1,300 Signatures on Tower Records Petition, but Few from WeHo

Towers Records
Tower Records before it was repainted
When Jerome Cleary asks the West Hollywood City Council to designate the Tower Records building on Sunset Boulevard as a cultural resource, he’ll have nearly 1,300 supporters behind him.

They won’t actually appear before the council, which plans to hear Cleary’s request on Nov. 4. But their names are present on a petition that Cleary posted two weeks ago on Change.org, an online site for social activists.

The petitioners are from as near as West Hollywood and as far as Australia. Approximately 62 percent of them identify as residents of California. However only 35 of the 1,253 signers on a list Cleary made public Wednesday live in West Hollywood. That small indicator of local support might be significant to members of the City Council, given that Cleary is asking them to override the city Historic Preservation Commission’s decision to deny the cultural resource designation.

The commission voted unanimously in April not to designate the Tower Records store, which sits at 8801 Sunset near Horn, as a cultural resource. That decision was based on a City Hall staff report that said the building is not culturally significant under West Hollywood’s municipal code and also doesn’t meet state and National Register standards for a designation of cultural significance. The report said the building does “not appear to retain sufficient integrity to convey its cultural and social significance and its association with Tower Records.” That was a reference to the fact that the store’s once distinctive yellow and red facade had been painted over after it closed in 2006 when its parent company declared bankruptcy.

The commission did recommend that the city recognize the cultural significance of the building, which opened in 1970, by installing a sign on the adjacent sidewalk or by designating the intersection at Horn Avenue, Holloway Drive and Sunset as “Tower Records Square.” Cleary and Dominic Priore, author of “Riot On Sunset: Rock n’ Roll’s Last Stand In Hollywood,” who started the cultural designation campaign, argue that that won’t do justice to the building. They note that it was a major stop for performers such as Elton John, Engelbert Humperdinck, Duran Duran, Aerosmith and Rod Stewart. Axl Rose, lead singer for Guns N’ Roses, worked there as a night manager in the early 80’s.

For a look at the Tower Records site through the years, click here.

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Chris Ritter
7 years ago

I was at this Tower Records once in the 1990’s the high point of my visit was seeing Dion Warwick!

jeromecleary
7 years ago

This is the best part of this article: “The petitioners are from as near as West Hollywood and as far as Australia. Approximately 62 percent of them identify as residents of California.” That is super impressive 62 percent from CALIFORNIA!!!!

jeromecleary
7 years ago

If they had of read the over 400 comments on the site where the petition is and I emailed to them the comments from the petition site too as an attached PDF it showed that many of the signatures were from people who used to live in West Hollywood and used to work in West Hollywood. But now many of those people live in the valley and other more affordable areas, etc.

oldgrumpysteve
oldgrumpysteve
7 years ago

I truly loved Tower Records and spent a lot of time there, but with the music store gone, it’s really just a crappy old building, and not an attractive one. I realize that in Los Angeles the “historic monuments” are generally no more than 40 or 50 years old, but this is really pushing it.

Gus
Gus
7 years ago

If celebrities shopping somewhere make a building culturally significant the whole of LA would be shrink wrapped and never change. A worrying precedent.

clarkwest
clarkwest
7 years ago

axl rose did not work at tower records. he and slash worked at tower video which was across the street.

dana miller
dana miller
7 years ago

I remain stupefied at Jerome-et al attempts to raise this edifice to some elite status. It’s a crappy box building with bad lighting and notable perhaps once iconic signs long gone. If we dig it cause EJ shopped there, (and he did big time) or Axl worked there…Then Ciro’s, Le Dome, Chasen’s and any Brown Derby should have been sanctified for sure. Let’s start the petition for Craig’s now so in 30 years we won’t have to fret about it. Now Barry Diller would likely dig the honor as then nothing would be erected to block the view from his… Read more »

WehoGuy
WehoGuy
7 years ago

I don’t find the article at all confusing or misleading. The article really doesn’t judge the fact that a tiny fraction of signers are actually Weho residents, it simply points it out. And it’s not unrealistic to think that council will not consider this relevant fact. However I think it’s entirely relevant when evaluating the merits of the proposed designation to take into consideration the actual residents of the city. Bottom line is this only reinforces the absurdity at any attempt to preserve this stucco box that housed a chain store that went out of business. We don’t want it… Read more »

Jerome Cleary
Jerome Cleary
7 years ago

also I find it misleading for you to say this in your article….
that “they won’t actually appear before the council”…. how do you know? some
of them may actually appear before council that are not West Hollywood residents
but are from LA and California!

jeromecleary
7 years ago

Your article acts as if it would suddenly be more important that support from a new online petition come from local West Hollywood residents for support for Tower Records preservation when if fact that would not matter because what would matter would be that LA, California, across the USA and the world want it preserved. There is no requirement that signatures or support from this new online petition come from West Hollywood residents. That was only the requirement only for the Appeal fees to get waived for me to get 50 signatures from local West Hollywood residents and or local… Read more »

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