Donald Trump backed Frank Gehry’s 8150 Sunset project will demolish Kurt Meyer-designed historic mid-Century Lytton Savings Building on the Sunset Strip.

Donald Trump backed Frank Gehry’s 8150 Sunset project will demolish Kurt Meyer-designed historic mid-Century Lytton Savings Building on the Sunset Strip.

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Donald Trump and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s wife are connected to the 8150 Sunset New York developers.

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  • Last Thursday the Los Angeles City Planning Commission (CPC) held a public hearing on the 8150 Sunset Project being developed by New York Angelo, Gordon – Townscape, designed by Frank Gehry.
  • The Planning Commission, backed by the Los Angeles Planning Department, voted to demolish one of the last mid-Century buildings in Southern California, favoring the New York developer’s agenda.

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  • The City Planning Commission voted to tear down the mid-Century Lytton Savings building to make way for New York backed developers project.

The Trump and Christie Connection

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  • According to Business Insider and Forbes, Donald Trump has millions invested with Angelo Gordon (New York developers behind Townscape 8150 Sunset Blvd project).
  • It is rumored Trump continues to have close ties with the “paper pusher” hedge fund where Chris Christie’s wife Mary Pat was managing director at Angelo Gordon until last year and spearheaded the 8150 Sunset Blvd apartment building development.
  • Governor Chris Christie is a major supporter of Trump’s bid for the presidency.
  • Questions continue to surround Mary Pat’s $600,000 a year salary and if the fees collected on Trump’s Angelo Gordon investments might have gone into paying it.

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LS Rendering from AD in LATimes. 6.26.1960

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Last mid-Century building on Sunset Boulevard to be destroyed by Trump backed New York developers.

Additional controversy has surrounded the New York/Beverly Hills backed development for three years from claims of current tenant harassment, installing a parking system without Los Angeles City permits and driving minority-owned businesses into closure and bankruptcy. The developers also wanted to have “Jim Crow” entrances for subsidized housing tenants in their West Hollywood building reflection “New York values” until it was turned down by the City Council. 

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Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, with David Ambroz, L.A. City Planning Commission President.

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  • Ambroz has no background in city planning, is a lawyer and works in human resources for Disney which has donated heavily to Garcetti.
  • According to the L.A.Times: “Los Angeles is the second most corrupt city in the USA!”
  • Screen shot 2016-08-03 at 8.06.23 PMThe Trump backed Townscape – Angelo, Gordon developers, spent nearly $167,000 on lobbying city officials and politicians for this project in the first quarter of 2016.

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Will New York “type” developers, like Townscape/Angelo Gordon, go after landmark other mid-Century buildings such as Parker Center and propose it for demolition? 

  • Architect Frank Gehry believes Kurt Meyer’s building isn’t worth saving. Gehry considers 98% of modern architecture “shit”!
  • At Thursday’s meeting, Gehry said: “The art of architecture is rarely practiced in our city.”
  • Gehry also felt the men behind Townscape -Angelo, Gordon, Tyler Siegel and John Irwin, want their project to be “socially responsible” and “for the people.”
  • These are the same developers that put in illegal parking with no Los Angeles City permits. The entire 8150 Sunset development team are all males.
  • There are no women and no minorities.

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The proposed Frank Gehry 8150 Sunset Blvd apartment complex.

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Lytton Saving’s Building is now Chase Bank.

  • Despite strong opposition regarding the proposed loss of the Lytton Savings Bank building, the Planning Commission voted in full support for the proposed project and to tear down the mid-Century Kurt Meyer designed building.
  • The Planning Commission showed little interest in saving mid-Century architecture or its preservation.
The Lytton Savings Building

Mid-Century Classic: With its dramatic, folded plate concrete roof and glass-walled banking floor, the former Lytton Savings was a striking departure from traditional bank design when it opened in 1960.

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The Lytton Savings building is one of the last Mid-Century building on Sunset Blvd from Los Angeles Union Station to Pacific Palisades.

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Coulter’s Department Store – Wilshire Blvd – was destroyed by greedy New York developers. 

The Planning Commission, Mayor Garcetti, and the Lobbyists Connection. 

The Planning Commission’s decision reflects Mayor Eric Garcetti’s pro-developer policies and Los Angeles continuing to ignore identifying preservation alternatives that meet most project objectives which can allow the Lytton Savings buildings to a be an integrated part of the proposed project.

  • The Commission is made up of Mayor Eric Garcetti political appointees with no planning or architectural background except for one member, agreed with the New York backed developers and thought it no merits for saving.

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  • The Townscape – Angelo, Gordon TeamThis is the “socially responsible” team behind 8150 Sunset  that Gehry claims are “for the people!”  
  • The team will make millions, and Donald Trump will also benefit from his investments in Angelo, Gordon.
  • The 8150 Sunset apartments will run from $2,700 a month for a studio to $8,900 a month for a penthouse.
  • Condos will be in the millions. 

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Gehry believes 98% of what gets built today is shit! (Except his own). 

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Sad that former Councilman Tom LaBonge was termed out. 

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One of Gehry’s Los Angeles “classic” buildings.

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Meyer received the Modern Masters Award for saving many Los Angeles architectural treasures. Has Frank Gehry ever proposed or advocated saving any building that may stand in the way of a big fee?  

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Kurt Meyer spent seven years attempting to keep the West Hollywood Dodge House from destruction. But greedy developers destroyed it in one day. Where are the preservationists today? Would Frank Gehry try to keep this? 

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 Townscape – Gordon, Angelo executives (Eric Siegel and John Irwin) seen with iconic Lytton Savings (now Chase) in the background;

Townscape, Angelo, Gordon and architect Frank Gehry claim Kurt Meyer’s building isn’t worth saving…

static1.squarespaceSascha Freudenheim (Left), spokesman and flack for Angelo, Gordon – Townscape said the bank building has been “extensively modified” since it opened, is out-dated, and has “limited street-front engagement along Sunset Boulevard. “It does not have the flexibility to adapt to a new usage, so keeping it would impose limitations on Frank Gehry’s terrific design but with no public or architectural benefit.”

But an Environmental Impact Report does include an alternative design that would incorporate and restore the bank. That design would have more residential units and less commercial space.

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Buildings lost to Los Angeles greedy developers backed by lobbyists who own City Hall. 

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NBC Sunset and Vine destroyed by developers.
Screen shot 2016-08-02 at 5.44.09 PM Pan Pacific Auditorium

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NBC demolished

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NBC Reception Hall – Destroyed by greedy developers

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Hawaii Theatre demolished by developers 

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Carthay Circle Theatre destroyed by developers

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Warner Bros Theatre Beverly Hills destroyed by developers

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Brown Derby Vanished 

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Tiny Naylors Destroyed

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Pan Pacific Theatre Destroyed. 

From Kurt Myer’s Obituary in the Los Angeles Times – 2014

Screen shot 2016-08-03 at 3.03.41 PMHis buildings were not flashy for the most part, though they had stylish touches. One of the most prominent is the Lytton Savings and current Chase Bank Building at the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights boulevards that sports zigzag, accordion-like folds in its roof.

With its dramatic, folded plate concrete roof and glass-walled banking floor, the former Lytton Savings was a striking departure from traditional bank design when it opened in 1960. As financial institutions nationwide analyzed the need for progressive banking methods following World War II, architects responded by radically reinventing the bank’s form. Lytton Savings (as part of larger Lytton Center) typified these national postwar banking trends through its modern architectural design, transparency, and integrated art component, and is one of Los Angeles’ earliest remaining examples of this transformative shift in postwar-era bank design.

Located at the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights Boulevards at the western edge of Hollywood, Lytton Savings and larger Lytton Center occupies the former site of the Garden of Allah; the storied Hollywood inn with surrounding villas was purchased by Lytton in 1959 and razed to make way for the firm’s new home office.

“It’s very dramatic,” said Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy. “It was designed for the auto culture to see it from the street.”

Architectural historian Alan Hess, who has written several books on Mid-Century Modern design, said Meyer didn’t have a signature style, “which is one reason he is not as well-known as some other architects of the period. But whatever style he was working in, he brought a real sense of quality to his buildings.”

Kurt Werner Meyer was born June 3, 1922, in Zurich. He studied architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and served in the Swiss Army during World War II. In 1948, he came to the U.S., first living in Harrisburg, Pa., before making the cross-country trip that resulted in his settling in L.A.

He opened his practice in 1957, gaining a reputation for designing financial institutions, including those of flamboyant screenwriter-turned-banker Bart Lytton.

In the 1960s, Meyer got involved in the effort to save the legendary Dodge House in West Hollywood designed by Irving Gill. The 1916 home, considered the pinnacle of Gill’s work, was bought by Lytton in 1967. Meyer drew up a plan to preserve the house as part of development.

But Lytton’s financial empire came apart, and the house fell into the hands of developers who demolished it in a single day in 1970.

When the Los Angeles Conservancy was created eight years later, Meyer took part in its inaugural news conference and was on its first advisory council. “Kurt was a passionate advocate for great architecture in Los Angeles,” said the conservancy’s founding president, Catherine Bach. “The ghost of the Dodge House hovered over our efforts.”

Meyer got involved with several other civic organizations and was appointed by Mayor Tom Bradley to the Community Redevelopment Agency charged with spurring development in underserved areas.

Meyer was CRA chair from 1976 to 1978, during which time the agency participated in several low-income housing projects.

His practice was cut back during his time with the CRA, but he told The Times in 1983 that he and some other architects emphasized the importance of civic service. “I don’t believe that it comes down to a choice of serving the community or running a successful practice,” he said. “We have all demonstrated that it is possible to do both.”

Meyer received many awards including a lifetime achievement award from the Save Sunset Blvd organization for the preservation of historic buildings in Los Angeles.

He died in 2014.

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