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LA Conservancy Nominates CBS Television City as Historic Cultural Monument

CBS Television City Entrance at Genesee and Beverly Blvd.

In anticipation of a possible sale, the Los Angeles Conservancy submitted a nomination to designate the CBS Television City complex as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) earlier this month, following news reports that CBS Corporation was potentially interested in selling or developing the 25-acre property.

According to the Conservancy, the announcement of a potential sale has raised widespread concern over the fate of the architecturally and culturally significant campus, which was identified as National Register-eligible in Los Angeles’ SurveyLA.

Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky urged protection of the historic studio complex at Beverly and Fairfax in an editorial in the Los Angeles Times.

“What becomes of Television City is a citywide concern as much as it is a neighborhood one. Los Angeles should not let developers turn the historic studio complex into a mini Century City,” wrote Yaroslavsky.

“Television City is architecturally significant. Designed by William Pereira, who also designed the pyramid-shaped Transamerica building in San Francisco, the complex is one of L.A.’s most significant representations of the mid-century modern “Corporate International” architectural style. It has a distinctive, campus feel, owed in part to the way its office building and soundstages are set back along the north and west sides of the property.”

“We are trying to be proactive,” Adrian Scott Fine, Director of Advocacy for the Los Angeles Conservancy, told the Buzz. “We were prompted by the concerns raised about the future of the site and wanted to make sure there is at least a review process included in any new development that would done in a sensitive way.”

The Landmark designation will offer protection to the property by requiring preservation design review and approval through the city’s Office of Historic Resources to guide any redevelopment and adaptive reuse of the campus, including new infill construction.

The Cultural Affairs Commission will now consider if the application is worthy of review, officially beginning the process which culminates with approval by the full City Council. The process is likely to take months explained Fine since there are quite a number of applications under review.

The Mid-City Community Council’s Land Use Committee chair, Keith Nakata, told the Buzz that his committee has not yet taken a position on the project but they have certainly received a lot of questions from residents and community members.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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