The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission is scheduled to hold a hearing today for a second review of a petition to grant historic-cultural status to the Norms restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard.
The Los Angeles Conservancy launched a preservation effort to save the restaurant in December after the property’s new owner, Norman Cienega LLC, obtained a demolition permit for the site in January. The cultural heritage commission considered the petition on Jan. 15 and put a moratorium on changes at the site until the commission makes a final decision regarding preservation, possibly today. If the commission votes in favor of preservation, the matter would go to the Los Angeles City Council for consideration. The moratorium on changes would remain in effect while the city council completes its examination.
An attorney for Norman Cienega LLC has stated that the owners have no plans to demolish the restaurant, and are instead considering plans for developing the property around Norms, located at 470-478 La Cienega Blvd. The restaurant has been open at the site since 1957.
Numerous people have supported the preservation of Norms restaurant through the conservancy’s website. The Mid-City West Community Council has voted to support the conservancy’s petition, and Councilman Paul Koretz, 5th District, said he believes Norms should be preserved. The restaurant’s current owners, Norms Restaurant’s LLC, lease the building from Norman Cienega LLC and hope to keep the restaurant open.
Ken Bernstein, principal city planner and manager of the Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources, said the commission will consider the property on the merits that it is part of the cultural and social fabric of the community. He said it is a significant example of Googie architecture popular in Los Angeles from the 1940s through 1960s, and that it is a significant example of work by the architectural firm Armet & Davis. Bernstein said commission members toured the site following the first hearing in January as part of the examination into whether the property should receive historic-cultural status.
The cultural heritage commission hearing is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. today in Room 1010 at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., downtown.
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