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Rosendahl urges developer to preserve landmark Brentwood site

May 14, 2012 |  3:20 pm

L.A. Councilman Bill Rosendahl wants the Barry Building saved

This post has been updated. See below for details.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl on Monday reiterated to Los Angeles city planners his support for preserving Brentwood's landmark Barry Building, the former location of Dutton's Books.

In a statement read at a planning hearing in West Los Angeles, Rosendahl urged developer Charles Munger to develop an alternative that would preserve the mid-century modern structure on San Vicente Boulevard as part of his planned Green Hollow Square shopping center. Munger is seeking permission to raze the historic-cultural monument and replace it with a new, much larger retail complex.

"I cannot in good conscience and will not vote at City Council to allow this designated ... landmark to be demolished, especially when the building can be preserved and reused as part of the project," Rosendahl's statement said.

Rosendahl said he had received hundreds of calls, letters and emails from "impassioned citizens, community leaders and experts in the field of architecture, expressing a wide range of well-informed opinions." They expressed concern about the proposed development's potential for increasing traffic congestion, destroying neighborhood character and threatening portions of the boulevard's coral tree median.

Rosendahl said that, although the developer had hired Leo Marmol, a highly regarded architect who has worked in preservation, "he chose not to consider a preservation alternative that would reuse the Barry Building."

Rosendahl again urged the developer to work with a preservation architect to devise a project that would meet with residents' approval. Dozens of residents and preservationists in attendance applauded the remarks.

One resident called Rosendahl's statement "a home run." Green Hollow Square officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

[Updated, 7:57 p.m. May 14: A Green Hollow Square representative said in an email Monday evening that the developer “will continue to work with the community and the councilman to make Green Hollow Square a reality for Brentwood."

"We have listened to the community and increased parking, mitigated traffic impacts and downsized the project to below city requirements. At the hearing today, we had many supporters from the Brentwood area come and share their thoughts ... about how Green Hollow Square will enhance their lives and Brentwood and create a new space to gather, socialize and enjoy."]


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Photo: People make their way through the courtyard area of the Barry Building in Brentwood in 2009. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times