LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The stately Times Mirror Square complex will be considered Thursday for historic-cultural monument status, a designation that could thwart a developer’s plans to demolish a 1970s addition.
The Los Angeles Times, which vacated the complex over the summer to a new building in El Segundo, had been housed there since 1935. The newspaper had been renting its space since 2016, when its former owner, Tribune Media Co., sold the property to Canadian developer Omni Group.
Omni’s development plans preserve the older buildings, but would raze the 1970s addition.
A preservationist group called Esotouric submitted the Times Mirror application. A report from the Department of City Planning says the five buildings on the complex were built between 1935 and 1973 include:
- the 1935 eight-story Los Angeles Times Building designed in the art deco/moderne architectural style by Los Angeles architect Gordon B. Kaufmann;
- the four-story Plant Building completed in 1935 that is an original two-story art deco/moderne-style building by Kaufmann, with two one-story additions designed by Los Angeles architect Rowland H. Crawford in 1946 and 1955;
- the 12-story Mirror Building designed in the late moderne architectural style by Crawford in 1948;
- and the six-story Times-Mirror Headquarters Building and six-story parking structure designed by architect William L. Pereira in the corporate international architectural style in 1973.
The developers cannot tear down any buildings while the complex’s application for monument status is being considered, and a monument recommendation from the commission would have to be approved by a vote of the City Council.
The Los Angeles Department of City Planning has recommended preserving the entire complex for both architectural and historical reasons.
In a report, department staff said the complex is associated with the lives of historic personages important to national, state, city, or local history, including for its direct association with the prominent Chandler family, in particular Harry Chandler, Norman Chandler, Dorothy Buffum Chandler, and Otis Chandler, each of whom the report said played a significant role in the evolution of the Los Angeles Times from a local publication to a newspaper of national stature, and were influential in real estate development in Los Angeles.
The report also said the complex is as an excellent example of the Art Deco/Moderne and Late Moderne architectural styles, and is a significant work of master architects Gordon Kaufmann and Rowland Crawford.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)