Preservationists Upset After Stained Glass Windows Removed From Old Hollywood Church

HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A longstanding Hollywood church no longer has its stained glass windows – and some local preservationists are demanding answers.

Plans to convert the 90-year-old former Bethany Lutheran Church located at Sunset and Alexandria Avenue into modernized creative offices were already put in place months ago, but neighborhood activists say the removal of the stained glass from the Gothic Revival building may have crossed the line.

“I was angry. They had promised us the windows were no longer in the scope of work,” said historian Charles Fisher, a historian who

Officials rejected an effort (PDF) back in January to enshrine the building as a historic monument. An area planning commission had insisted that the outside of the former church could not be altered unless the new owner requested approval from the Department of City Planning, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The arched windows disappeared soon after the building department granted a permit to “change all window glazing”. A spokesperson for the building owner declined to tell The Times whether the windows had been destroyed or merely removed.

Local residents and preservationists who say they were told the church windows would be spared are upset over the move.

“What I fear is that they may have even sold or destroyed the windows so that they can’t be replaced,” Edward Hunt, an architect who follows
planning issues with the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, told The Times.

Building department officials later said the permit was issued in error and move to revoke it, a move opponents fear may have come too late.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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