Real Estate Greats
Threatened local landmarks to see now
After the company that owns the Norms diner on the edge of West Hollywood received a permit to demolish in early January, Los Angeles?s building lovers were up in arms about the loss of one of the city?s best examples of Jet Age architecture style. That distinctive place isn't the only local building set to undergo the axe; check out our list of unique sites to visit before the wrecking balls descend.
Parker Center, 150 N. Los Angeles St.
Used until 2009 as the LAPD headquarters, this 1955 building, which became famous on TV’s Dragnet, is a classic example of mid-century civic architecture. For the past year, it's been slated for demolition, but preservationists are making a last-ditch effort to save it. The building’s got a past: It was one of the first places where crowds gathered to protest the 1992 decision not to convict the officers filmed beating Rodney King.
Villa Carlotta, 5959 Franklin Ave.
This Italianate apartment building was erected in 1926, and is rumored to have been bankrolled by William Randolph Hearst in a payout to the widow of a man he killed in a jealous rage. Over the years, it’s been home to gossip columnist Louella Parsons, songstress Rickie Lee Jones, Jim Morrison and Neil Patrick Harris. Now its old tenants are being cleared out and condo conversions are under way, erasing the charming “Hotel California” vibe.
Norms, 470 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Norms on La Cienega, built in 1957, has been granted a stay of execution for now: Los Angeles's Cultural Heritage Commission has delayed its tear-down for a few months while it considers more permanent protection.
Home Savings Bank, 2600 Wilshire Blvd.
Pomona-born artist Millard Sheets designed and installed between 70 and 100 vivid murals on banks in our area. This Santa Monica location, with its colorful tile mural of beach frolickers, was designated a landmark by the Santa Monica Historic Landmark bureau in December, but its status has been appealed to the City Council, so the future of the mural and the bank it adorns is uncertain.
Taco Bell, 7112 Firestone Blvd., Downey
The nationwide Mexican restaurant chain founded by Glen Bell in March 1962 first opened at this location. In recent years, another fast food restaurant operated here, but since it closed in December, wreckage has been looming large. Fun fact: Downey is also the site of the country’s oldest operating McDonald’s.