Politicians, Celebrities to Rally Tomorrow to Protest the (No Longer Planned) Demolition of Norms

Norm's Restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard
Norm’s Restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard

A group of politicians, preservationists and celebrities will stage a press conference at 10 a.m. tomorrow to call for the preservation of Norms, the Googie-style diner at 470 N. La Cienega Blvd.

Speakers will urge people to sign a petition created by the L.A. Conservancy that opposes demolition of the iconic diner, whose new owner already has said he does not plan to demolish it but will incorporate it into a new retail plaza.

The director of communications for L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz said likely participants in the event will include Koretz; West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico; L.A. Conservancy Executive Director Linda Dishman; Michael L. Colonna, president of the Norms Restaurants group; actor Matthew Weiner (“Mad Men”); actor-singer James Darren, and Belinda Carlisle (“The Go-Gos”).

Last week the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission voted unanimously to declare Norms a cultural monument, a designation that must be approved by the L.A. City Council.

The Norms site, which sits just south of West Hollywood’s boundary with Los Angeles, was purchased last month by Faring Capital. Faring’s Jason Illoulian emphasized that he does not plan to demolish Norms, although Faring has obtained a demolition permit. Illoulian said he hopes to keep the Norms building alive as a 24-hour diner. Illoulian said he envisions it as the centerpiece of a “community of shops” like that at the Brentwood Country Mart.

The eccentric Googie style takes its name from a coffee shop called Googie that was at the intersection of Sunset and Crescent Heights boulevards in the 1950s. Today, in addition to Norms, a major example of the Googie style is Mel’s Diner at 8585 Sunset Blvd. just west of Londonderry Place in West Hollywood.

  1. This can’t hurt, and we all know that developers have gone back on their word numerous times in the past, sometimes leveling places in the dead of night.

  2. I think its good we’re still standing behind it. Shows we’re committed to saving it. You never know what could happen if we turn our backs for just a second.

  3. Never one to shy away from a photo op and really never understanding the dynamics of Historic Preservation, former Mayor D’Amico be there, undoubtedly flanked by his HPC Commissioner, Miss Preservation. Wonder what REALLY motivated this soirée.

  4. “although Faring has obtained a demolition permit.”

  5. The Los Angeles Conservancy should be declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Their tactics stink. I agree that Norms has value! But since the owner has not asked to demolish the site this “grandstanding” seems premature and unlikely to be a productive means of working with the property owner. The Conservancy needs a donation to fund a new director–one who will advocate with creativity and skill, but not a bad attitude. Ms. Dishman and her cohort Mr. Fine could use some lessons in “how to succeed in preservation without alienation.”

    Since you have not lost anything yet why are you making enemies?

    @Paul Koretz–I voted for you in Weho many times. Your office should remain neutral until you have something to consider. Otherwise you are just pandering for votes/contributions.

  6. although Matthew Weiner has acted, he hasn’t on Mad Men—-rather, he’s the writer and producer of Mad Men and has directed a few episodes

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