LA Conservancy Sends Alert to Save Welton Becket Streamline Moderne Building in WeHo

by Hunter Kerhart

Photo by Hunter Kerhart

By Paulo Murillo

The Los Angeles Conservancy released an alert today asking for help in saving the Welton Becket-Designed Streamline Moderne Building in West Hollywood, located near the WeHo/Beverly Hills gateway.  A proposed development project in West Hollywood calls for the demolition of this rare and significant building designed by the renowned firm of Wurdeman and Becket.

The 1938 building at 9080 Santa Monica Boulevard once served as a Jones Dog and Cat Hospital. This is an early work by Wuderman and Becket, known as Streamline Moderne commercial architecture

“The Conservancy is not opposed to the development of a mixed-use gateway project at this location,” reads a press release from the Los Angeles Conservancy, “but not at the needless expense of a historic building that could be integrated and reused as part of the project.” 

Photo by Hunter Kerhart

Photo by Hunter Kerhart

The press release adds that last month developers agreed to work with the preservation community and evaluate options for incorporating the building into the project. The project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) identified the building as eligible for listing in the California Register. The Conservancy is hopeful that a revised plan will come forward soon, but until that happens, and a new plan is introduced and adopted that retains the building and its eligibility as a historic resource, the conservancy is asking everyone to reach out to the City Council for support.

The City Council is scheduled to decide the fate of this landmark on August 18.

The press release added the following tips to help save the building:

Please write to the West Hollywood City Council by Sunday, August 10. You don’t have to live in West Hollywood to send a letter of support, but if you have friends who do live there, please encourage them to write a letter because council members can be influenced by the opinions of their voters.

In your own words, tell them that the Jones Dog & Cat Hospital building is worth preserving. Be sure to mention that:

  • You’re writing in reference to the Melrose Triangle Project and
  • You want your letter to be part of the official record

Feel free to use any or all of the following points:

  • The City has a duty to prevent the loss of historic resources when possible. The proposed demolition of the Wurdeman and Becket-designed Jones Dog & Cat Hospital building is unjustified and will result in a significant impact and loss to the heritage of the city of West Hollywood.Â
  • The building is a rare example of Streamline Moderne commercial architecture in West Hollywood and the only known, intact example of the work of master architects Wurdeman and Becket in the city.
  • The project EIR is flawed and inadequate in providing the necessary analysis to evaluate a range of viable preservation alternatives.
  • A bona fide preservation alternative needs to be developed and fully considered. Urge them to support a revised preservation alternative that retains the building as part of the project and meets all of the project objectives.
  • The EIR has identified an environmentally superior alternative (Alternative 3) that retains the building, eliminates project impacts on a historic resource, and reduces traffic, but it includes very little detail and needs to be refined with specifics.

Please direct your letter to:
City of West Hollywood
Attention: Members of City Council
8300 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

RE: Jones Dog & Cat Hospital building/Melrose Triangle Project, 9080 Santa Monica Boulevard

Mayor John D’Amico – jdamico@weho.org
Mayor Pro Tempore John Heilman – jheilman@weho.org
John Duran – jduran@weho.org
Abbe Land – aland@weho.org
Jeffrey Prang – jprang@weho.org

Please also email the city clerk and specifically request that your letter be placed into the public record: Yvonne Quarker – yquarker@weho.org

To help the Conservancy track support, please copy mvavala@laconservancy.org