The Los Angeles Police Departments former headquarters, Parker Center, will be demolished and replaced with a new, $483 million office tower to house city employees, under a plan approved by the City Council today.
The council voted 12-0 Friday to approve the Bureau of Engineering’s proposal to replace the eight-story Parker Center with a 27-story tower. The first floor will include commercial and exhibition space, according public works officials.
Preservationists from the Los Angeles Conservancy had been advocating for the city to rehabilitate the building, at 150 N. Los Angeles St., instead of demolish it. But the council last month denied giving the building a historic-cultural monument designation.
Those in favor of keeping the building intact pointed to the complex history of the building, which served as the LAPD’s administrative building, with a jail and crime labs, from 1954 until 2009. That era represented both some of the darker chapters in the police department’s relations with the African-American community, as well as some of the improvements and efficiencies achieved in the police department.
Parker Center is the work of architect Welton Becket, who also designed the Music Center and the Capitol Records building.
Councilman Jose Huizar said Friday the building should be demolished because it is not a good example of Becket’s work, and its existence dismisses the history of the Japanese American community and businesses that were displaced when Parker Center was built.
Some artwork from Parker Center will be preserved, including a bronze sculpture by Bernard J. Rosenthal and a mosaic mural by Joseph Young.
The offices at the Parker Center site are expected to serve as the first project in a larger plan to revamp the Civic Center where City Hall sits. The council voted to begin studying a “Civic Center master plan” that aims to bring more housing, office and commercial space to the area, as well as better integrating the Civic Center into the surrounding communities, which include Little Tokyo, Chinatown, El Pueblo and the Arts District.