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Space Age Hotel Set For Demolition

28 Apr

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LA Times reports that a Los Angeles space-age architectural icon, the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza is set to be demolished to make way for a $2bn residential development.

This monolithic semi-circular building on Avenue of the Stars opened in 1966, at the time only the second building in Century City, an old backlot sold by 20th Century Fox just a few years earlier.  This was at the height of the space race, and streets are named with an astronautical theme, including Constellation Blvd and Galaxy Way.

The hotel has been the home of many of Los Angeles’s most important functions, including the Apollo 11  ‘welcome home’ party, and many presidential functions, particularly during the Nixon and Reagan era when the hotel was dubbed ‘the White House of the West’.

The building’s relative youthfulness means that it isn’t protected by usual heritage classsifications. In Los Angeles, however, this is ludicrous as most of the city was built during the mid-century boom time.   They also say that the hotel’s long footprint creates a disjointed street fabric which discourages pedestrian use.  Wrong again – this is caused by Los Angeleno’s refusal to walk for more than 50m, something that is genetically ingrained from more than 100 years of car dependence.

So please, leave this iconic piece of history in its rightful place – the star of Century City.

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