Sad news for Art Deco building fans. West Hollywood’s historic Streamline Moderne building that was formerly Jones Dog & Cat Hospital located at 9080 Santa Monica Boulevard, has been recently walled up with a chain link fence and a plywood wall as prepares to meet its inevitable fate with a wrecking ball.
The 1938 structure and the neighboring buildings located on Melrose Triangle, will be wiped out to make space for a massive four-story building that will feature 76 apartments, 137,000 square feet of office space and (of course) 82,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
Attempts to save the building were futile according to the Los Angeles Conservancy, which posted the following on their website:
On February 3, 2016, the Conservancy filed an appeal on the Los Angeles Superior Court’s recent decision to reject our lawsuit against the City of West Hollywood. We filed suit to force the City’s compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) regarding the proposed demolition of the 1938 Jones Dog & Cat Hospital building. We believe the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed project is inadequate and flawed.
This latest appeal is in follow-up to the Conservancy’s September 18, 2014 litigation. With the City Council’s final approval of the project on October 6, 2014, only the litigation stands in the way of the proposed demolition.
In May 2015, through a tragic turn of events, a man was killed in a fire at the Jones Dog and Cat Hospital building in May 2015. The Conservancy deeply regrets this loss of life. Most of the fire damage occurred at the rear of the building, and the City acknowledged that it can still be rehabilitated.
The Melrose Triangle Project, a mixed-use project proposed for the block bordered by Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, calls for the demolition of the Jones Dog & Cat Hospital, one of the city’s few examples of Streamline Moderne commercial architecture.
The 1938 structure at 9080 Santa Monica Boulevard, which the project Environmental Impact Report (EIR) identified as eligible for listing in the California Register, is an intact, early example of the work of Wurdeman and Becket, and may be the only remaining, example of the work of master architects Wurdeman and Becket in the city.
The West Hollywood Planning Commission voted on June 19, 2014 to recommend certification of the Melrose Triangle Project. On August 18, 2014, the West Hollywood City Council approved the proposed gateway development project by certifying the environmental impact report (EIR). The project’s approval requires the City to adopt a statement of overriding considerations, because the project as originally proposed will result in the demolition of the Jones Dog & Cat Hospital.
The Draft EIR includes a preservation alternative, though there are not many details or specifics provided. It would retain the Jones Dog & Cat Hospital building while maintaining the same number of housing units as the proposed project and lessening traffic impacts along Santa Monica Boulevard. Despite the EIR’s identification of Alternative 3 as the environmentally superior alternative and concluding that it would meet a majority of the project objectives, the City has opted to recommend certification of the project as proposed.
In addition to the Conservancy, local advocacy groups including the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance and the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles are advocating for the retention and incorporation of the Jones Dog & Cat Hospital as part of the project. Local advocates have also created the Facebook page Save the SMB Streamline Moderne and intend to file an appeal of the City Council’s decision to approve the demolition of the Jones Dog & Cat Hospital building.
Jones Dog & Cat Hospital will be destroyed. The picture below captures what will soon stand on Melrose Triangle.
West Hollywood-based real estate firm Charles Company is behind the Melrose Triangle development. Construction is expected to be completed in approximately two years.