Monday, December 29, 2008

Lost in 2008: Another Rough Year for Preservationists, With a Few Bright Spots

(Flickr pic by Neonspecs.)

2008 marked another tough round of disappearing buildings and signs for Los Angeles preservationists. Gone were buildings such as Lou Ehlers' Cadillac dealership on Wilshire (and the Bob's Big Boy across the street). The year ended with a new threat: This time, to the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City.

Also, above: Our friend Eric Lynxwiler gave us the sad news that the cool old Dan-Dee Shoe Repair sign in Hollywood has vanished. The Museum of Neon Art had hoped to save the sign -- following the mysterious fire at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, which shut down the store for good -- but wasn't having any luck getting ahold of the proper people. And then... one day, the sign was gone.

(Flickr photo by eyetwist.)

Ditto the huge neon sign for the massive Glendale/Atwater Village branch of furniture outlet Levitz. Seen for years off the 5 freeway, the sign recently disappeared from view, Eric notes at the ModCom message boards.

Meanwhile, it wasn't all doom and gloom in preservation land: The nearly demolished Harvey's/Johnie's Broiler in Downey was ready to live again, now as a part of the Bob's Big Boy chain. And two more L.A. landmarks, the Hollywood Palladium and Downtown's P.E. Cole's restaurant, reopened with what appear to be generally high marks for their renovation/restoration. (I know there are some objections to the Cole's changes... but they seemed to be tempered by the fact that the place wasn't completely altered.) And Macy's also got raves for its restoration and retrofit of the old Bullock's location on Lake Ave. in Pasadena.

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