The Los Angeles Conservancy sent out an alert this afternoon saying the owner of the 1961 building that housed the Friars Club has begun razing the unofficial landmark, with no plans yet filed for a new structure at the site on Little Santa Monica Boulevard.
"Unfortunately, many people don't yet understand why a building like this is worth saving," said Adrian Scott Fine, director of advocacy for the Los Angeles Conservancy. "This is an important building by an important architect, and it will very soon be lost to us forever. We need to recognize and protect significant designs from our recent past now, so that they're not all gone by the time they're universally accepted."
Sidney Eisenshtat (1914-2005) was a prominent Los Angeles-based architect whose notable designs included schools, community centers, bank buildings, and synagogues. He was internationally recognized for his development of synagogue architecture; some of his innovative designs include Temple Emmanuel in Beverly Hills and Sinai Temple in Westwood.
Conservation guru Chris Nichols calls the club a "sumptuous and organic modern masterpiece" on a blog at Los Angeles Magazine's site: "The Friars’ opening in 1961 was presided over by (another) Governor Brown. The private club was soon hosting roasts and testimonials for their members including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Bob Hope and Ronald Reagan."
Photo: Los Angeles Magazine