City Blows Parker Center Deadline, But Wrecking Ball Still Isn’t Coming

The 1955 Parker Center at 150 N. Los Angeles St.

The issue of whether to save or raze Parker Center took a strange twist on Tuesday, when the application to designate the 1955 structure a city Historic-Cultural Monument was denied because the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management committee missed a review deadline.

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Committee chairman and 14th District Councilman José Huizar was under the impression that a two-week extension on the item could be granted by the City Clerk, but that turned out not to be the case, Huizar spokesman Rick Coca said in an email.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the wrecking ball is coming to the dilapidated structure designed by Welton Beckett.

The city’s Office of Historic Resources will have to submit another nomination, and Huizar said in the May 5 committee meeting that despite the hiccup, local leaders now have the opportunity to review the building amid the current needs of the Civic Center.

Previously, the city Bureau of Engineering had suggested tearing down the former police headquarters and building a new city office building with significantly more space.

A new Huizar motion asks city staff to consider an alternative that would preserve Parker Center and build an adjacent tower taller than the one analyzed in the project’s already complete environmental impact report.

It also suggests reviewing the reuse of properties such as the L.A. Mall and City Hall South in the broader context of Civic Center needs.

“This approach allows a monument nomination to be considered in light of a new preservation project alternative while also beginning the process for a broader vision for the future of the Civic Center,” Huizar said at the May 5 meeting.