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FBI Headquarters in Westwood?

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Plans to tear down the hideous 17-story Federal Building at 11000 Wilshire Boulevard are moving swiftly. Before you get all excited about the tearing down of ugliness in the hopes that such ugliness will be replaced by a Gehry-esque fantasy of steel and movement or a Meier-esque tribute to clarity and light, consider that it could get uglier. That's right. The FBI plans to setup shop in its place. See...we told you it could be worse than the sorry structure that's currently standing tall.

Or, is this a good thing? While many Westwood residents are concerned that the two high-profile towers planned for the LA FBI headquarters will draw undue terrorist attention to the location, others feel it doesn't get any safer than having the FBI at your doorstep. Who better to protect us than...those who are secretly spying on us, right? Oh, wait, that was NSA. Or was that just a cover? It's. All. So. Secret. What's not a secret is that the FBI is already working in the current Federal Building -- nine floors of it.

Less secret still, is the public outcry these plans met with when they were first proposed in 2004. Concern over traffic congestion in the area (we can think of only few LA areas that are worse) and the elimination of jobs (that's right -- the buildings will be bigger, but the jobs will be fewer -- never good math when trying to get residents excited about your scary project) prompted a full study on the potential effects of the proposal. The study findings will be released this month. Public outcry to follow? Or will Westwood fall in line?

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Photo by scottjlowe via Flickr