Frank Gehry’s Sunset Strip development can move forward with court’s blessing

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It’s case dismissed for the Los Angeles Conservancy—and all engines go for Frank Gehry.

The nonprofit’s efforts to save a landmarked 1960s bank building on the Sunset Strip have died in court. The 2nd District Court of Appeal on Wednesday denied the conservancy’s petition to the California Supreme Court to review its lawsuit aimed at halting the bank’s demolition.

Today‘s decision “effectively ends legal efforts to stop the needless demolition of the historic Lytton Savings building,” the conservancy said in a statement. It has argued that the building “exemplifies a transformative shift in bank design after World War II.”

The building at 8150 Sunset Boulevard, currently home to a Chase bank, is slated to be demolished to make way for a prominent mixed-use development designed by Gehry.

The new complex will be made up of a public plaza and five buildings that bulge and twist; they are quintessentially Gehry. The celebrity architect has said the postwar bank building doesn’t jive with his design.

A rendering of the Sunset Strip development designed by Frank Gehry.
Rendering by Visualhouse

Gehry has also said he plans to “recognize” the bank building’s architect, Kurt Meyer, “as part of our project,” but hasn’t said how.

Meyer served on the first advisory council of the Los Angeles Conservancy. His bank building was completed in 1960, and “was strategically conceived as a modern multi-media showcase for Modern art, architecture, and interior design,” according to an economic impact report prepared for the Gehry project.

The bank building is a Los Angeles landmark, but that designation doesn’t spare buildings from demolition.

Developer Townscape Partners hasn’t released a timeline for the project.

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