In a voting process with no new comments by either Council Members or the public, the City Council this morning approved the Historic Cultural Landmark application for Tom Bergin’s Bar and Restaurant, which was submitted last fall by the Miracle Mile Residential Association and the Los Angeles Conservancy.
After being supported by the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission earlier this year, the application ran into some strong opposition during the last few weeks from the Bergin’s owners, Frank and Derek Schreck. The Schrecks argued at a June 12 Planning and Land Use Management Committee meeting that since the nomination was based on the business’s influence in the community, and not the actual building it was housed in, it was not appropriate to preserve the structure. They further contended that doing so would prevent them from selling the property to a developer, and thus prevent them recouping some of the considerable investment they’d made in the now-shuttered business.
Joe Bergin, grandson of Tom Bergin, also opposed the application at the PLUM meeting, saying he’s been looking into removing and moving some of the bar’s most distinctive elements, with hopes of re-opening the business in a new location.
After that discussion, however, the PLUM committee did vote on June 12 to recommend that the landmark application be approved, minus the property’s parking lot. (The birfurcation was intended to make at least part of the parcel easier to redevelop.)
At today’s full Council meeting, an amendment to remove the parking lot from the landmark designation was approved, and the larger motion to grant landmark status to the building also passed, with no further discussion, as part of the Council’s consent agenda for the day.
After the meeting, MMRA Vice President Ken Hixon told the Buzz that, “We are delighted to finally make it official. From our point of view, Bergin’s has always been a landmark.” Hixon also said that the MMRA is “incredibly thankful” for the extensive support shown by the community, City Council Member David Ryu and others, which contributed greatly to the landmark effort.