Robinsons-May demolition to begin in Beverly Hills (but not today) *


The long-closed Robinsons store beside the Beverly Hilton near the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards is being razed to make way for a big new development called 9900 Wilshire. The William Pereira and Charles Luckman design, opened in 1952 and closed in 2004, has its fans. "Architects Pereira & Luckman designed many of the building blocks of the modern suburban metropolis of Los Angeles, including Robinsons Beverly Hills," architecture writer Alan Hess says on Facebook. "One of the early department stores to move from the center city to suburbia, it represented a major step for Modernism into the daily lives of millions."

Writes Alison Martino of Vintage Los Angeles: "I know it's been doomed for many years, but I had always hoped it would survive since so many other development projects dissolved - until now."

Historic architecture photographer Tavo Olmos documented the site pre-demolition and has posted a quite nice video at his site. A high-resolution version is expected to be posted soon on the city of Beverly Hills website.

* 1145 a.m. update: The news around Vintage LA and elsewhere is that demolition work begins today. But a representative of the 9900 Wilshire project emails to say that demo activities won't start until late spring or summer. They have some filming going on at the old store currently, he says. I don't know, maybe the two sides are talking about different aspects. But it sounds like there is no razing today.

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