Major demolition work on the much-maligned Parker Center is finally set to begin next month.
After months of delays and protests from preservationist groups, including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Preserve LA, demolition workers are preparing to pull down the eight-story building, which served as the Los Angeles Police headquarters for decades, Curbed reported, citing the city’s engineering bureau.
The AHF sued the city in August over its plans to demolish the building and turn the site into a 27-story office tower for city office workers and services that are now spread across several Downtown buildings.
Preservationists, including the Los Angeles Conservancy, tried to landmark the building. They pushed to renovate and reuse the structure, possibly as housing for the homeless.
Their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. Full demolition of Parker Center is expected to conclude by next September, engineering bureau spokesperson Mary Nemick told Curbed.
The original building was designed in 1955 by modernist Welton Becket, whose firm also designed the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Capitol Records Building. Construction machinery has already begun to tear away at some of the Parker Center walls, but the tower’s facade is still largely intact.
The Parker Center, which has been vacant since 2013, has a troubling past. It is linked to the 1965 Watts riots, the 1992 Rodney King riots, and a corruption scandal in the late 1990s involving the anti-gang unit of the police Rampart Division. [Curbed] — Alexei Barrionuevo