Preservationists dealt blow in latest fight against Crossroads project

They were fighting to save a courtyard complex and small bungalow

Bob Blumenfield, Selma las Palmas Courtyard Apartments (Credit: Cultural Heritage Commission)
Bob Blumenfield, Selma las Palmas Courtyard Apartments (Credit: Cultural Heritage Commission)

A Los Angeles City Council committee has voted against landmarking four properties in Hollywood that are standing in the way of the Crossroads of the World redevelopment, allowing the 1.4 million-square-foot mega-project to inch forward.

Preservationists, including the highly active AIDS Healthcare Foundation, filed landmark applications for the 1939-built Selma Las Palmas Courtyard Apartments and a Craftsman-style bungalow at 1542 McCadden Place. They cite the complex’s Hollywood history and architectural style as key reasons why it should be preserved, Curbed reported.

But the city’s planning and land use management committee rejected those efforts, as well as applications for two other buildings.

“I do feel sometimes we nominate anything and everything, and that devalues the things we do nominate,” Bob Blumenfield, a City Councilmember, said during a hearing Tuesday. Blumenfield, who opposed the landmarking effort, also said the “bar should be a bit higher.”

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The push to save the properties is the latest in a series of attempts by local preservationists and neighborhood residents to slow development in L.A. While their anti-gentrification and conservation motives are often noble, they have been criticized by developers for exploiting relatively loose rules for protecting designated sites, The Real Deal found in a recent analysis.

This also isn’t the first time Harridge Development Group, the developer behind the massive redevelopment, has felt pushback from preservationists. Earlier this year, Harridge agreed to preserve the newly landmarked The Hollywood Reporter building, incorporating it into its project rather than demolishing it, after the L.A. Art Deco Society nominated the property.

Once completed, the development would have a 308-room hotel, 190,000 square feet of commercial space and 950 residential units.

The vote from the land use management committee serves as a recommendation to the City Council. It is possible the City Council could ultimately vote to preserve the properties. [Curbed] — Natalie Hoberman