The Los Angeles Conservancy’s appeal of a judge’s decision to reject its challenge to the City of West Hollywood’s approval of the Melrose Triangle project will go before another judge on Oct. 24.
In 2016, the Conservancy’s took West Hollywood to court, arguing that the city hadn’t properly considered alternatives that would have allowed the preservation of the Streamline Moderne building at 9080 Santa Monica Blvd. That building sits on part of a site where the Charles Company plans to erect three large buildings that will house shops, offices, restaurants and apartments, all part of what is is being called the Melrose Triangle project.
Advocates for preserving the building argue that its design is architecturally significant. The building was built in 1928 and then renovated in 1938 in the Streamline Moderne style by Wurdeman & Becket, one of whose principals, Welton Becket, designed the Capitol Records building and the Cinerama Dome. For many years, the building served as the Jones Dog & Cat Hospital, whose clients included actors such as Charlie Chaplin.
In his 2016 ruling in favor of the City of West Hollywood, Judge Richard Fruin Jr. said it had properly considered alternatives to the Charles Company’s proposed design, including one that would have tried to integrate the 9080 building into the modern Melrose Triangle design. Fruin noted that the city had reasoned that incorporating the Streamline Moderne building into the Melrose Triangle project would reduce the size of the “gateway” building facing Beverly Hills, would reduce available parking and would create “a discordant architectural appearance.” “The city’s findings are entitled to deference,” Fruin’s ruling stated. “They are, in any event, supported by substantial evidence.”
The Conservancy sought a writ of mandamus, which is, in effect, a petition that another judge consider whether the earlier rejection of its lawsuit was proper.
The hearing date for the Conservancy’s appeal matter is set for argument at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Superior Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.
Businesses on the site recently were given a 30-day notice to vacate, an indication that the Charles Company is moving forward with its plans.