HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — The fight to save a historical Los Angeles landmark is ramping up as the final deadline looms
If you’ve driven down Sunset Boulevard, you’ve probably seen it. It’s now Chase, but originally it was Lytton Saving Bank which was completed in the 1960s.
“It’s frustrating because it’s a significant modernist piece of architecture for this city and it doesn’t have to be lost. It’s unnecessarily being demolished,” said Adrian Scottfine of the Los Angeles Conservancy.
The Conservancy and other local activists have been fighting to save the piece of modern architecture about six years. The developer, Townscape Partners, wants to tear it down and replace it with a shopping plaza designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry — the man behind the Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown and other spectacular buildings around the world.
“It’s so the wrong approach. I think it’s money. This building has been an albatross on the developer and they want to get it out of the way,” said activist Steven Luftman.
Activists like Luftman got a little bit of hope in 2016 when the city gave the building a historic landmark status, but that didn’t save it.
“That doesn’t happen every day and it means the building is very significant to the community culturally, architecturally, whatever it might be,” said Scottfine.
The city’s cultural heritage commission blocked the demolition while designers tried to figure out a way to move the building, rather than destroy it. But that six month protection expires at the end of April and activists say at this point the developer would have to change their mind and they are hoping public pressure will make that happen.