Preservation Update: Hollywood Reporter Building


The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles To Seek Landmark Status for The Hollywood Reporter Building Through the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission

The ADSLA Committee for Preservation Advocacy is pleased to announce that the Hollywood Reporter Building has passed its first step towards Historic Cultural Monument (HCM) designation. At its meeting on June 15, 2017, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission voted to take under consideration the ADSLA sponsored nomination. Art Deco Society of Los Angeles President Margot Gerber, Preservation Advocacy Committee Member and former board member Jeff Bissiri and board member Pauline O'Connor attended the hearing on behalf of ADSLA. Also on record in support were the LA Conservancy and Hollywood Heritage.

The building is most remembered for its association with William Wilkerson and the first daily industry trade paper The Hollywood Reporter, but for 8 years, the building also headquartered the LA Weekly. For over 80 years, this building housed important Los Angeles papers. Both of these significant Los Angeles media outlets are still in business today. The property (and our nomination) actually consists of three buildings built over a period from 1924 through 1947. The front building facing Sunset is a 1936 redesign by architect Douglas Hannold for its brief life as "The Sunset House" men's store. This design is a very distinctive (and unusual) Hollywood Regency/moderne style. While in need of restoration, it is mostly intact. We also have reason to believe that some of the original Sunset House interiors are extant.

The City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Ordinance provides for the designation of buildings and sites as individual local landmarks (called Historic Cultural Monuments). There are currently over 1000 HCM's in the city. Although it does not prevent demolition, the designation provides a level of protection for the building as well as benefits to the owner such as the Mill's Act. As part of our mission, the ADSLA Committee for Preservation Advocacy has undertaken an effort to identify and nominate unique and noteworthy buildings of the Art Deco era that we feel are worthy of this designation. We have successfully landmarked the Firestone Tire Building, the Wilshire Professional Building and the Redwine Building. There will be more to come in the near future.

The Hollywood Reporter Building has been on the watch list of the Committee for some time. It is currently under threat of demolition by the proposed Crossroads Hollywood Project. It is not clear at this point if the owner will oppose the nomination although we think it likely. The next step in the process is for a sub-committee of the Commission to visit the site probably in July or August. They will report findings to the entire Commission and vote on the HCM designation within a month or so after that. Opposition to the designation, if any, would appear at that meeting.

Stay tuned. We will keep members informed as the process plays out. We will ask for your help if more action is needed.

The Planning and Land Use Committee of the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council is holding a special meeting about the Crossroads development which impacts The Hollywood Reporter Building as well as the previously landmarked Crossroads of the World complex. If you are interested in attending to learn more, you are welcome to attend.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, June 22 at 6pm. It will be held at the Goldwyn Regional Library (1623 N. Ivar).
The public is encouraged to attend, and to offer their feedback on this project.

Read more about our preservation process in Los Angeles: Office of Historic Preservation.