Posts Tagged ‘basque nightclub’

Saving What Remains of the Laemmle Building…

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Preservationists try to block demolition of Basque nightclub

  

INCARNATIONS: Gregory Paul Williams stands at Hollywood and Vine with a photo of the building he and other preservationists are trying to save. Originally the Coco Tree Cafe, it became Melody Lane, then Hody’s Restaurant.

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1939 renovation eliminated much of the architect’s design, as well as the building’s historical significance, city council finds. The site was damaged in an April fire that remains unsolved.

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By Bob Pool
October 31, 2008

 

Preservationists hoping to save the facade of a Richard Neutra-designed building at Hollywood’s most famous corner have been told they are 70 years too late to stop demolition.

 

Workers are removing the remains of the Basque nightclub, which was gutted about six months ago by a mysterious predawn fire at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine.

 

The owner of the site ordered the tear-down after deciding that the damaged building was a safety hazard and that a 1939 remodel of the place had erased all evidence of Neutra’s styling.   (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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Hollywood Landmark Razed…

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Laemmle Building Demolished!

 

 Demolition of the Laemmle Building last Friday

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger 

 

The historic Laemmle Building on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine was demolished last Friday. Preservationists contend that the tearing down of the building, built by Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle in 1932, is federally illegal. The building has been vacant since it was damaged in an unsolved arson fire in April.

 

The intersection of Hollywood and Vine has been famous since the 1930s because many of Hollywood’s important radio stations were located nearby.  “Brought to you from Hollywood and Vine” was a familiar opening to many early radio broadcasts.

 

The Laemmle Building in the 1950s

 

Carl Laemmle, paid the George W. Hoover (builder of the Hollywood Hotel) estate $350,000 for the property in 1925. At the time, that was the highest price paid for real estate in Hollywood (the lot sold for $15,000 in 1912). In 1928 Laemmle refused a $1,000,000 offer for the corner.

 

Originally Laemmle planned to build a 900-seat theater and office building valued at $250,000. At some point in mid 1932 revisions were made to build a one story building with foundation specifications for additional stories to be added later (which never came about). Designed by famed architect, Richard Neutra in the International Style, construction began in September 1932, and was completed early the following year.

 

The Laemmle Building fire last April 30th

 

At the time of the April fire, the building housed the Basque Nightclub and Restaurant, a popular celebrity hangout. Actress Lindsay Lohan celebrated her 21st birthday there and rap star Kanye West partied there earlier in April. Scenes from the movie Ocean’s Eleven were filmed there and the property had recently been sold as part of a renovation renaissance in Hollywood.

 

While many historic buildings have been saved from destruction in Hollywood (and many more have been lost), the sudden demolition of the Laemmle Building questions the commitment of city officials on preservation issues in Los Angeles.

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