The Real Deal Los Angeles

Could this 29K sf bank building get in the way of Frank Gehry’s biggest LA project?

The historic preservation saga continues with the latest City Council ruling
By Cathaleen Chen | December 13, 2016 02:27PM

Council member David Ryu and a rendering of Frank Gehry’s design for 8150 Sunset Boulevard

Looks like Townscape Partners’ Frank Gehry-designed Sunset Strip project could be delayed once again.

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to grant landmark status to the Chase bank building on the 2.5-acre site at 8150 Sunset Boulevard. The Kurt Meyer-designed structure was set to be razed under Townscape’s plan, which was approved by the council last month. 

The building’s historic-cultural monument status does not rule out the possibility of demolition entirely. It serves more as a recommendation. Townscape now has 180 days to reevaluate all of its options before the Historic Cultural Commission, according to a city planning expert who wished to remain anonymous.

The decision comes on the heels of a lawsuit the Los Angeles Conservancy filed against the city. The complaint claimed the city violated the California Environmental Quality Act when it approved the project without requiring Townscape to come up with a design that incorporated the bank structure.

The monument decision is the latest leg of a long journey for Townscape. It first proposed the project more than three years ago. Before City Council approved the plan last month, the developer made last minute adjustments to reduce the size and promise the city $2 million to improve traffic congestion.

“Some buildings you can’t save,” Frank Gehry said in November of the bank building. “I’ve had four or five of my buildings torn down.”