State Rejects Historic Designation for The Factory

An image of the revised plan for Robertson Lane, included a restoration of The Factory. (Hodgetts + Fung)
An image of the revised plan for Robertson Lane, included a restoration of The Factory. (Hodgetts + Fung)

The California Historical Resources Commission on Friday rejected a request to find The Factory building eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The building, known for being the home of Mitchell Camera Factory and the Studio One nightclub, was previously denied designation for local listing in 1995.

Faring Capital said the rejection won’t stop it from proceeding with its plan to incorporate a majority of The Factory into its Robertson Lane project. That project will include a hotel, shops and restaurants and 1,000 subterranean parking spaces on the lot between Robertson Boulevard and LaPeer Drive where The Factory building is located.

“Despite being denied eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places, Faring recognizes how important The Factory building is locally and to the greater Los Angeles region,” said Darren Embry, Faring’s director of community development. “The Factory’s local connection is why Faring has worked so hard with our preservationist community partners over the last three years to arrive at our current Robertson Lane proposal that incorporates the Factory, which is truly a win-win.”

The current Factory building
The current Factory building

In April a group of historical preservation advocates known as the West Hollywood Heritage Project filed an application with the National Register of Historic Places to have The Factory building declared a historic resource. The state Historical Resources Commission’s evaluation was part of the National Register’s approval process. Kate Eggert and Krisy Gosney, founders of the WeHo Heritage group, had hoped The Factory would become the first West Coast LGBT property on the National Register. Preservation activists see the fact that The Factory housed Studio One as an important part of gay history. That gay disco, which opened in 1974, drew celebrities such as Patti LaBelle, Joan Rivers and Liza Minnelli along with as many as 1,000 gay men.

Last year the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a different organization, put the Factory on its list of America’s most endangered historic places. The annual list of the trust, which is a privately funded nonprofit, spotlights important examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that the trust sees as being at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. More than 250 sites have been on the list over its 28-year history.

Faring, which originally had planned to demolish The Factory building, worked with other local preservation organizations such as the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance and the Los Angeles Conservancy to find a way to incorporate it into the Robertson Lane project.

“The completion of Robertson Lane will ensure The Factory will remain part of our community for years to come, for future generations in West Hollywood to enjoy,” said Craig Hodgetts, a partner with Ming Fung in Hodgetts + Fung, which is designing the project. “Robertson Lane will celebrate The Factory’s storied past and start a new and exciting chapter in the building’s history.”

CEO Jason Illoulian noted that last Tuesday Faring hosted over 150 local West Hollywood residents and small business owners to solicit input from the community. “Robertson Lane will alleviate the parking burdens in the neighborhood and transform this part of West Hollywood into a walkable district,” Illoulian said in a press release. More information about the project is available at its website.

More information about Robertson Lane and the future plans for The Factory building is available on the project’s website.


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Don Azars
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Don Azars

Sorry but the building should be torn down and the space used to promote our city’s business. If such “factories” relating to the entertainment industry were all designated “landmarks” that could involved hundreds of old warehouses, stores, studio support and even old houses. As for STUDIO ONE, while I enjoyed the events there and liked the owner, that too should not qualify as a landmark as much as THE FRENCH QUARTER bldg, an issue that is being overlooked.

J Simmons
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J Simmons

The actual building has.ZERO construction historic value. It is about the history that it represents and the large part of the City’s fight for a safe gay Haven.

Don Azars
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Don Azars

Sometimes they get it right.

GregR
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GregR

The actual photo and the artist’s rendering don’t really match up. Are they going to move the structure?

J. Mitford
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J. Mitford

I don’t know about this project but it seems Donald Trump is connected to 8150 Sunset! So is Gov, Christie’s wife. Do you think they were the ones who wanted Jim Crow entrances?

http://cruiselinehistory.com/new-york-developers-connected-to-donald-trump-and-new-jersey-governor-chris-christies-wife-plan-to-demolish-kurt-meyer-designed-historic-mid-century-lytton-savings-building-on-the-sunset-strip/

JJ
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JJ

I don’t believe either one qualify for historical designation and the State of California agrees with me on the Factory. I don’t think anyone has submitted “the restaurant” for consideration but if it submitted for designation my guess is that would be rejected too. I follow the news in West Hollywood and realize the developer is the same for both proposed projects. My guess is that he incorporated the Factory (in part) to appease the very vocal group that opposes all development (in this case they were upset the Factory would be demolished to make way for the Robertson Lane… Read more »

JJ
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JJ

Do you think it’s a coicidence that these developments have come together to achieve the same thing? nope. And this idea of a “village” with a 4 lane highway (route 66) going through it is somewhat delusional.

Don Azars
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Don Azars

JJ, it’s the same developer. The same one who bought land where French Market and the next door club (whatever their name is this week) are located. NO ATTEMPT to make the FM a landmark or incorporate it into the new office/mixed use building there is planned however. I’m not sure why a warehouse (the structure where STUDIO ONE now THE FACTORY) is deemed so important to be “saved” let alone considered a landmark (it isn’t)

JJ
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JJ

@ Manny LOL…

Manny
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Manny

HEY JJ!!!!…..you and those developers better keep their stinkin’ hands off Bossa Nova!

SaveWeho
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SaveWeho

@JJ….if the idea is to create a small village walkway then there needs to be an organized city plan to make that happen. Just hoping developers build an alleyway to connect them all is just wishful thinking…especially the property between the Gateway and this Robertson Lane project which has no plans as of now. I get the idea. It could be an Old Town Pasadena type thing with small shops and stuff…but I dont see that effort. Just seems like you’re getting a strange alleyway like you have that strange El Tovar Place road that cuts the new library in… Read more »

JJ
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JJ

oh, and by the way…the idea is to have a continuous walk way through the park and then through Robertson Lane and then through a “future redevelopment” of the parcel on the next block and then continuing on through to the Melrose Triangle Project…to create a small village type atmosphere.

JJ
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JJ

@SaveWeho – if a developer could get their hands on that hideous Hamburger Haven and Bossa Nova, I’d support redevelopment of those spaces too! Hoping that once the Robertson Lane project is built that someone will offer enough money to the HH and Bossa Nova to obtain their land and make something nice.