While no one seems to be certain exactly when the wooden structure at 621 N. Robertson Boulevard was built, but the building—known as the Log Cabin—may not be long for this world.
The City of Beverly Hills recently informed the Lions Club of West Hollywood that it needs to “remove” the building and scram by March 31. While the Lions Club owns the building, Beverly Hills owns the land on which it sits.
The Log Cabin has long been a well-known haven for sobriety groups, including Alcoholic Anonymous. “Every morning people come there and they talk about this building as a magical place,” Lion’s Club president Gyula Kangiszer told LAist after receiving the notice from Beverly Hills, which owns the site, though it is technically within the jurisdiction of West Hollywood. “When you are thinking about fighting an addiction, some people go to the mountain, some go to the beach. In the busy city life, this Log Cabin is a similar escape for those that come here.”
The Log Cabin hosts 29 meetings a week for those seeking recovery, and thousands have already signed a petition to save it as shockwaves spread through the sobriety community.
“The Log Cabin is like an iconic way station for sobriety in Los Angeles,” said James Maclean, who runs a support meeting across the street at the West Hollywood Recovery Center. “You know that if you show up to the Log Cabin, there’s going to be some sort of meeting and some sort of sobriety and someone to help you.”
While West Hollywood and Beverly Hills issued a joint statement citing a contractor’s report that “found portions of the building in poor condition” and saying that the jurisdictions are seeking a compromise, the Los Angeles Blade points out that the two cities seem to be at odds as to the future of the Log Cabin.
West Hollywood City Manager Paul Arevalo said in the press release, “We are committed to continued availability of services. This space serves a significant and valuable role for the recovery community and we will examine all potential options.”
Beverly Hills City Manager George Chavez, on the other hand, appears gung-ho for the wrecking ball. “Both cities recognize the important work that has occurred at the site and the countless lives that have been changed for the better,” he said. But, he added, “Our concern is the safety of those within the building.”
The Blade accuses wealthy Beverly Hills of being inspired by greed, writing, “The sudden interest by Beverly Hills appears to be monetarily motivated. In recent years commercial development has exploded along Robertson Blvd. Selling the property to developers would be profitable for the city. They have also sent site inspectors to the building who have found it in poor condition.”
West Hollywood intends to have the site checked out by independent inspectors.
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