B’nai B’rith Lodge


Built as a center for Jewish social and cultural gatherings, the historic B’nai B’rith Lodge is at immediate risk of demolition.

Place Details


846 South Union Avenue,
Los Angeles, California 90017
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The beautiful B’nai B’rith Lodge (1924) is at risk of demolition by owner Catholic Charities. Located at 846 South Union Street in the Westlake area, B’nai B’rith Lodge was built as a center for Jewish social and cultural gatherings, later serving as a lodge for the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE), and then as an ­­­AFL Teamsters Hall.

Why is Demolition Imminent?

Despite efforts by the Conservancy to delay or stop demolition of the B’nai B’rith Lodge building, we anticipate substantial work to commence as early as the week of May 13th. Already some limited demolition has occurred. To break it down, through the assistance of the City of Los Angeles, Catholic Charities will demolish an historic building, significant in part for its Jewish history, during Jewish American Heritage Month.

In March 2024 the City of Los Angeles entered into a private settlement agreement (to date, the City is not sharing this with the public) with Catholic Charities, allowing them to demolish B’nai B’rith Lodge. This was the result of Catholic Charities suing the City (846 S. Union Avenue Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Superior Case No. 23STCP00231, Council File: 23-1407). The City previously said Catholic Charities would need to comply with environmental review before a demolition permit could be issued.

Legally, because the Westlake Redevelopment Plan that controls development in the Westlake area has determined the B’nai B’rith Lodge is a historic resource, the City cannot approve demolition until it has prepared an environmental impact report to assess impacts and mitigation, and consideration of alternatives. Instead, none of this is occurring now that the City has entered into a settlement agreement with Catholic Charities. According to Catholic Charities, nothing is planned for the site, despite previously announcing a proposed project.

On April 18, 2024 a demolition permit was cleared by the City of Los Angeles. On April 27, the Los Angeles Conservancy filed not one but two appeals with the City. The first was immediately rejected and we’re awaiting a response on our outstanding appeal.

No One is Above the Law

The Conservancy and others are asking questions about why this demolition is being allowed, and why the City is not following their own policies or adhering to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Why is the City of L.A. complicit in demolishing a historic building that otherwise could be reused for affordable housing or another community-serving purpose, in an under-resourced neighborhood in great need? Why is Catholic Charities being allowed to skirt required environmental review? Why are we throwing away an architecturally and culturally significant historic building for nothing?

About This Place

About This Place

B’nai B’rith Lodge was designed by Samuel Tilden Norton in the Beaux Art style and built between 1923 and 1924. Along with B’nai B’rith, Norton was known for designing other significant buildings in Los Angeles, including Temple Sinai/Welsh Presbyterian Church, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and Los Angeles Theater.

The Lodge was the home for the Los Angeles Lodge No. 487 until 1941 when the Los Angeles Joint Council of Teamsters #42 bought and used the building as their local headquarters. During their occupation of the building between 1941 and 1978, the Teamsters organized labor activities, including negotiating contracts and planning lectures, boycotts, strikes, and civil rights actions.

In 2009, the Westlake Recovery Redevelopment Area Intensive Survey determined the B’nai B’rith Lodge eligible for the California Register. In 2016, SurveyLA’s Los Angeles Citywide Historic Context Statement on Jewish history identified the building as a potential landmark considering its connection to Los Angeles’ Jewish community.

Our Position

Demolition began on April 22, 2024, primarily on an annex to the historic B’nai B’rith Lodge. Even this is being done wrong, as Catholic Charities did not comply with the terms in which demolition is to occur.

We at the Conservancy work hard to find win-win outcomes for even the most challenging of circumstances. This is especially hard to do when the City Attorney’s office is not following its own rules and enabling Catholic Charities to demolish a significant historic building.

The Conservancy has filed not one but two appeals (the first was rejected, and we’re awaiting a response on the other) with the City to intervene in the demolition of this 1924 historic building, significant both architecturally and for its Jewish and labor movement heritage.

How You Can Help

The B’nai B’rith Lodge is located in Council District 1, and served by Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez. The councilmember voted in support of the settlement agreement.

Please contact Councilmember Hernandez and ask:

  • Why the City of Los Angeles is allowing Catholic Charities to demolish a historic building, a large building that otherwise could be reused for the community — for nothing?
  • Why the City of Los Angeles is not following the Westlake Redevelopment Plan requirements that call for a public review process and adherence with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)?

Call Councilmember Hernandez at (213) 473-7001 or email 

Take Action: B’nai B’rith Lodge at Risk – Los Angeles Conservancy (



Steven Luftman
Adrian Scott Fine | LA Conservancy
Adrian Scott Fine | LA Conservancy