Sunset Junction destruction: Are we about to lose the heart of Silver Lake to a developer’s wrecking ball?

Demolition of Sunset Junction’s distinctive former Red Car station & surrounding buildings could change the heart of a historic neighborhood forever

You know this row of buildings. It’s that cute corridor at the terminus of Santa Monica Boulevard, right at Sunset Junction.

Now imagine it gone. Wiped off the map, along with one private residence and the historic Red Car station–everything on the land spanning from the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Sanborn Ave., (former site of Lovecraft Biofuels) to Manzanita Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd, would be replaced by…wait for it…

A four-story (FOUR STORY!), 60-foot-high apartment / retail monstrosity.

A four-story (FOUR STORY!), 60-foot-high apartment / retail monstrosity with ONE SINGLE EXIT / ENTRANCE on Manzanita Avenue.

Hello, traffic and inflation. Goodbye, charm & community. As if those eyesores across from El Cid weren’t enough of an abomination, now they’re going to try to foist this on us?!


All the info you need is here at the Sunset Junction Destruction website. That site informs us that:
A community input meeting is scheduled for the beginning of February 2009. For questions and concerns, and information on upcoming community meetings please direct inquiries to:

[email protected], Chair, Urban Design & Preservation Committee, developers for the 4000 Sunset Blvd Project

Send email & comments to [email protected] and they will be forwarded to The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, Eric Garcetti CD13 and appropriate parties concerned. Thank you.

16 thoughts on “Sunset Junction destruction: Are we about to lose the heart of Silver Lake to a developer’s wrecking ball?”

  1. I wish everyone luck with that one. When its redevelopment money its a very different animal and in my corner of the world they just bowl over what the community wants and even the “preservation group” can’t stop them. I’ve contacted everyone I know and can’t seem to get any interest in saving our car wash – classic googie and no one listens. That such an LA style and I hate the thought of it going under.

  2. Thats some bullshit!
    Look, I know the neighborhood is “evolving” and things will change. Does that mean everything has to look like The Grove?
    Why not bulldoze something worthwhile like Parker Center?

  3. well, four stories isn’t evil or anything, but in that area with the way the hills slope in, four stories will be really oppressive, dwarf much of the residential housing, block a lot of people’s views and give the street that weird “I’m walking alongside a monolith” feeling, like the way you feel when you walk past The Grove’s exterior wall on 3rd Street.

    I wasn’t trying to be alarmist or anything, sorry if I sounded that way. But four stories would just be REALLY incongruous in that location. I lived in a 3 story apt in Hollywood for a while, so if I recall correctly, it’s just plain big.

    No need to mock me, gosh Bert. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable. :(
    of course it wont block the sun, of course no children will die, of course it’s not the end of the world, but I still don’t think it’s right for that neighborhood.

  4. Totally out of scale for that neighborhood. I’m hoping that the upside of the bad economy will be that projects like this one will never come to fruition.

  5. I don’t have any problem with four stories in that location–it is a very urban area after all–but looking at the Frost Chadwick website is distressing. They seem to be purveyors of buildings only one step above G.H. Palmer. One entrance is also a bad sign.

  6. “I don’t have any problem with four stories in that location”. I would disagree. The transportation in the area is pretty maxed, park land is sparse, adding density only makes matters worse.

    I don’t think its alarmest. I think it looks out of place for the area, certainly all the arguments re blocked views etc., is a concern.

  7. I love how it’s the people who don’t have to live right next door to these monstrosities who are the ones who have “no problem” with it. Whenever I attend any SL Neighborhood Council meetings I hear a lot this from the residents who live near the reservoir about what those of us south of Sunset should have in our neighborhood. God forbid any of us lowlanders suggest any changes to the reservoir area. OMG! You could hear those reservoirian knickers twisting all the way down to Jiffy Lube! (someone should drop a condo on them!);)
    Another thing I’ve noticed is that the new property owners continue to lease out the buildings to unsuspecting tenants (some who are investing $ in fixing up the place up like the recent restoration at the old biofuels site)
    I guess the owners have to keep milking that property until they raze it.

  8. this should be a red car line museum better yet a station for light rail like the red car again(dreaming) not more friggin housing in over dense hood.
    save this building!!!

  9. Lucinda, I meant no personal offense. Sorry if I hurt your feelings.

    But I do have a real issue with the NIMBY tone of the post. In my experience, simply opposing projects is the best way to get bad projects. The developers and the opponents draw battle lines and we get bad urban design from it.

    Look across the street from the 2 buildings across Sunset that you cite as examples. There is the Grosch Scenic Rentals building, built in the 1920s. It is the same scale as the new buildings. Built 80 years earlier.

    It’s not the size of the project that is bad, it’s the design. Work with the realities and help to get a better design that does NOT produce long blank walls like the Grove, and that works with the community. That’s constructive. Simply opposing any change is not.

  10. Bert, thank you for the perspective. and you are right about the design being a big issue.

    I just still feel that this is not the place for the sort of change frost/chaddock are proposing. If they were planning something in scale to the surrounding neighborhood this wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

  11. Victoria: “Why is anyone building like that in this economic climate anyhow?”

    I would say now is the BEST time to build. For one, we need the freakin’ jobs. Labor and materials can be found cheaper now. And since construction on these projects, from start to end, can take a couple years, building now means that businesses can open when the recession is finally over.

    That said, 60 foot tall building in that area could ruin its appeal, but Bert is right about design being a considering factor.

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