Century Plaza Hotel To Be Preserved

A developer's plan to raze the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City was shelved in favor of preserving the 1966 modernist structure designed by World Trade Center architect Minoru Yamasaki, the National Trust For Historic Preservation announced Thursday.

Only six months after purchasing the property in 2008, owner Next Century Associates had announced plans to raze the 800,000-square-foot hotel in favor of two towers housing a boutique hotel, luxury condominiums and retail outlets. That set up a fight with preservationists, who praised not only the structure's modernist elegance, but its provenance as stomping grounds for the likes of presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. It was once called the West Coast White House.

Indeed, the hotel has been a Republican stronghold for years. When Arnold Schwarzenegger first won California's governorship, he celebrated at the Century Plaza.

The hotel recently received a $36 million facelift. The National Trust jumped into the fray and named the Century Plaza to its "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" in America list before scoring this week's agreement with the developer.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the developer will "sensitive rehabilitation" of the structure while converting top floors to condos.

The plans must be approved by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission, Planning Department, and City Council. Under the deal the hotel will continue to be eligible for Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument status.

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