Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Morgan, Walls and Clements, Architects (firm); Stiles Oliver Clements (architect); Octavius Weller Morgan Sr. (architect); John A. Walls (architect)

Dates: constructed 1927, demolished 1998

Wilshire Boulevard and Oxford Avenue
Wilshire Center, Los Angeles, CA 90010

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Northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Oxford Avenue, across from the Pellissier Building and the Wiltern Theatre;

Building Notes

Lead Designer Stiles O. Clements (1883-1966) designed the long, low McKinley Building in a Spanish Baroque Churrigueresque manner, a familiar stylistic approach for this firm; a Mediterranean-influenced courtyard once occupied the center of this two-story building;


In late January 1998, the Los Angeles City Council voted 10-5 to allow demolition of the McKinley Building; demolished occurred 03/1998; Dr. Robert Larner had owned the building since 1968, and paid a lobbyist, Century City lawyer Ben Reznik, $183,000 to campaign for the structure's demolition; while the building had been damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, it was not beyond repair, as a drugstore occupied the corner location; drugstore chains have become a frequent opponents of historic preservation, as they very often covet easily-accessed corner locations.

The Los Angeles Conservancy said of the situation in its 03-04/1998 Los Angeles Conservancy News: ""The day before the City Council voted on the McKinley Building, the owner invited members of the City Council to see the building. Because he was bent on demolishing the structure, the owner had done very little clean up after the building was vacated. Consequently, the building looked in poor condition. The appearance of damage was, in fact, not structural--it was cosmetic and compounded by the debris left by vandals and the clutter of furnishing, papers, and books left by tenants. Members of the Council accepted the owner's assessment that the building was unsound and beyond repair. In fact, the damage to the the building was primarily caused by vandalism after the building was vacated because the owner failed to secure the structure. In preservation terminology, this is known as 'demolition by neglect,' where a property owner fails to maintain a historic building so that it deteriorates." (See Barbara Hoff Delvac, "McKinley Building Falls to Demolition," Los Angeles Conservancy News, vol. 20, no. 2, 03-04/1998, p. 2.)

PCAD id: 302