Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza | Los Angeles Conservancy
Broadway Building. Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

On April 29, 2020, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza may sell to CIM Group. If sold, the mall may be converted into offices, similar to the West Side Pavilion, instead of the housing project approved by City Council.

The Los Angeles City Council approved the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Master Plan Project on June 27, 2018, following recommendations for approval from the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee and the City Planning Commission.

One of the conditions for the project’s approval is the requirement that a Historic Preservation Plan be submitted for the review and approval of any permits for exterior and interior renovations of the historic Broadway and May Company Buildings that anchor the plaza.

Prior to the project’s approval, the Conservancy engaged in ongoing conversations with the applicant and project team regarding the treatment of historic resources. In addition to recommending the creation of a Historic Preservation Plan, the Conservancy had also urged the project applicant to nominate the Broadway and May Company Buildings for local Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) designation, though that recommendation was not adopted.

The project seeks to redevelop the existing 43-acre shopping center with a large mixed-use complex, which would include retail, commercial, office, hotel, and residential uses.

The project will also retain and rehabilitate the historic Broadway and May Company (Macy's) Buildings, both completed in 1947 in the Streamline Moderne style.

Designed by the firm of Albert C. Martin and Associates, the May Company Building is eligible for listing at the local, state, and national levels. The Broadway Building, designed by Albert B. Gardner and Edward W. Carter, is eligible for state and local designation.

The Conservancy reviewed and submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in February 2015. The City subsequently recirculated a revised Draft EIR in January 2016, which did not include any changes to the cultural resources analysis. The Final EIR was released in November 2016.

Overall, the Conservancy is pleased that the project plans to preserve and incorporate the Broadway and May Company Buildings into the new development.

In our February 2015 comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the Conservancy recommended the preparation of a detailed preservation plan for the two historic buildings. The plan should outline appropriate treatments, sensitive signage options, and guidelines for compatible new construction. 

The inclusion of a thoughtful preservation plan will help ensure that the proposed project conforms to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and that the two historic buildings remain eligible resources. 

The Conservancy had also encouraged the applicant to nominate the May Company and Broadway Buildings for local Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) designation as an additional safeguard measure, though this request was not adopted as a condition of the certified project. HCM designation would have required the City's Cultural Heritage Commission and staff to review and comment on the project's design.