Thursday, August 11, 2005

Is Hollywood's Historic Columbia Square Going To Be Demolished??,1,3479300.story?coll=la-headlines-california

Can it be true? In Bob Pool's story about the last radio station leaving Hollywood is the statement that....

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.

Then latter...

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.

If this is true, the city council needs to immediately declare these structures city historical monuments (if they are not already) and to then apply for state and federal protection. Between the history that has taken place in this complex (read the Times article) and the quality of the Streamline Moderne architecture, not to mention that it is one of the two acknowledged masterpieces by pioneer modernist architect, William Lescaze, these buildings far more than qualify for the national register, much less local protection.

Hopefully, Councilman Eric Garcetti (and near-by Tom LaBonge) and the Hollywood area Neighborhood Councils will get on this first thing tomorrow.


Just found on-line list of protected historic structures in LA - and somehow Columbia Square is not on it!

1 comment:

MikeZ said...

Wel, I dunno - that area is almost certain to be declared "blighted".