Facing a precarious future, the public goes to bat for The Standard Hotel

The Historic Preservation Committee on Monday decided to postpone a discussion about making the Standard Hotel a “designated cultural resource” of the city of West Hollywood — but that didn’t stop a swarm of public commenters who support the measure from speaking up during the meeting.

The Mid-century Moderne style building at 8300 West Sunset Blvd. was built in 1962 by the Julian Weinstock Construction Co., and it was originally called the Hollywood Thunderbird Inn. The hotel was part of a grand plan to redevelop the Sunset Strip into a high-rise financial district.

After almost three decades as a retirement community, the building was purchased by Andre Balazs, who led the renovation of the Chateau Marmont in 1990.  With the backing of Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Benicio del Toro, and members of Smashing Pumpkins, Balazs set about the task of making the building a hotel again.

Balazs reopened it as the Standard Hotel in March 1999, the first of a chain of six hotels that were designed to be “cheap chic.” It became West Hollywood’s hottest hotel, with average monthly occupancy of 95 percent.

The property has been determined eligible for National Register, and it appears to be individually eligible for local listing or designation through survey evaluation.

During Public Comment, Jaime Rummerfield spoke on behalf of the Save Iconic Architecture organization, channeling the urgency among the crowd.

“We are happy to be here tonight as a part of the commission’s hearing even though we’re disappointed to have the agenda remove our submission for the designation this evening, we are looking forward to the next round of hearings in the upcoming months,” Rummerfield said.

“Only the attorney for the present owner wants the delay,” said Keith Nakata. “So now is the right time to look at this building, determine baseline standards before a new owner decides to make additions or changes that are inappropriate with the government.”

“The reason we wanted this considered is because even if a building that’s considered significant has state historical preservation, it has not protected them previously from demolition by overzealous developers and owners,” said Peter Gurski. “And our concern is that if we do not put on these extra layers of protection, the current owner will demolish the building or the new owner will demolish a significant building without due process. And many of the developers really don’t care.”

The city adopted a Historic Preservation Ordinance in 1989 and has designated over 90 historic and cultural resources, including six historic districts.

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[…] while there is no Public hotel in the Los Angeles area.The city of West Hollywood is also debating whether to designate the hotel a “cultural resource,” given it was built in 1962 and is eligible to be listed on the […]

Wembroke
Wembroke
2 months ago

I really hope this building can stay as is on the Sunset strip, regardless if it becomes another hotel or private housing. Its a building with a lot of history and good memories for people, and the streamline moderne architecture is worth saving.

Edie
Edie
2 months ago

I agree! Great post! I really enjoy everything I read on Wehoville. You have an excellent staff here.

Doug Moon
2 months ago

Didn’t get to read much, but The Standard has tons of goodwill for a future existence. Keep up the good work. Nice place, never fully exploited.

Ava MicheIIe Tall Girl 2 Hoodie

Excellent post. Please keep up the great work. You did an amazing job. I really enjoyed reading this blog. I like and appreciate your work. Thank you for Sharing such an amazing article.

Historic Affordable Housing
Historic Affordable Housing
2 months ago

With a benevolent, altruistic owner this building could be landmarked and become nearly instant affordable housing that West Hollywood is anxious for.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
2 months ago

The Standard Hotel in New York City is apparently an exhibitionists and voyeurs destination spot:

https://metropolismag.com/projects/voyeurs-delight-andre-balazs-high-line-hotel/

A friend who lives near the hotel says there is still quite a lot of activity there.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
2 months ago

Yes, keep it!

Although I’m amazed that all these new hotels that have sprouted up the last few years are actually staying in business, I wonder if The Standard could either provide lower rates for travelers or if it could be turned into affordable single apartments?

But please, let’s not demolish it.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
2 months ago

Prominently featured in Sex and the City:

https://www.iamnotastalker.com/2008/09/23/the-standard-hotel/

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
2 months ago

Tear it down. It’s an ugly building.

:dpb
:dpb
2 months ago

Of course the council postponed the discussion. They do nothing in a timely fashion. They’re all probably waiting on their checks from developers first.

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
2 months ago
Reply to  :dpb

It wasn’t the council FYI.

Preservation is Key
Preservation is Key
2 months ago

HEAR, HEAR! Kudos to Keith Nakata and Steve Luftman for standing tall in the preservation of another important element of the Sunset Strip. Additional kudos to Jamie Rummerfield and her cohorts for joining the chorus. West Hollywood was asleep on this one so heads up folk stepped forward.

BEC
BEC
2 months ago

So true! Kudos indeed. Where is Weho’s voice on this one

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