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Old May 2nd, 2009, 04:55 AM   #1
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LOS ANGELES | Century Plaza Hotel Development | 183m x 2 | 600ft x 2 | 46 fl x 2 | App



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Quote:
Preservationists, developer square off over Century Plaza Hotel




Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times
New owners have revealed plans to demolish the Century Plaza hotel.


The owners plan to demolish the Century City hotel and replace it with a $2-billion commercial and residential complex. The Los Angeles Conservancy wants to save it.

By Martha Groves
April 28, 2009

Minutes after their return from the moon in 1969, the three Apollo 11 astronauts gazed out the window of their isolation chamber as President Nixon welcomed them home and invited them to a state dinner in their honor.

The setting would be a magnificent ballroom in the Century Plaza hotel in "Los Angeles' space-age Century City complex," as the Los Angeles Times described it.

Forty years beyond, that crescent-shaped monument of mid-century modernism, where guests enjoyed specially created "moon rocks" of green almond paste dusted with chocolate, is poised to become the focus of what promises to be an intense battle over preservation.

New owners have revealed plans to demolish the hotel, no longer the VIP magnet it once was, and replace it with a $2-billion complex that includes two 50-story towers containing condos, offices, shops and a smaller luxury hotel.

The Los Angeles Conservancy is determined to stop them. To bolster its campaign, it has enlisted the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which today put the 726-room Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel on its annual list of America's 11 most endangered historic places.


"By naming this structure to the list, the National Trust is demonstrating that the preservation of recent past and modern buildings is as important to our cultural record as preserving architecture that's from the Victorian period or Art Deco era," said Christine Madrid French, director of the trust's nascent Modernism + Recent Past Initiative.

Of course, there is some debate about whether a hotel less than half a century old deserves the same level of protection as century-old structures.

When Los Angeles developer Michael Rosenfeld announced his redevelopment plans last December, he said the hotel's nearly 600-foot length impeded pedestrians' connections with other parts of the neighborhood. The new design, he said, would feature an open, tree-lined area between the two proposed towers that would facilitate people's meanderings among offices, shops and restaurants.

"The naming of the hotel as a historic place is not supported by the facts," Rosenfeld said. "The building . . . does not qualify for consideration under stringent criteria for historic designation of a building of this recent age.

"We're building a landmark for the future," he added.

But the notion of razing the Century Plaza alarmed the Los Angeles Conservancy. It nominated the structure for the trust's endangered list. Previously, other sites it suggested had made the list, including the original McDonald's in Downey, the Santa Anita racetrack, St. Vibiana's Cathedral and Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House, one of the first residences constructed from concrete block.

Having seen the demolition of other Century City landmarks in recent years -- notably the ABC Entertainment Center, home of the Shubert Theatre, and the headquarters of Welton Becket & Associates, the firm that first designed Century City -- the conservancy did not want to see another mid-century building destroyed.

"This building has both architectural and cultural significance," Linda Dishman, the conservancy's executive director, said of the Century Plaza. "We really thought this was the line in the sand."

The 19-story hotel on Avenue of the Stars at Constellation Boulevard, which opened in 1966, was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, later to gain fame for designing New York's World Trade Center towers.

Almost from its beginning, the hotel attracted celebrities, with Prince Andrew credited as the first international guest of renown. Politicians and other world dignitaries stayed so often that in the 1970s the hotel earned the nickname "the Western White House." President Reagan threw two victory parties there.

More notoriously, Hollywood studio chief and embezzler David Begelman committed suicide in one of the rooms.

Dishman noted that the hotel has been an epicenter of Westside social, political and celebrity functions.

"That unique cross-section has brought many people into contact with the building," she said.

She acknowledged that buildings typically must be at least 50 years old for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, unless they have exceptional significance. A mid-century building from the 1960s, she said, "is not the first thing people think of when they think historic preservation.

"We believe this building has exceptional significance," she said.

Rosenfeld, who bought the property a year ago for $366.5 million with backing from D.E. Shaw Group, has said his idea was influenced by a proposal unveiled in early 2007 to make Century City greener, less car-centric and more pedestrian-friendly. His architect, Henry N. Cobb, contends that the new configuration would help connect key parts of the neighborhood and create a public gathering place.

National Trust President Richard Moe took issue with that.

"The owners bought it and called it a jewel in their hometown but now want to demolish it as part of the greening of Century City?" he said. "They're doing just the opposite. They couldn't do a more un-green thing."

Moe maintains that the building contains a great deal of "embodied energy," the energy required to manufacture the materials, transport them to the site and assemble them into a building. He has recently been speaking to groups nationwide about this notion to demonstrate that historic preservation can be a tool to achieve sustainability.

"It's an 800,000-square-foot hotel," Moe said. "The embodied energy is estimated to be the equivalent of 7 million gallons of gasoline. . . . If you tear the building down, you lose all that energy."

Not every old building deserves to be saved, Moe said, but if an older building can serve a new use, then preserving it makes sense for environmental as well as architectural and cultural reasons.

"We are trying to save this building," Moe said. "We're going to be fully engaged with the Los Angeles Conservancy to try to use every means possible to save this building."

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Some are upset that the Century Plaza Hotel may be gone...The two towers are set too back from the street imo.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 04:59 AM   #2
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looks good!
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Old May 5th, 2009, 02:37 PM   #3
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I think it looks pretty good. The lower levels specifically look great with all the greenery. Century Plaza is a great building but I don't think it needs to be preserved.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 08:32 AM   #4
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L.A. has two main clusters,.. Downtown and Century City,.. I prefer these in downtown.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #5
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love it...i guess it would fit perfectly in downtown.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 03:44 AM   #6
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For a suppposedly sexy city, L.A. could use a few more curves, *downtown*. LOL....Nice addition.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 11:57 PM   #7
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I can totally understand the need to preserve history but this building just doesn't measure in my book. Tear it down and let them build.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 08:26 PM   #8
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They should just tear the hotel down, I agree. I don't see anything that special about it. If anything it's taking up too much space. The new towers would be nice additions to LA. The city is in dire need of some new buildings. Preserving historic buildings is sometimes a good idea, but in a city like LA they're going to need to start building up.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 08:04 PM   #9
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Very nice towers with those considerable gardens !
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Old July 9th, 2009, 11:50 PM   #10
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The Century Plaza Hotel is to be demoed to make room for two fifty storey towers. An interesting issue. The Century Plaza Hotel used to have a 30-storey addition to the southwest of it. The taller tower opened right before the 1984 Olympics and passed away in 2007 for the The Century condominium tower. The two towers will contain offices, residential units, and even a hotel. However, the room count of the new hotel is only 130, and it is deemed too insufficient, which is the primary reason I am opposed to the new development. The towers look great, but build them in some other city in Asia or Africa. Building the towers in a vacant lot won't work because the last vacant lot in Century City is at the northeast corner of Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the stars and that is likely to go to some other development. The Century Plaza Hotel may be the only hotel building ever constructed in Century City (aside from the deceased 30-story addition) and the hotel was included in the original plans for Century City (office buildings, apartment buildings an 800-room hotel, and a shopping mall). If those towers are built, the neighbourhood it is in will be better known as Century City, the City with a Miniscule Number of Hotel Rooms.

I have come up with a new idea: Tear down the Century Plaza anyway, but instead of building those towers, build a new 30-storey 700 to 800 room hotel on the site? It should be a better hotel than the Century Plaza ever was. And the best part: That new hotel should cut energy use by an undetermined percentage.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 09:37 AM   #11
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Omg Century City is becoming Downtown!
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Old August 8th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Century Plaza Hotel Solution: Cats and Dogs, Living Together

Wednesday, August 5, 2009, by Dakota



In the "tear it down or keep it up" debate over the Century Plaza, a reader sends in a Photoshopped image of a possible compromise, and a solution that may not be so unrealistic if developer Michael Rosenfeld can't tear down the hotel. "Sure seems the most basic of compromises," he writes. Looks like we even get to keep all the green grass and the colorful background.
Hmm...
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Old August 8th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #13
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I would rather build those towers on the sides of the hotel, so it would look like the towers are connected with the hotel...
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Old August 18th, 2009, 08:06 PM   #14
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Any of y'all agree with the idea I just came up with in my last post?
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Old September 12th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #15
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hmmmm... you are talking eco friendly. They can also build a luxuary resort of 30 to max. 40 storeys high intstead indeed.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #16
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It wouold be a great addition.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #17
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What Sbinttim until I get an answer can enter please download space
http://prasi m.uni.cc / ref.php? id = 764
Eventually have to leave
http://prasim then the rest
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Old November 9th, 2011, 07:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Century Plaza Hotel Saved, Marmol Radziner En Route

Thursday, February 11, 2010, by Dakota Smith



The Century Plaza Hotel in Century City will not go the way of the Ambassador Hotel. As anticipated, a deal was reached between Michael Rosenfeld's Next Century development company, City Councilman Paul Koretz, and preservation groups to save the Minoru Yamasaki-designed hotel at 2025 Avenue of the Stars. According to a press release sent out last night from Koretz's office, the developer may end up adding new structures behind or on the sides of the hotel (a proposal Koretz talked about late last year), while the hotel will be reconfigured, with a portion of the hotel rooms being turned into condominiums. According to a representative for Next Century, architecture firm Marmol Radziner will do the preservation work under this new proposal (the firm is known for their restoration and preservation work), while the site development architects are Pei Cobb Freed (who designed the original two-tower design) and Gensler. Rios Clemente Hale Studios is doing the landscaping. Koretz's press release also notes a Draft EIR for this revised project should be out by mid-summer, and if entitled, the project will see a construction time of three and half years.

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Old November 9th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
Revised Century Plaza Plan Would See Two Tall Towers Rise
Wednesday, August 11, 2010, by Dakota Smith



Next Century developer Michael Rosenfeld unveiled his new plan for the Century Plaza, reports the Los Angeles Times, and it's now a project that would see two 46-story skyscrapers--designed by architecture firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners--go up behind the now-protected Century Plaza Hotel. Via the Times: "Compared with other, more colorful skyscrapers in Century City, the look of the proposed towers is "quiet," [Henry] Cobb said. "We are trying to strengthen the identity of Century Plaza and not diminish it." City Councilman Paul Koretz is speaking out in support of this version of the project, which would add 290 condos and 190,000 square feet of offices/retail in those towers, while Mike Eveloff, president of Tract 7260, a homeowners group, tells the paper "More development is not what West L.A. needs right now." But back to that design:

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Old November 9th, 2011, 07:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
New Century Plaza Hotel Plan Trying For Century City Walkability
Jul. 22 2011



The Century Plaza hotel has been saved from demolition and now comes the tough part--making Century City pedestrian friendly. Developer Next Century Associates released a draft environmental impact report yesterday for its planned development of the Minoru Yamasaki-designed site, detailing what'll go in and around the restored mid-century hotel and two new 46 story towers. The LA Times reports that the developer plans to fill in the hotel's sunken plaza and connect the building to the street via "two low-slung pavilions with landscaping and fountains." They also want to convert the hotel's lobby into a breezeway. Inside the old hotel, they'll convert 726 rooms into 394 guest rooms and 63 condos, while the towers will have 290 condos (Will there be status wars between the hotel folk and the tower folk?). The towers will be filled out with 94,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and "up to 100,000 square feet of office space."
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