Consultant Offers Options for Moving (and Preserving) Plummer Park’s Great Hall Long Hall

Great Hall / Long Hall (Photo by J. Mark, 2013)
Great Hall / Long Hall (Photo by J. Mark, 2013)

A consultant engaged by the City of West Hollywood has identified nine options for moving the historic Great Hall Long Hall from Plummer Park.

The options will be presented to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission at a meeting at 7 p.m. today at Fiesta Hall in Plummer Park.

Options examined by the consultant, Historic Resources Group of Pasadena, range from moving the Great Hall, the Long Hall,  the cloister framed by the two buildings and a separate toilet building to simply cutting the roof, walls and wood framed floors of the Great Hall Long Hall buildings and trucking them to a warehouse for storage.

The first option is the only one that Historic Resources Group (HRG) says will allow the buildings to remain on the National Register of Historic Places. It will preserve the design, material, workmanship and feeling of the building. That alternative calls for the buildings to be relocated west of the current location near North Vista Street. HRG estimates the relocation will cost $1,867,000.

Another option that might enable the building to retain its standing on the Historic Register would include moving only Great Hall and Long Hall and not the cloister area and toilet building. HRG’s report says that option would not preserve the all of the building’s design. It estimates that move would cost $1.426 million.

Simply trucking portions of the building to a storage facility would cost $712,000.

The West Hollywood City Council in January asked city staffers to investigate the feasibility of moving Great Hall Long Hall to allow implementation of a controversial Plummer Park master plan. That plan was approved by the Council in 2004 and called for demolition of Great Hall Long Hall in order to create more green space in the xx-acre park. The original plan also called for construction of an underground parking garage, renovation of the interior of Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall and considering options for new materials and colors for Fiesta Hall’s exterior. The most recent version of 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 the underground parking garage on the Great Hall / Long Hall site. 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..

The proposed demolition of the historic buildings prompted the organization of a citizens group called Protect Plummer Park. That group organized protests against the city’s plan. It also hired a lawyer who had filed a request for a court order blocking the demolition that the Council was expected to approve on Jan. 21. Instead it accepted a proposal by Councilmember John Duran to postpone the project while the city examined the possibility of moving the buildings.

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Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
5 years ago

Great idea, Todd Bianco! I would add, that we can move the preschool back into the renovated retrofitted historic building, along with the Audubon Society, and have an actively used opened up historic courtyard with 100 year old olive trees. This would also allow us to demolish the current preschool building and further open up the center of the park. The only thing wrong with the building is that it has been mismanaged and neglected for the past 30 years. Good questions, Jonathan. I would like to hear the answers myself but it seems that the “great brown lawn” is… Read more »

Lynn
Lynn
5 years ago

Great ideas Todd. A few cliff notes from the consultant’s study: Community Clubhouse is a significant contribution to broad patterns of history, WPA’s excellent example to expand and improve recreational facilities . Excellent example of Spanish Colonial Revival which emphasized the public’s romantic perception of surrounding park and celebrated the cherished history of the area. Stable condition, retains integrity and eligible for the National Register of Historic Places Relocation generally not desirable and removal from the original location would be a negative factor possibly a cause for de-listing. Avoid alteration, use as it was used, Great Hall/Long Hall an excellent… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago

Maybe a comment to little too late but here goes … Why are we fixing this park ? What’s broken? This park is always full and being enjoyed ? Let’s ask each council person and planning Why ? Then show their answer here. Whose vision are these grand lawns .. Is this actually a way to keep the parks more open to sheriff ? There me be little or no water to keep them green if we have one more dry year. As a long time designer I always focused on what didn’t work about a project and put the… Read more »

Todd Bianco
5 years ago

I’ve got an idea. Take the $1.9 million it would cost to move the building and do an earthquake retrofit and an update/modernization (paint, electrical, plumbing, insulation, HVAC, etc.). Then leave it where it is and design the rest of the park around it. Maybe even invite the Audubon Society (or something similar) back. Problem solved!