Bulldozer Bonanza Brought Down Important Landmarks in 2007
It's the end of another year and LA has lost yet another handful of important buildings. LA Weekly has the goods on the "big ones" that were lost this year including the Ambassador Hotel and Cocoanut Grove, Trader Vic's, Johnie's Broiler, Mann National Theatre and our personal vote for deepest loss of the year, Tail o' the Pup.
It seems we're not the only ones who mourn the loss of our favorite hot dog stand:
As an architectural writer, probably 80 percent of my calls — even though it’s been gone for a year — are simply “Where’d the Tail o’ the Pup stand go?” It vanished after the owners lost their lease when talks of developing a retirement community on-site began. The famous hot doggy mysteriously disappeared one day, and remains officially MIA.
While most of the properties are gone for good (goodbye, Ambassador pool, we will miss you), Johnie's is poised for a come-back. A moratorium on building at the 90,000 square foot site will expire on January 23, 2008. The City of Downey has entered into an agreement with the site's owner to prevent further deterioration of the site until a team of experts can develop and agree upon a plan for resurrection. You, too, can join the coalition of those willing to eat at the Broiler once again.The 2007 teardowns were a blow to our city's history and heritage, and it looks as if the destruction of our beloved landmarks is far from over. Many important LA structures are still in trouble, according to the LA Conservancy. Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House, the Golden Gate Theater, the Lankershim Train Depot, and the Santa Anita Racetrack are among the buildings and landmarks they'll be watching closely in 2008.
Yet, despite all these tear-downs and a mortgage and credit crunch that has many LA developers slowing down or halting projects altogether, several big buildings are going full steam ahead (for now) in 2008. The most notable? The Grand Avenue Project downtown, which today's Real Estate Journal included in a list of "mega-developments being planned for the world's biggest cities."
As with every year in LA, we're sure 2008 will give us more teardowns and more buildups. What now-demolished LA haunts were your favorites? Which about-to-be built projects are you looking forward to and which ones do you hate?
Photo of former Ambassador Hotel site by minuk via Flickr