LOS ANGELES — A city panel has agreed to consider granting landmark status to a mid-century-style bank building on the Sunset Strip that is in danger of being torn down to make way for a Frank Gehry-designed mixed-use project.
The Cultural Heritage Commission agreed Aug. 4 to review an application asking that the Lytton Savings bank building, at 8150 W. Sunset Blvd., be made a city landmark.
The status would make it more difficult for developers to demolish the building, which is designed by notable architect Kurt Meyer and well-known for its zig-zag roof.
Supporters of preserving the building — now a Chase Bank branch location — called it an original example of mid-century and modern architectural styles that are now popular and frequently copied.
Commissioners appeared sympathetic, noting that because the building is on the corner, instead of at the center, of the mixed-use project site, they will try to find a way to preserve and incorporate the building with Gehry’s plans.
Gehry Partner LLC, architects have objected to the preservation of the Lytton Savings building, dismissing it as following an “outdated commercial real estate model” and being incompatible with goals to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.
In a letter to the mixed-use project’s developer, Townscape Partners LLC, the architects noted that older buildings designed by Gehry have also been “torn down or significantly altered.”
“Though it was hard news to receive, we did not protest nor did we implore anyone to reconsider despite our belief in their significance as a part of our complete body of work,” they wrote.
The plans for the mixed-used project — featuring five buildings designed in Gehry’s signature curved, metallic style — were approved by the Planning Commission last month.