Echo Park - The Taix Restaurant building has been recommended to become a Historic-Cultural Monument - but based only on its cultural significance in the community, not based on its architecture, the Cultural Heritage Commission stated.
“The architectural quality is kind of negligible, in the exterior and interior,” said Commissioner Diane Kanner.
Looking at a photograph of the interior, Commission President Richard Barron added, “It’s Disneyland. That brick is glued onto the wall.”
In the monument proposal, historian Charles Fisher had called the building “a good example of the rare use of French Normandy style in commercial architecture.” But in the report from the L.A. Department of City Planning, historian Kathryn McGee disagreed.
“Given then building’s limited architectural expression and its lack of cohesive design intent, it does not appear to be an example of the French Normandy architectural style,” McGee stated.
But almost all of the public comments supported turning the building into a monument - and Commissioner Barry Milofsky noted those comments were mainly focused on the restaurant itself, more than the building.
“What I heard from the community was their love of the business,” Milofsky said. “I think what’s important is the business - the feeling of the business.”
Commissioners also noted, if the building is turned into a monument, there is no guarantee that Taix restaurant - or any other restaurant - would continue doing business there.
The restaurant owner, Mike Taix, favors a redevelopment plan for the building. He has said the restaurant is unsustainable as a business in that current building, which has too much unused space.
“I am kind of pleased with what the staff report said," Mike Taix told the Eastsider this week, "that the building wasn’t that notable and the business was.”
Mike Taix sold the property to Holland Partner Group last year for $12 million. The building was proposed for monument after Holland proposed to demolish virtually all of it and replace it with a six-story complex with 170 units of housing and 13,000 square feet of retail commercial space.
Historic status would restrict demolition.
The landmark nomination is subject to further review before it goes to the City Council for a final vote.