Historic buildings tell the story of cities. They mark important events, anchor neighborhoods, and lure tourists to visit. Old buildings are old friends and I fight to protect them. Some projects are in the works for generations (the Hall of Justice sat empty for 21 years!) and it’s always hard to be a preservationist always climbing up a slippery hill. Norms coffee shop on La Cienega was declared a Historic-Cultural monument in May, but the future of the 1957 coffee shop remains up in the air. Big wins like Clifton’s Cafeteria and a preservation ordinance for Los Angeles County made 2015 a pretty good year for landmarks in Los Angeles. I am thankful that these 13 historic places, large and small, were saved and found new life this year and excited about some big restoration projects in the works that will be unveiled in 2016.
Angel Food Donuts sign (Now Dunkin’ Donuts)
5560 E 7th St., Long Beach, CA 90804
Dunkin’ restored a giant 3-D donut sign dating to a 1950s donut shop previously on the site when they built a new store at this location.
Cindy’s Coffee Shop sign
1500 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041
Patrons of the rejuvenated restaurants ponied up funds through Kickstarter to rehab the vintage sign.
648 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014
The classic downtown restaurant reopened as “Clifton’s Cabinet of Curiosities” in October.
The former headquarters of CBS in Hollywood was restored as an office sharing club with restaurants
Gilmore Gas station (Now Starbucks)
859 N Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038
The coffee giant brought this long-closed Streamline gas station back to life.
744 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014
The century-old cinema was refurbished as a dance club in July.
Hall of Justice
211 West Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
The massive building was reoccupied for the first time since the 1994 earthquake.
4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Thousands attended an all-night party in February to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s restored masterpiece.
4824 N Vineland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 91601
The barrel-shaped bar came back to life in February.
9439 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210
This home by Richard Neutra was rescued at the last minute and was meticulously restored.
Pasadena Civic Auditorium exhibition hall
300 E Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101
This newly restored wing of the Civic Auditorium housed an ice skating rink for many years.
Taco Bell #1 (former site of)
7112 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241
The first store in the Mexican fast food chain was moved to company headquarters in Irvine in November.
Van Dekker House
19950 Collier St., Los Angeles, CA 91364
Rudolph Schindler designed this striking angular home for the actor Albert Dekker in 1940.