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Saturday, November 1, 2014

PETA leaves its mark on Echo Park architecture

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Many of the old and buildings that line Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park have over the years been either demolished or had their historic features and character stripped away or covered up under sheets of plywood, metal screens or plastic signs.   But one notable exception has been an 82-year-old Art Deco style building, built originally as an auto showroom and now serving as the newly opened West Coast headquarters for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  The  original facade, which gently curves along a 130-foot section of Sunset Boulevard near Mohawk Street (yes, that would be the Mohawk Bend), had been virtually left in intact over the decades and Peta had no intention of changing it, said project architect Erick Evens of KAA Design.  “We didn’t want to change the nature of it,”  said Evens.

While the interior of the approximately 12,000-square-foot building  functions as  thoroughly modern office building, the exterior is still dominated by the zig-zag, Art Deco lines, columns and other details that are now painted in subtle shades of white and gray – the only bright spot of color is the a sign in “PETA blue.”  The new paint and exterior lights highlight  the Art Deco design that were once lost in coat of beige paint. A new wall of glass plate windows was install a few inches behind  the columns because “we didn’t want to interfere with the existing, historic facade” Evens said.

The building that once was a showcase for autos – a Chevrolet dealer James W. Irvine sold a Sports Roader with rumble seat for $495 in 1930 – will now serve as a “billboard” for PETA and its animal rights advocacy, Evens said.  A 4,ooo-square-foot deck (not visible from the street) with a view of downtown is envisioned as a place for Peta gatherings and events while the front windows will feature displays. “Engaging the community is important to them.”

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33 comments

  1. Looks great!

  2. Let’s hope the window displays are more along the lines of comely actresses strategically posing than gross-out imagery…

  3. thank you peta! building looks great. (i second the ‘please no gross-out imagery’ comment, though) =)

    • “gross out imagery” is simply a reflection of the real world. There are more important things than your wants.

      • That’s nice, but have some tact and respect for your neighbors. Just because those are your wants doesn’t mean it goes above the wants of others. Get over that, dear heart.

        • What a condescending reply -not to mention arrogant -who are you to decide what’s tactful/respectful – this is America, not China -yet.

          • Simply returning the condescending and arrogant reply he taunted to the person before him, love.

          • What is with the creepy “dear heart” and “love” – passive-aggressive or what!? And “taunted”, do you teach small children, or are you just crazy?
            Jack simply stated a fact -grow up, “MOM”

        • Let me third that.
          I’m a big supporter of animal rights, and have donated quite frequently to PETA but please ease up on the billboard size images of people dumping crude oil on harp seals with shampoo in their eyes (or whatever).
          We all know of the daily tragedy of less fortunate animals. However having to see those billboards every single day on the way to work for months on end only alienates you from, not endears you to, your surrounding community.
          Regardless, congrats on the new digs and thanks for keeping the architecture intact. Oh and keep up the good work.

  4. I love the respect paid to the building. My only quibble is that the cheap back-lit plastic name plate that does the expensive renovation no favors. I’d happily tolerate some gross-out imagery in exchange for a neon sign.

    • I think the goal was to re-purpose the existing sign that formally had the “Sleep EZ” insert rather than build a new one.

      They probably saved some money and hassle with the city in reusing a grandfathered sign too. By merely replacing the inserts rather than going all new…

  5. looks incredible. you don’t really need the blue sign.

  6. i LOVE LOVE LOVE animals but sorry, peta bugs the hell out of me

  7. Beautiful! Hopefully this will inspire further facade restoration along Sunset in Echo Park and Silver Lake. Ii is sorely needed.

  8. Nice storefront. Too bad it houses PETA. I trust I’m not the only one in the neighborhood who’d doesn’t welcome PETA. K9 loft is right down the street. Will they be annoyed and harrassed to sell only vegan dog food?

    • Again -look up what they actually do before you sound off.

      • What they actually do is put to death hundreds of household pets every year and wish to ban certain dog breeds.

        • I’m all for getting rid of breeders and puppy mills. In their quest for genetic “purity” they’ve created incestuous, disease-ridden dogs. Give me a healthy, happy mutt any day. From a shelter.

          And PETA euthanizes because they are usually the drop-off of last resort for sick or unwanted animals.
          http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2009/03/30/why-we-euthanize.aspx

          I’m not an apologist for PETA, and I don’t like a lot of their publicity stunts. But they are unjustly demonized, usually by people who stand to make a profit off of animals.

        • Hey Vicky, are you going to take all of these unwanted household pets? Cool.

          • Hey, Phillipa are you going to kill all the pit strays you find? Neato.

          • No -simpleton, I rescue all the animals I can afford -most of whom are pit bulls and I spent the rest of my time running a non-profit that supplies blankets, toys, and food to the underfunded city shelters of LA and in my free time I TNR feral cats.
            Do you have any idea how many animals are turned in to the city shelters in LA county alone? Are you suggesting they should spend the rest of their lives in cages? It sickens me that LA is not no-kill, it sickens me that people don’t spay and neuter -but like PETA I’m doing what I can -not whining.

    • Well, I for one welcome them. I don’t love everything they do, but they have raised awareness of a lot of animal mistreatment. And I seriously doubt they would try to create animosity with their neighbors.

  9. Sounds like a Great Place for Demi Tasse and a couple of quick Tweets. Perchance a a Falling Star having substituted Her Ivory and Alligator Leathers, for Hemp Pullovers and Lucky Brand Denim ~

  10. Short anyone’s opinion about the organization, the renovated building was done very well. As a neighbor to the location, I am pleased to see the buildings such as this and the old vaudeville theater across the street (Mohawk Bend) become viable businesses rather than the graffiti covered messes they were before.

  11. In my experience, 99% of the hysterical bleating about PETA comes from women who don’t want to feel guilty about their pharmaceuticals, make-up or clothes and don’t want to think about or see gross things. It’s infantile. This is a beautiful building and a tribute to Bob Barker’s selfless devotion to animals. If PETA presses my buttons and makes me uncomfortable, then they’re doing their jobs.

  12. Right on! Spot on!

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