Monday, October 13, 2008

Silver Lake: Goodbye art deco gas station

Despite efforts from concerned neighbors, historic preservationists and activists as recounted on Curbed LA, the art deco styled former gas station at Lakewood and Rowena/Glendale Avenues was razed on Friday.  Yes, the building wasn't in the greatest shape but it had potential and more importantly was part of my neighborhood's historic fabric. Surrounded by residences and adjacent to low-rise commercial buildings (one mid-century, one an Art Deco gem from the May Company's architect), there was opportunity to restore the station (perhaps remake it into a cafe, skate park or pocket park--Glendale managed to create one at Adams Square,on a former gas station site). Diane Keaton makes a good case for the green benefits of historic preservation in her LA Times piece.  Destroying iconic buildings, like the Ambassador Hotel, wastes resources she argues. Definitely and it also, in this sad little case, wastes an opportunity to keep history alive. Instead I'm betting we get an ugly stucco mini-mall that will only add to the corner's already dicey traffic patterns.  Adios streamline modern; hello dreck.

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