LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission recommended Aug. 17 that the Hollywood Reporter Building at 6713 Sunset Blvd. be named a historic-cultural monument in a move that could stop or delay its planned demolition.
The building was home to the Hollywood Reporter entertainment trade news publication from 1931 into the 1990s and is slated for demolition as part of a plan by the Harridge Development Group to build a hotel and two residential towers at the site.
It was first constructed in 1924 and built in pieces over the next several decades.
In June, the Cultural Heritage Commission agreed to accept the application and consider the site a local monument, which meant the property cannot be destroyed as long as the city has the application under review.
If it is approved as a monument by the City Council, the building could still be demolished, but city officials can delay it for a year while preservation options are considered.
The Department of City Planning recommended the building be preserved because it “reflects the broad cultural, economic, or social history of the nation, state, or community as the headquarters for Hollywood’s first daily entertainment trade newspaper,” but it did not find the building architecturally significant. However, the commission added an architectural designation to its ruling in a 3-1 vote.
The building, also home to the L.A. Weekly for about a decade until 2008, is historically significant for its Regency Moderne architecture, its association with publisher and businessman William Wilkerson, and its connection to the Hollywood Reporter, according to the application for its landmark status which was filed by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles.
“Without a doubt, from our perspective, this has incredible significance to Hollywood and greater Los Angeles in terms of telling an important story and arc within Hollywood heritage that can’t be told without this building in place,” Adrian Scott Fine of the Los Angeles Conservancy told the commission. “We do strongly believe that it is significant for its cultural, social and historical, but also architectural significance.”
Attorney Jerry Neuman, representing Harridge Development Group, argued that the building was not significant, and said, “There is no special sense of this structure. It was in effect a warehouse structure that would lend itself to look as though it was part of a printing facility. It is merely a large box.”
Neuman did say that the building’s use as home of the Hollywood Reporter was significant, but that due to decades of alterations “little is left, nor can it be rehabilitated to go back to determine, to in effect make it a sense of place during the time that the Hollywood Reporter operated in the building.”
The recommendation will now be forwarded to the City Council for consideration.