CENTURY PLAZA HOTEL (Minoru Yamasaki, 1966)
2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles
The 1966 Century Plaza Hotel; photo by Andrew Hara
Good news! On January 15, 2013, the Los Angeles City Council approved the Century Plaza Mixed-Use Development project, which will preserve the hotel as the centerpiece of a new mixed-use development that includes new construction of two 46-story towers at the rear of the site. The project had the input and support of the Conservancy, as well as community groups in the immediate area surrounding the hotel.
Thank you to those who wrote letters and attended public meetings in support of preservation after the building was initially threatened with demolition in 2008. Thanks also to everyone involved in the successful collaboration, proving that preservation and development are not mutually exclusive.
Photo by David H. Smith
In February 2010, the Conservancy, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Next Century Associates (owners of the Century Plaza Hotel) announced plans for a revised development project that would preserve the iconic hotel building.
All three parties worked together at the urging of Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, in whose district the hotel resides. The Conservancy is extremely grateful to Councilmember Koretz for his leadership in bringing us all to the table, and to his staff for their dedication to finding a preservation solution.
The project allows for the reuse of the hotel building and development of the property in a way that maintains the building’s eligibility as both a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) and for listing in the California Register of Historical Resources. To this end, architecture and preservation firm Architectural Resources Group, Inc. conducted an independent historic evaluation of the project.
The Conservancy and the National Trust will continue our involvement through a Preservation Advisory Group that will review the preservation project as it develops. Significant documentation has been done to identify the building’s historic features, and the preparation of a detailed Historic Structure Report is underway.
Architecture firm Marmol Radziner and Associates has created detailed protocols for the treatment of the building’s historic features. This groundbreaking research—particularly into the treatment of aluminum, which came into widespread use in the 1960s and was used extensively in the Century Plaza Hotel—will benefit not only the hotel building but many other historic resources from the sixties and beyond.
Photo by Lizy Moromisato
The progress we’ve made to date is very encouraging and could serve as a model for collaboration between preservationists and developers going forward. It is particularly meaningful on the heels of the demolition of the 1965 Columbia Savings Building, which underscores the fragility of Greater L.A.’s 1960s heritage. For more information, visit our website, The Sixties Turn 50.
To everyone who has written a letter (hundreds!), made a phone call, taken the pledge (we received 1,300!), or otherwise voiced your support for saving the Century Plaza Hotel, thank you! You have truly made a difference in our efforts. We still have much to do, and we will keep you posted.