Bulldoze first, apologize later: a true L.A. landmark

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Architect Thom Mayne, new owner of the late Ray Bradbury’s home, says he plans to build a wall on the property that will pay tribute to the writer. (Byron Espinoza)
Architect Thom Mayne, new owner of the late Ray Bradbury’s home, says he plans to build a wall on the property that will pay tribute to the writer. (Byron Espinoza)
Architect Thom Mayne, new owner of the late Ray Bradbury’s home, says he plans to build a wall on the property that will pay tribute to the writer. (Byron Espinoza)
Architect Thom Mayne, new owner of the late Ray Bradbury’s home, says he plans to build a wall on the property that will pay tribute to the writer. (Byron Espinoza)

It was beginning to feel like a demolition derby.

On Tuesday, word started to spread that the canary-yellow 1937 house in Cheviot Hills where the writer Ray Bradbury lived for more than 50 years was being knocked down.

The person razing it to make room for a new house on the site was the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, whose firm Morphosis designed the Caltrans headquarters in downtown L.A. and a new campus for Emerson College in Hollywood, among other prominent buildings.

The next day, the preservation group Los Angeles Conservancy added an alert to its website that the new owner of the 1957 Norms restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard, a time capsule of the space-age L.A. coffee-shop style known as Googie, had been granted a demolition permit on Jan. 5. ….

Historic preservation, we’ve been reminded this week, proceeds by a different logic in Los Angeles than it does elsewhere. It’s not just that we tend to knock down more important works of architecture than the average big city in our rush to welcome new development. ….

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