Friars Club Building (Demolished) | Los Angeles Conservancy
Friars Club Building
Photo courtesy ICF International

Friars Club Building (Demolished)

The Friars Club building featured an innovative Modern design that was ahead of its time. The structure became the new home of the New York Friars Club annex established by Milton Berle in 1947. 

Sidney Eisenshtat was a prominent Los Angeles-based architect whose notable designs included schools, community centers, bank buildings, and synagogues. His designs were often characterized by dramatically oversized interior rooms and exterior walls typically made of thin-slab concrete or brick. He was internationally recognized for his development of synagogue architecture; some of his innovative designs include Temple Emmanuel in Beverly Hills and Sinai Temple in Westwood.

During Beverly Hills’ postwar construction boom, Eisenshtat designed several notable office buildings within the city’s commercial triangle district. His Union Bank Building at Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive was profiled in Architectural Record in 1961. When completed in 1965, Eisenshtat's Wilshire Triangle Center at Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards was the tallest building in Beverly Hills. It was also considered Southern California’s first major arc-shaped structure, pre-dating the similarly shaped Century Plaza Hotel by a year.

The Friars Club building closed its doors in 2008, after last operating as Club 9900. The building was included in a 2006 survey of commercial structures in Beverly Hills. The survey identified the building as being eligible for listing in the California Register of Historical Resources for its association with the Friars Club, as well as its architectural significance as “a good intact example of the work of a master architect, Sidney Eisenshtat. ” Nonetheless, the building was demolished in 2011.

Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District (Flickr)

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