Historic Preservation Commission mulls the fate of The Standard hotel tonight

West Hollywood’s Historic Preservation Commission will vote tonight on whether to recommend the former Standard hotel on Sunset Blvd. for designation as one of the city’s Cultural Resources.

Tonight’s highly anticipated discussion was originally due to happen last month but was postponed by the commission. The meeting is expected to draw even more public commenters than the one in March.

The former Standard hotel 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.

Three decades later, the building was purchased by Andre Balazs, who had spearheaded a renovation of the Chateau Marmont in 1990.  With the backing of Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Benicio del Toro, and members of Smashing Pumpkins, Balazs turned the building back into a hotel which re-opened in 1999 as The Standard. It became one of the Strip’s hottest stays for years.

The building has been listed on the California Register since 2010. The application for Cultural Resource Designation was submitted last August by Steven Luftman on behalf of SIA Projects. City staff have recommended the Commission approve the proposal, which would put the decision in City Council’s hands.

The building, according to their report, is an exemplar of the city’s special architectural and historic elements. Attributes such as location, design, setting, materials, workmanship and feeling are all factored into whether or not a building deserves the distinction.

“The Thunderbird Inn was constructed at the beginning of the Sunset Strip’s resurgence in the early 1960s when high-rise office, hotel, and apartment buildings designed in the Mid-Century Modern style replaced one and two-story Period Revival buildings. The period of significance for this criterion is 1962 when the building was constructed as a distinctive example of a motor lodge hotel designed in the Mid-Century Modern style with its horizontal massing, flat roof, stucco siding, and sophisticated use of travertine cladding. The building’s design also incorporates subtle Googie-themed features including the geometric curvilinear volumes of repeating wave-like horizontal bands forming guestroom balconies that bring attention of the passing motorist. The building was also constructed atop a massive concrete base containing the two level parking garage that took 22 hours to pour, which was one of the largest in Los Angeles County at the time and a significant structural achievement.”

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

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. tonight.

To Participate by Providing An E-Comment:

To better facilitate the remote meeting, members of the public who wish to comment on matters before the Historic Preservation Commission are strongly encouraged to submit an Email to shouston@weho.org no later than 2:00 p.m. on the Historic Preservation Commission meeting day.

***Your comments and information will become part of the official public record. If you do not want your personal information included in the official record, please do not include your address and/or phone number***.

Note: E-Comments received by 2:00 p.m. will be forwarded to the Historic Preservation Commission and posted on the City’s website as part of the official meeting record.

To Participate by Providing Public Comment by Telephone: This option is to provide public comment via Phone ONLY

1.      You are strongly encouraged to Email shouston@weho.org in advance of the Historic Preservation Commission meeting to be added to the Public Speaker List for the meeting.

Please include your name, the phone number from which you will be calling, and which item you would like to speak on.

2.      Dial-in 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting (the meeting begins at 7:00pm)

You will be placed on HOLD in the Virtual Waiting Room until it is your turn to speak.

Dial-In:           669-900-6833

Meeting ID:    974 0092 8911 #

3.      Please Mute Your Phone Until You Are Called to Speak.  Comments from the public are limited to 3 minutes per speaker.

4.      You May Participate and View the Meeting Via the Zoom Platform:

When you enter the meeting, please make sure to turn off your video and mute your audio.

If you wish to make a public comment, please use the ‘raised hand’ feature in the Zoom application.  You will be called at the appropriate time. Please turn on your video and audio to make your public comment. Please join the Zoom meeting here:

·        HPC Teleconference Meeting Link

To comply with the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 If special assistance to participate in this meeting is required, (e.g., an American Sign Language interpreter for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing), you must call or submit your request in writing to the Office of the City Clerk at (323) 848-6409 at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. The City TTY line is (323) 848-6496.

Written materials distributed to the Historic Preservation Commission within 72 hours of the Historic Preservation Commission meeting are available for public inspection immediately upon distribution in the Planning and Development Services Department, please submit electronic requests to planning@weho.org during normal business hours or contact HPC Secretary, Sharita Houston at shouston@weho.org

This agenda was posted at: City Hall, Plummer Park, and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. For additional information on an item listed below, please contact Senior Planner, Doug Vu, HPC Liaison at (dvu@weho.org) (323) 848-3120.

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Rose
Rose
21 days ago

There can be NO DISCUSSION about the Architectural Historic Value.

There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HISTORIC, SYMBOLIC, PART OF HISTORY ABOUT THE EX STANDARD HOTEL.

gdaddy
gdaddy
29 days ago

While I’ve been all for preventing homes (especially ones that are historic and are rent controlled) from being turned into facilities like on Palm Ave., you sometimes have to pick your battles. I don’t see anything wrong with improving an out of business hotel. I’d suggest keeping height limitations though so Sunset doesn’t become a brick wall of tall hotels.

Follow up
Follow up
1 month ago

As I understand from the HPC Secretary, the Commission voted to recommend designation of the Standard.

The other agenda item, designation of Turners Liquor was not denied but given an opportunity to return as much of the integrity has been compromised. Do not have the info on next steps but the Planner Doug Vu may have the particulars.

BEC
BEC
29 days ago
Reply to  Follow up

Thank you!

BEC
BEC
1 month ago

So, what happened? Can we get an update please?

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago

This article has to be some kind of parody like The Onion. They can’t possibly be serious about “saving” this less than ordinary glorified motel. This place makes some Days Inn locations I’ve stayed at look like the Crillion Hotel in Paris. Let’s implode this outdated roadhouse, have 5 years of hearings, give our corrupt city council lots of opportunity to shake down developers, and put up something beautiful and modern that charges $1,000 a night. No wonder almost all of America hates us.

Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Could not agree with you more on this one, WQ.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

Only in West Hollywood would a former old folks home be considered for historic consideration. This alliance hasn’t met an old building it hasn’t want to save.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

It was originally built as a hotel. Its past use is pretty much irrelevant though. People want to save it because of their love for midcentury architecture.

In fact, West Hollywood and Los Angeles is KNOWN for getting rid of their historic buildings.

Cy Husain
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

But those in power only see our past buildings as useful in capitalist exploitation and, if something in their judgement can do a better job of that, they just get rid of it. Just like the they do with working people every day❗

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 month ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

Stop communism!

Cy Husain
29 days ago
Reply to  WehoFan

If you have been paying attention like in Donetsk onward we are winning against the neonazi azov battalion fascists❗☭

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

If it was truly historic I’d be all for saving it. It’s not historic. At. All.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

It absolutely is historic. We need to preserve some buildings from that era. Who needs another 12 story glass box? We should have a nice mixture of different architectural styles on the strip.

Multiple Architectural Styles
Multiple Architectural Styles
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

You’re on a roll here, keep it up.

JF1
JF1
29 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

please. The only buildings that should be preserved are those with real historic significance – architectural or otherwise. This building is not significant.Please explain to me why it is historic. Being an old structure does not qualify it for historic designation. The fact that it was done in the style of the day is also not historic unless it was done by a famous architect (then you might have a leg to stand on). This structure is not historic. It’s old and it was done in a popular style of its day. That day has long since passed.

Last edited 29 days ago by JF1
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
29 days ago
Reply to  JF1

This structure is not historic. It’s old and it was done in a popular style of its day. That day has long since passed.”

Wow. I guess we should just remove everything that’s “old” lol. What a silly argument.

JF1
JF1
29 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

You declaring this old hotel as historically significant is silly. And you still I have not provided a valid argument on why you think this building is historic. Instead your resort to some childish one liner. 🙄

Last edited 29 days ago by JF1
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
28 days ago
Reply to  JF1

Where’s the one liner? I said it’s historically significant because of the era it’s from. The sunset strip should have buildings from all different eras, NOT just new glass rectangles.

Btw the historic preservation committee voted unanimously for the hotel to be a local designated resource. You’ll be looking at this building for a long time 🙂

JF1
JF1
28 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

There is no historical value to this building. It. Is. NOT. historic just because it been around a long time. And yes, I am not surprised that the historic preservation committee voted to save this old building. They haven’t met an old building that they didn’t think was historic. They are losing credibility because they deem everything old as historic. That is not the benchmark. End of story. I don’t think the people that sit on these committees are necessary the most educated in architecture. Just like our public safety commission is not the most qualified to steer our city… Read more »

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
28 days ago
Reply to  JF1

Lol @ you bringing in totally irrelevant topics to this debate about a building being preserved.

The building. IS. HISTORIC. End of story. We win. One less glass box on sunset- OH NO THE HORROR.

The More We Know
The More We Know
28 days ago
Reply to  JF1

Please educate yourself otherwise you may appear to be tragically ignorant.

JF1
JF1
28 days ago

No person with an architectural background would deem a building historic if there is no celebrated architect attached to it or if no history of any significance other than it it standing after so many years. It’s not ignorant to disagree with a bunch of people that sit on a committee that have no clue. The more you know…the more you would realize that an old hotel, then an old folks home, then an hotel again with no celebrated architect attached to the structure is not historic. Sentimentality, or “i like the style” or “we need something from different eras”… Read more »

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