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A compromise plan which would have allowed for the preservation of Parker Center and the construction of a new city office building may have fallen short.

This week, the Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to review the final environmental impact report for the proposed Los Angeles Street Civic Center Building, which would replace the onetime LAPD headquarters.  A staff report put forth by the Department of Public Works recommends demolition of the mid-1950s structure, followed by the construction of a new high-rise office building.  Other alternatives considered within the FEIR included full preservation and reuse, and partial preservation with expansion.

The potential loss of the Welton Becket-designed building inspired outcry from historic preservationists, prompting 14th District Councilmember Jose Huizar to float an alternative plan in which a slightly larger office tower could be built immediatley north of Parker Center along John Aliso Street.

However, a staff analysis found numerous shortcomings with this proposal, including a parking garage design that would preclude ground-floor commercial space within the building, as well as a restrictive layout that would have bloated the project's construction budget by more than $100 million.

The recommended alternative, known as B3, calls for the construction of a 28-story, 392-foot tower featuring 750,000 square feet of office space, 754 underground parking spaces and 20,000 square feet of street-level retail and restarant space.  The B3 alternative would also include a memorial to Parker Center on site, which could take the form of a plaque or a compilation of art work and other relics from the building.

Huizar's office is also seeking to "promote a planning museum feature," centered on the evolution of the City of Los Angeles, potentially featuring models of Downtown and other neighborhoods.

Per the FEIR, construction is now expected to begin in 2018 and finish by 2020.

The Parker Center replacement is scheduled for consideration at today's meeting of the Council's Entertainment & Facilities Committee, then by the full Council on December 14.

Update 12:34 pm - The Council has reportedly opted to delay any decision on Parker Center until January.

Image courtesy of Hunter Kerhart
Massing study for alternative B3 (Image: City of Los Angeles)
Massing study for alternative B3 (Image: City of Los Angeles)
Massing study for alternative B3 (Image: City of Los Angeles)
Elevation plan for alternative B3 (Image: City of Los Angeles)
Project site and surroundings (Image: City of Los Angeles)

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