West Hollywood Will Consider Moving Great Hall / Long Hall from Plummer Park

Protestors at West Hollywood City Council meeting
Protestors at West Hollywood City Council meeting

The West Hollywood City Council agreed tonight to postpone a decision on the demolition of Great Hall / Long Hall, the WPA-era building in Plummer Park whose proposed destruction has provoked outrage among many neighbors of the park and other West Hollywood residents.

The Council acted on a proposal by Councilmember John Duran that the city study the possibility of relocating the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. That proposal was seconded by Councilmember John Heilman, who has long advocated demolishing Great Hall / Long Hall. No date was set for completion of that study.

The Council’s decision came at what had been expected to be a tumultuous meeting — one that did attract a larger crowd than any other in recent memory. Opponents carried signs protesting the proposed demolition on the walkway outside the Council chambers before the meeting began.  A lawyer for Protect Plummer Park, a group advocating preservation of Great Hall / Long Hall, earlier had filed a request for a court order barring the city from proceeding with the demolition, although at the time of the Council meeting that request had not been heard.

The proposal on tonight’s agenda was to  approve a $120,000 contract with Interior Demolition Inc. to remove Great Hall / Long Hall. In an earlier decision, the Council had stipulated that the building must be removed within 20 days after the demolition is approved, which would have meant Great Hall / Long Hall, in existence for nearly 80 years, would have been gone by the middle of next month.

The Council did agree to proceed with replacing the existing preschool building in the park. Other elements of the redevelopment plan, including renovating the interior of Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall and considering options for new materials and colors for Fiesta Hall’s exterior, were postponed along with the Great Hall / Long Hall demolition. All of those elements were called for in the city’s original development plan, which was approved in 2010. The plan states that none of the old trees around Great Hall / Long Hall will be removed and explicitly removes the previously proposed construction of an underground parking garage from the plan the Council will be asked to approve. It does, however, call for construction of an underground parking garage where the parking lot on the south end of Plummer Park currently is located.


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Romanoff
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Romanoff

@sad: Your post made me very sad. For the sake of your health and well being, I beg you to move out of the most densely populated city west of the Mississippi!
What on earth made you think this was a good place for you to be?
I’m seriously worried about you.

sad...
Guest
sad...

I just honestly moved here because our little perfect oasis of a street (in the middle of hell) is quiet, safe and there aren’t a whole lot of people around. I love that its family oriented, tiny and surprisingly normal. Anyway, I have a weird health issue induced by loud/startling noises and also can’t afford/don’t have time/don’t want to move. @Brian you’re brilliant. That was the best solution I’ve read on this post. Although, I don’t exactly WANT more people coming to the park either way which is another reason any renovation at all is upsetting to me. The park… Read more »

Rudolf Martin
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Rudolf Martin

Brian, that is very well put and your suggestion would probably be a great solution. John Zimmer, please substantiate your theory that most people who are fighting against demolition of these historic buildings “care very little about this building”? Makes no sense to me. Romanoff, you can’t be serious with your comment about the preschool? about 20% of WeHo residents are younger than 15, I just looked it up. are city parks only for majorities? or only adults? do you suggest we cut or downgrade services for other minorities as well? To answer your question, you can easily verify who… Read more »

Brian
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Brian

First of all, our objections to the city’s previous park plan have nothing to do with some sort of petty gripe against any individual on the council. Second of all, much of our objections stem from the fact that the plan would have resulted precisely in an “overbuilt hodge podge of nothing” whereby the original Spanish Revival architecture was going to be torn down and/or fused with the sort of cookie cutter pseudo-modern architecture on display in so many DMVs and post offices in start up suburbs all over the state. … And all for the low low price of… Read more »

Riley
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Riley

It is the process, @John Zimmer. 130 people supported John D’Amico in renovating immediately, with no public opposition and yet the Council voted to demolish the building immediately. That’s why people are upset. The people want the rainbow flag to fly and all of a sudden it is too gay for this council. The people don’t want huge buildings without enough parking in their neighborhoods and the plans get passed anyway. Which part of people wanting to have their city their way is dubious? It is NOT the ISSUE that is important it is how all of it came about… Read more »

Romanoff
Guest
Romanoff

@HistoryBuff: Yes, a cafe serving wine and beer or a coffee shop or a 4 Star restaurant… Because despite your hillbilly mentality, eating and drinking is NOT just a passing trend. As for Dona Cecilia Plummer’s home that was once in West Hollywood, who cares? How does that old house benefit a park that is meant to be used for fun, recreation, meeting, etc. This is a PARK, not an office complex. Meetings can be held in dozens of locations around and near the city. The park should be open, green and usable by all. To be perfectly honest, the… Read more »

John Zimmer
Guest
John Zimmer

It is sad to see those who basically form in line to oppose anything the Council does tie themselves to this dubious cause. I am sure that some of the core people looking to preserve this questionable building are sincere in their beliefs, but if this follows the usual route, most on their side are, though politically more liberal, basically doing so for the same way Tea Partiers opposed anything Obama does.

Most people in West Hollywood I suspect care very little about this building and don’t see why it should be the most important issue of our time.

Shawn Thompson
Guest

What a great day for the #weho democracy and historic preservation. Thank you John D”Amico for bringing the Great Hall preservation first to council in 5A. And much respect and appreciation to Both Council Member John Duran and John Heilman for working with the community and the willingness to keep working for a park everyone will love

HIstory Buff
Guest
HIstory Buff

A wine bar really? No, that’s not temporary and trendy at all. And a great park use where children are. Good thinking. A WPA landmark represents the national government’s drive to put people to work during the great depression. These buildings precede those making comments about “being told what a park is”. They are the ones actually trying to rewrite history. The council will change. The neighbors will change. Poor Plummer Park has been under seige by governmental bodies for years – remember the Dona Cecilia Plummer’s home that was once in West Hollywood? That’s now a landmark that belongs… Read more »

Rudolf Martin
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Rudolf Martin

Ah, yes, it’s always a good day when the “WeHoan formerly known as NIMBY” comes up with yet another anonymous screen name. You refer to yourself an awful lot in the plural, do I detect an identity crisis, “Laurel Avenue Resident”? I wouldn’t get too depressed yet if I were you, the buildings are still a lot closer to the wrecking ball than to being renovated. But you will probably have to foot a much stiffer bill if you and your alter ego friends get your way. Steve, although I disagree with your first paragraph, I completely agree with the… Read more »

Laurel Avenue Resident
Guest
Laurel Avenue Resident

Ah, yes. Litigation. Such a progressive move. What a waste of money this is all going to turn out to be. Just because a minority of people want to impose their view on what a park should be. So now the rest of us are going to be stuck footing the bill for moving these tired old buildings? Thanks, everyone. Great work. This just reeks of an entitled few thinking that West Hollywood is their personal fiefdom and the city coffers are their own piggy bank. Why should I have to pay to keep two useless buildings and move them… Read more »

Tom Fuchs
Guest
Tom Fuchs

Litigation of the kind that led to last night’s decision costs. If you feel strongly about continuing the effort to save GreatLong Hall, please consider sending a donation to Stephanie and Cathy.