The Firestone Tire building, at the SE corner of 8th and La Brea, is a streamline moderne icon and an official City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument. So neighbors in the adjacent Sycamore Square neighborhood were understandably concerned when the Firestone automotive repair shop, which had been in business there since the building was constructed by the Firestone company in 1937, recently closed. Not only did the area lose a 78-year-old favorite repair shop, but many residents were worried about preservation of the iconic building. Queries about its status started appearing on the neighborhood’s social media channels as soon as the closure was announced.
It didn’t take long, however, for some news to surface. A “For Lease” sign was recently posted on the property by Conroy Commercial, and a phone call to the company confirmed it is currently in escrow to purchase the property. A Conroy employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said that after the sale is completed, the company will seek a single tenant, most likely a restaurant or showroom, who can best take advantage of the building’s dramatic open floor plan and high ceilings. And Conroy is not only aware of, but attracted to the building’s historic status. In fact, according to the representative, the company has already engaged in discussions with the Los Angeles Conservancy regarding the historic structure and the best way to preserve it: “We want to figure out the rules.”
Ann Eggleston, president of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association (SSNA), said “I’m cautiously optimistic that Conroy recognized the historical status and character of the building. It would be great to see it completely restored.” She also said neighborhood residents will welcome the chance to discuss any plans for the building with the new owners. “We hope the new owners and tenants will approach the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association as soon as they can – we’re happy to provide authentic neighborhood input on any entitlement applications, as we did with the recent Mansfield, Order Fire and 7-Eleven projects.”
Definitely a project we’ll be keeping an eye on.