By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Pacific Palisades Design Review Board met again virtually on Wednesday, October 28, to further discuss proposed changes to the historic Business Block Building—located on Sunset Boulevard and a centerpiece structure in the Palisades since 1924.
The October 28 meeting marked the fourth time the board has met to discuss the proposed changes, with previous meetings held in July, September and earlier in October.
Mark Magola, an architectural designer for Gensler, began the meeting by providing a brief overview of where the team last left off, moving into the discussion of the proposed building color. The board was presented with three tonal variations of a cream color to review and select since the October 14 meeting: percale, ivory tower and euro linen.
“Based on our review of the mock-ups and ownership review, we feel that ivory tower is the right direction for the project,” Magola said. “It’s just a color that is respectful to the style. And when you combine it with … the other changes … it really will bring a cohesive, distinguished look and feel to the building, and we think it is an approach that’s very appropriate for this project.”
Magola added that because it is a multi-tenant building, the team is really working to find a balance and what works best for each business.
But it became apparent throughout the meeting that there is still a community push to keep the building pink.
Palisadian Joan Graves, who played a vital role in fighting against the proposed demolition of the building in the 1980s, spoke on the importance of preserving the historic integrity of the building by keeping it pink.
“Here we are some 35 years later asking TOPA, the owners, to once again listen to the community, this distinctive Business Block Building is a beautiful reminder of our … history,” Graves said during public comment. “This building should stand out in the center of our Village and [was] not made to blend in with other buildings nearby.
“The Business Block Building is historic, not modern … [it is] the pride of the Palisades.”
TOPA owner Scott Clendenin asked the community to keep in mind that TOPA is now struggling to lease the building.
“The tenants, in stark contrast to many of the community members, don’t like the current color of the building or the stripes,” Clendenin said. “For a multi-tenant office building, it makes it much more difficult to lease and we have several vacancies right now. The needs of commerce pretty much directly conflict with some of the community’s members’ comments about having a highly distinctive building.”
After careful deliberation, the board requested a motion to continue—which includes approval of percale as the color of choice, and urged the architects and building owners to consider a color reminiscent of the California Buckwheat for architectural castings and accents, and a lighter color for the awnings.
The continuation is slated for Wednesday, December 9, and will take place via Zoom, due to COVID-19 regulations.
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