,
the Theme Building is often compared to a flying saucer.
Built in 1961, the building's futuristic design is said to have
inspired animators who later worked on the cartoon series, "The
It was designated a cultural and historical monument in 1992 and was
given a four-million-dollar makeover, complete with retro-futuristic
interior and lighting by Walt Disney Imagineering before The Encounter
opened in 1997.
Winfrey stressed that the building was in no danger of collapsing,
noting that it is supported by its central core.
"It's important to remember that the arches are not structurally
integral to the design," Winfrey said. "There is a central core to the
building that is keeping it up."
The building had not been entirely closed and a staff cafeteria and
public deli counter would remain open, Winfrey said.
Local media described the closure of the restaurant as a psychological
blow to Los Angeles airport authorities, coming just weeks from the
arrival of the giant Airbus A380 jetliner at the facility, an event
which is expected to grab widespread media attention.
Winfrey acknowledged the dismay caused by the building's closure.
"If you've watched television or the movies, whenever they need an
establishing shot of Los Angeles they will use either the Hollywood
Sign or the Theme Building," he said.
"So we are closing one of Los Angeles' iconic landmarks."
This was posted March 8th on the LAX website:
The popular, space-aged themed Encounter Restaurant at the top of Los Angeles International Airport's landmark Theme Building will be closed until further notice while renovation to the upper arches is performed. Ground-level offices, the City Deli cafeteria, and the airport's commissary that provides food to the rest of the airport's concessions will remain open. The renovation project is expected to last approximately six months. However, the restaurant is expected to open sooner.
The renovation will be to the upper arches above the Encounter Restaurant and will include the stucco "skin" of the spider-like, futuristic structure. The upper arches are decorative and do not provide structural support for the glass-encased restaurant. The upper arches have not been renovated since they were erected in the late 1950s.
The renovation was scheduled after a 1,000-pound, 5-foot-by-10-foot piece of the stucco "skin" was discovered to have fallen off the underside of the east upper arch two Saturdays ago. Airport workers immediately installed protective, tunnel-like scaffolding over the entrances to the Theme Building while visual inspection from the restaurant's roof-top was conducted and while awaiting the arrival yesterday of a 100-foot-tall crane from which engineers could inspect more closely. After airport engineers and inspectors reported late yesterday afternoon that there was water seepage into the stucco on the topside of the arch and the possibility of other pieces of stucco falling onto the rooftop of the restaurant, airport officials decided to ask the Encounter Restaurant manager to close the restaurant early last night.
The last major renovation of the Theme Building was completed April 1999, when a $3-million, six-month project included renovating the underside of the cross bridge that forms the roof of the Encounter Restaurant and the bottom of the restaurant with new galvanized steel, stucco and painting. At that time, inspection of the upper arches revealed no problems.
The Theme Building was completed in August 1961 at a cost of $2.2 million. Architects Pereira & Luckman Associates, Welton Becket & Associates, and Paul R. Williams designed the building's 135-foot-high parabolic arches to symbolize the optimism of a futuristic Los Angeles in the space age. In 1992, the Los Angeles City Council designated the Theme Building a cultural and historical monument.
The landmark building is often shown in commercial films and television newscasts as an establishing scene for Los Angeles and the airport. During renovation, the nightly color lighting program will continue.
Here are some additional facts about the building:
â€¢ Built in 1961;
â€¢ Credited firms and architects are Pereira & Luckman Associates, Welton Becket & Associates, and Paul R. Williams;
â€¢ Constructed of 900+ tons of structural steel (from Kaiser Steel);
â€¢ City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Monument #570, declared in 1992;
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