WEHOville

Historic Statue and Mosaic to be Preserved at 8150 Sunset Blvd.

Thu, May 15, 2014   By Staff    5 Comments
"The Family" by David Green/Photo via Alison Martino

“The Family” by David Green (Photo from Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles)

We still don’t know where the moose and flying squirrel jetted off to, but a Sunset Strip mosaic and sculpture are staying put.

The Townscape Partners mixed-use project proposed for 8150 Sunset Blvd. at Crescent Heights has stirred controversy, in part because it will entail demolition of a Chase bank building that some consider historic.

WeHo resident Alison Martino, who publishes the Vintage Los Angeles page on Facebook, was more concerned about what the development could mean for a colorful 1960 glass mosaic inside the bank (“Spatial Kaleidoscope” by French artist Roger Darricarrerre) and for the sculpture (“The Family” by David Green that was commissioned by Lytton Savings) outside the building.

But Brian Lewis, a lobbyist with Marathon Communications, which represents Townscape, said that both the statue and the mosaic will be preserved and incorporated into the new project. That will surely come as a relief to Vintage Los Angeles’s 140,000 history-loving Facebook followers and to Martino, who reached out to WEHOville.com with concerns about whether the items might face the wrecking ball or get whisked away to destinations unknown.

“It’s upsetting to see the whimsical architecture be removed off the Strip,” said Martino, who’s still mourning the loss of the giant statue of Bullwinkle (Rocky in hand) that was removed last year. Last we heard, DreamWorks had whisked Bullwinkle away for repairs; Martino and WEHOville.com have struck out on getting any more recent news about the big cartoon moose’s whereabouts or future.

A 1960 "Spatial Kaleidoscope" mosaic at Chase bank by artist Roger Darricarrerre. Photo via Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles

A 1960 “Spatial Kaleidoscope” mosaic at Chase bank by artist Roger Darricarrerre. (Photo from Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles)

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5 Comments

  1. oldvannerFri, May 16, 2014 at 6:17 am

    I’m thinking to myself , as I remember walking this area countless times . I lived off the 7600 block of Sunset near highland Avenue ……………..

  2. 90069Thu, May 15, 2014 at 10:27 am

    That is good to know that the movie projector sculpture from Movietown was saved. That was a the most interesting thing about the shopping center.

  3. Jon PonderThu, May 15, 2014 at 8:27 am

    In 1962, a 75 foot-long photo mural on the history of motion pictures was also installed in the bank complex, in what was then called the Lytton Center of the Visual Arts. It would be interesting to know if the mural is there but covered up somewhere. It’s possible that the art center was in the vine-covered building to the west of the bank, at the corner of Sunset and Havenhurst, which is shown in the background of the photo of the sculpture at the top the article.

  4. erikThu, May 15, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I think progress is very important and we shouldn’t stand in the way but we should also save some of the past. If not the whole building then at least some part of it like the façade to the old Brown Derby at Hollywood and Vine. It looks like they are saving the movie projector in front of the old Movietown shopping center next to Smart and Final. I’m also glad that someone rescued the huge hotdog that was on the roof of the building at Hollywood and Western. It is now on the roof of a building on Sepulveda or Over land.

  5. Todd BiancoThu, May 15, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Given the veracity of lobbyists and developers, I think I’d get that commitment in writing to preserve the art. But I’d much rather they preserve the whole Chase Bank building. It’s a mid-century modern classic: walls of glass, floating stairs, folded roof, mosaic art, etc. I doubt anyone will miss the rest of the strip mall and it couldn’t be redeveloped fast enough. That said, there are still significant issues of the size/scale, density and height that need to be worked out with the neighbors.

    I’m a huge fan of Alison Martino’s Vintage Los Angeles Facebook feed. She’s a wonderful voice for LA history and its preservation.

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