Over the summer, many Los Angeles preservationists were outraged by the unannounced demolition of the Mole-Richardson Building, a one-story Art Deco structure built in 1930. Now six months later, a case filing from the Department of City Planning has finally revealed why the 84-year-old building met with such an undignified ending.
According to plans submitted to the city last week, a new residential-retail development will be constructed on the now vacant lot at 900 North La Brea Avenue. The seven-story complex would contain 169 apartments and slightly over 37,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. Fourteen of the building's residential units would be reserved for very-low-income households.
Although the project is still in the earliest stages of the city's approval process, the experiences of a similar development across the street hint at a difficult path ahead. La Brea Gateway, currently under construction, fought against a zealous neighborhood coalition for close to ten years prior to breaking ground this past Spring. During that process, the project was gradually whittled down from a seven-story, 219-unit development to a more modest five-story, 179-unit building.
|The Mole Richardson Building, Image credit: ASDLA|