FACULTY CENTER SAVED!! THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HELPED

UCLA Faculty Center (today; photo by Joe Fletcher)                              Faculty Center 1959 (UCLA Archive)

480 Charles E. Young Drive East,  Los Angeles, CA 90095  (Hilgard &Westholme; parking in UCLA Lot 2)

The graceful 1959 UCLA Faculty Center and Gardens:  See our vision to "protect, preserve, renovate, celebrate" with a renovated Faculty Center and UCLA Museum



 Sponsored by the Ad-Hoc Committee to Save the UCLA Faculty Center

Contact us at protect-preserve@hotmail.com and join our cause

 
 
Current News and Ongoing Events


FACULTY CENTER SAVED FROM DEMOLITION

NEW HOTEL SITE TO BE AT CAMPUS CENTER Announced Nov 1

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block announced today that the proposed Luskin Residential Conference Center would be planned for a mid-campus location, at the current Parking Lot 6, near Pauley Pavillion and the Ackerman Union.  His announcement (to be posted here soon) specifically mentions the love of the current faculty center structure held by many on campus.  We are grateful to Chancellor Block and the senior administration for their wisdom and compassion in deciding to save the faculty center and to preserve an institution that is vital to the community of Letters and Science faculty, spouses, and emeriti.  Although questions will remain concerning possible operating losses from a UCLA conference center/ hotel, and the potential impact of such a facility on the financial future of the UCLA Faculty Center, for the moment, our building and the institution, now nearly 53 years old, appear to be saved.  An Editorial follows.

Saving the Faculty Center:  Editorial

In August of 2010, members of the UCLA faculty center received a stunning email:  the institution was financially unsound, and their beloved building would have to be replaced by a new hotel and conference center.  Nobody had heard of the plans, nor were they aware that the Faculty Center appeared to be in dire financial straits.  At a general meeting of membership on October 10, 2010, our membership was told that it was a done deal.  Vice Chancellor Sam Morabito put it simply:  "The train has left the station".  UCLA astronomer Michael Rich spoke out, arguing that the graceful 50 year old mid-Century building was irreplaceable and needed to be saved.  Members of the faculty center organized a petition drive to call for a mail-in ballot vote, closing on March 15, 2011, which resulted in a resounding 3 to 1 victory for pro-preservation proponents.  In June of 2011, the membership elected a preservation slate to the Board of Governors, reaffirming member commitment to save the building and institution.

The challenge, now, is twofold.  Our 53 year old building has serious deferred maintenance, and addressing the issues may cost millions.  We will need to find the money.  Second, the Faculty Center has a structural deficit that has largely been exacerbated by mandated salary increases and retirement contributions for its employees, in addition to higher health care costs for its employees.  It is a story that many organizations face today.  While the immediate threat has passed, we remain seriously challenged if our Faculty Center is to survive for another 50 years and beyond.  As a member of the Board of Governors, I can assure you that the governance of the Faculty Center is committed to its preservation, excellence, and fulfillment of its important mission to the UCLA community.

Everyone who believes in a cause should take heart.  If you believe that what you are doing is right, you can sometimes, very rarely, achieve your dream, even when arrayed against those with far greater power.  In the end, as Marin Luther King said, "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice".

Our effort to save the Faculty Center involved incredibly hard work by members of the Adhoc Committee to Save the Faculty Center.  However, many organizations and professionals donated or partially donated their time and effort.  They are listed below, and if you read this and feel that your contribution has been omitted, please email us at protect-preserve@hotmail.com.

Thank you for your help in saving the Faculty Center

Adrian Fine, LA Conservancy   Advocacy
Joe Fletcher   Professional architectural photography at reduced rate
Gene Mezereny  Photography and website design at reduced rate
Brad Dunning   Interior Design Renovation Concepts/advice at no charge
Leo Marmol  Support and Offer to advise on preservation alternatives, at no charge
Peter Loughrie  LA Modern Auctions:  Art and Furniture identification, no charge
Richard Fletcher  Architectural Measurements, input into Computer Design code, reduced rate





 
 
Top UCLA Leaders Face Hostile Crowd at

April 6 Public Conference Center Meeting;

Some Flexibility in Siting RCC is Noted; Pause said to be "30 to 300 days"

 
The California Room of the Faculty Center was the scene of a spirited meeting Wednesday night 6 April, as the UCLA top brass encountered firsthand the skepticism of professors, neighbors, and local hotel operators with respect to the planned Residential Conference Center project.   This was the first time that UCLA's senior leadership had ever faced opponents of the Conference Center project.   Speakers questioned the propriety of spending on a luxury hotel when California is slashing UC support.  Hotel owners expressed deep skepticism at the projected high prices for the rooms and conference attendance.  Many professors, even those in medicine (one of the supporting professional schools), declared the project $270 projected price tag as beyond even their colleagues' reach.  Others attacked the loss in LA tax revenue that would ensue as a result of the project.  Adrian Fine of the Los Angeles Conservancy called for UCLA to consider seriously its preservation alternatives.  The crowd frequently cheered Conference center opponents while booing those in favor; this behavior was moderated after calls from the podium to be civil.

About 1 in 10 voices spoke in favor of the project.  Among those defending project were Norm Abrams, who chaired a special committee on the new Faculty Center, and a UCLA student and another neighborhood resident.  Additionally, the dean of the Architecture school spoke against the assertion that the Faculty Center is a historic resource, arguing that experts in the subject to do not regard the Faculty Center as a great mid-Century example.  For the most part "pro" speakers argued for the perceived importance of the project to UCLA's future and world class position.

RCC Remains Administration Priority

Chancellor Block and Vice Chancellors Waugh and Olsen remained strongly supportive of the RCC project, but appeared more flexible with respect to site and format of the project.   The initiation of a $1.5B fundraising drive was cited, with arguments that the project would connect better the alumni to UCLA.   Detailed questions concerning criteria for residency in the Center were deflected, but it was clear that administrative support was partially assisted by the desire to use the RCC as a fundraising vehicle.  There was no official comment on the perceived lack of transparency in the project, and irate participants continued to hammer the administration long after the meeting's close at 9pm.

The reputedly troubled finances of the Faculty Center were again cited as cause for needing to consider a hotel/faculty club concept, although there appeared to be some flexibility with respect to the future.  For the first time, the administration appears to be taking seriously the vast array of criticism that has met the project.  Previously, the administration appeared to have been heading for confrontation, as increasingly strident UCLA Today all-hands communications appeared to parry each thrust of negative publicity.

The project review will halt all forward activity but the project could still resume in six months time if e.g. no other site is found, or if the Faculty Center is deemed too weak to survive on its own. 

 
 
Six Month Reprieve for Faculty Center

UCLA Places Hotel Project Under More Review After Adverse Senate Report;
Faculty Center Finances Under Scrutiny

link to Senate Committee on Planning and Budget report
link to AVC Olsen's Letter
link to Faculty Association Blog


The UCLA Administration reacted swiftly to an Academic Senate report that questioned the financial viability of a proposed 280 bed hotel and residential conference center.   Following a meeting at Murphy Hall with select faculty members on Monday, AVC Steve Olsen released a letter that indicated that additional work on the project, including environmental review and suspension of Faculty Center operations, would be halted while a new investigation of demand and project concept is pursued. 

Gauging the tone of the report, the UCLA Administration appeared to be taking a defensive position, arguing that demand for the hotel had been underestimated, with a number of potential users not considered in the initial study.  UCLA also argued that the Senate Committe on Planning and Budget did not have a complete picture of UCLA's total debt structure, and that consequently, the impact of the project on UCLA's long term debt was improperly calculated.   The report appears to acknowledge both Faculty Center membership and neighborhood opposition to the project being located at the Faculty Center site, while at the same time pointing out new problems with the ongoing financial position of the Faculty Center that should be of "concern to the Board of Governors and membership of the Faculty Center".   The Senate report quotes on operating loss of $500,000 in the current fiscal year, although sources at the Faculty Center argue that the actual number is much smaller.  The underlying cause is the need to fund rising health and retirement benefits for UCLA employees; Faculty Center staff are UCLA employees.  The report concludes that incorporating a "Faculty Club" into a hotel would probably weaken the financial position of any hotel project.

Left unmentioned in the report are some of the underlying issues that caused the Academic Senate scrutiny, including Administration secrecy.  Recent UCLA Today postings have appeared to indicate Administration resolve to pursue the project, along with claims that the project was "transparent".   The latter claim has been vigorously disputed, as only after the CPB insisted did the project's appearance and scale finally become public, along with the PKF consulting report that appeared to present the Hotel/Conference Center as a commercially scoped venture.   The clear evidence of secrecy on the part of the Faculty Center Board of Governors was also not considered in the report and the historic vote received only passing mention.  Members of the Adhoc Committee to Save the Faculty Center emphasized the binding nature of the vote, and the lack of any timeline, and questioned the Administration's right to attack the finances of the Faculty Center, to which UCLA now provides no financial support.

Attendees at the Monday meeting with Chancellor Block and Vice Chancellors Waugh and Olsen indicated that the Luskin gift continues to be restricted to a hotel/conference center project, and that the Administration felt that such a venture was important to stimulate alumni participation and giving.  However, left unmentioned, are the thorny issues that running a commercial venture would jeopardize tax free financing and would subject the project to federal income tax.   It is not clear how fans at sporting events or families of graduating students, etc. could be argued to be "university related activities" like hosting a visiting faculty candidate, a colloquium speaker, or hosting a University sanctioned meeting.  The Faculty Association blog cites a recent IRS case in which revenue from a campus hotel project was impugned as being "unrelated business taxable income". 

Reprieve for Faculty Center only Six Months

Although the report cited no financial benchmarks that the Faculty Center must attain, the reprieve is clearly temporary.  Hence both the Holmby-Westwood Homeowners Association and the Adhoc Committee to Save the Faculty Center, core members of the new Town and Gown United coalition, said they would continue and deepen their efforts to move the project away from the Faculty Center site, while working to help the Faculty Center to thrive financially.  It is clear that homeowners object to a large hotel-like facility adjacent to their residential neighborhood.  While historic preservation alternatives exist that could expand and modernize conferencing space at the Faculty Center site, it is difficult to imagine any preservation scenario that would also incorporate a major hotel facility there.

The Westwood Holmby Homeowners are moving toward the creation of a Historic Protection Overlay Zone, which would impose restrictions on construction and alterations in their neighborhood and would likely strengthen the momentum to preserve historic resources like the Faculty Center.  At the same time, members of the adhoc Committee to Save the Faculty Center are considering introducing new art, photography, and museum exhibits to connect the Faculty Center to UCLA and local history.  "The value of a historic resource is not just to preserve an architectural style,  but also to recall great events associated with the institution and the region" said committee member Michael Rich.  "Within the next few months, we hope to make the first steps in that direction" Rich went on to say.  Other members of the Adhoc Committee mentioned their increasing resolve to save the Faculty Center, with a range of measures, including fundraisers and operations changes, being proposed to keep the doors open.

 
 
 
Editorial on Six Month Moratorium:  They'll be Back

by R. Michael Rich

The stage appeared set for a historic confrontation.  On the one side, the UCLA administration presented a public presence that work was going ahead on a 4 star hotel/conference center slated to occupy the Faculty Center site.  In a series of 3 all-employee emails on UCLA, the Administration made clear that it would proceed, made its case for the project, and argued that use would be restricted only to those with legitimate UCLA business.  The use of UCLA Today and all-employee mail distributions for a non-emergency situaiton, was to this author's knowledge, unprecedented.  One email blast came out the day of the Japan quake and infamous "Asians in the Library" YouTube posting; it took more days for an official UCLA mailing to appear
acknowledging the tragic events in Japan.  The blasts attacked the Faculty Center's operations and argued that the hotel concept was financially sound- even as the Committee on Planning and Budget of the Academic Senate was writing its report.    On the other side, the Faculty Center membership concluded a historic vote on 15 March 2011, returning a stunning 815-269 verdict against the project and in favor of preservation.  The Academic Senate followed days later with its report that questioned the project's financial feasability and demand, criticizing price tags that were clearly aimed at corporate, rather than academic, users.   The train had left the station and was set for a serious collision.

The UCLA Administration wisely halted the train.  Likely, they had little choice.  The Holmby Westwood property Owners Association, and other groups, were joining a coalition that has taken the name Town & Gown United.   Opposition to the project has been growing daily, and it must have been understood to the Adminstration that Regental approval might prove difficult to obtain, and that the project might well face legal opposition should it manage to get to its final EIR stage.

But the decision is not a final decision to abandon a hotel project that began well before the historic gift was announced on 24 January 2011.  In fact, thanks to Academic Senate scrutiny, a series of conceptual drawings were released, dating back to early 2010, and the astonishing PKF report, dating to 2009, was released.  At the time of the Faculty Center's 50th anniversary, plans for its demolition were being laid out in secret.   The members, whose dues and activities helped found and assure the continutiy of the Faculty Center, were excluded from the decision making process.  This was wrong.  Every aspect of the project, including the Notice of Preparation, was conducted in ways to minimize public comment and involvement.  We hope that UCLA has learned a lesson and never again attempts something like this. We also point out that the preservation vote is binding under the Faculty Center bylaws, and further, that it contained no expiration date.

More worrisome is the implication that like the Terminator, "They'll be back".  Concluding paragaphs of Vice Chancellor Olsen's letter refer to previously unannounced and serious deficits at the Faculty Center.  The sense of the report reads that "We appreciate the Academic Senate's advice.  We're taking another look, and by the way, they made some errors in their report.  As for the ungrateful membership of the Faculty Center, that institution will be bankrupt soon and we'll have our hotel in good time, without any replacement Faculty Center."   We remind the Administration that the California Environmental Quality Act will still be in force in six months.  By then, we plan to strengthen our case for historic preservation.  The neighborhood is not waiting either.  Quite independently, the Holmby Westwood Property Owners Association has been meeting with the LA Conservancy to establish a Historic Protection Overlay Zone.  While not applicable  to UCLA of course, this action does demonstrate that these homeowners care enough about their neighborhood to impose deed restrictions on their homeowners.  Cosntruction of a massive hotel project across the street wouldn't compute.  Proposals to subsidize hotel room costs with an endowment were clearly thought out in haste.  For a 280 room hotel at 70% occupancy, lowering the room rate from $250 by $100 (to UCLA Guesthouse rate) costs $7,000,000 per year- requiring (4% endowment spending rule) a roughly $180M endowment- and would be one of the largest gifts in the history of higher education-and nearly twice the size of the Luskin gift.

The Faculty Center Board of Governors should be frank with the membership about what is happening with our Faculty Center, and the membership that voted to "Save this House" must consider now the need to dig for funds to save it.  We must search for donors large and small.  However, the UCLA Administration must come to peace with the Faculty Center and what it provides that is unique.  Over the past 20 years, restaurants and conference centers have sprouted like the proverbial mushrooms around campus, the latest being a huge hotel project on NW campus that nobody has even heard of.  Amazingly, the Faculty Center managed to thrive financially until the twin challenges of the Great Recession and new employee benefits rules began to threaten its economic survival.  Business is improving, but the employee salaries and benefits, at a scale well beyond that of any real business, are proving a massive challenge.  What is to be done?  Not mentioned all of this discussion is the Faculty Center's core mission: to provide for a community that includes the Faculty, the Emeriti, their spouses, and their surviving spouses.   This community's celebrations and memorial services take place there, and in this increasingly secular time, the Faculty Center takes on a large and significant role for these communities.  There is no replacement for what it has to offer; it is a unique institution on campus.  One somehow has difficulty imagining how one could have a memorial service in the shadow of a 4 star hotel and its associated activities.  We propose that UCLA must be undertaking new restaurants an conference centers because they are profitable.  We think a tiny bit of this windfall might flow to the Faculty Center, since these are after all competitive enterprises that do not replace the Faculty Center's core mission.

In the next few weeks, we will propose visions of a possible renovation of the Faculty Center.  These will be detailed architectural renderings that will show the amazing potential of this unique piece of mid-century architecture.  If the Administration desires a conference center, there are preservation alternatives that might allow a significant expansion of modern conference space, while saving the historic core of the Faculty Center.  One scenario might be to sacrifice the Southern addition (area closest to
Lot 2); the Ackerman panels would be reinstalled (possible venue: the Playa Room) and if built out to the footprint proposed by the hotel project, one could imagine an addition that would include a theater-style lecture hall, along with smaller classroom style facilities.  It is easy to imagine that the renovation could produce much of what was sought for the Conference Center:  A total of roughly 30,000 s.f. of modern conference space, with a Ballroom (Faculty Center dining room) and junior Ballroom (California Room).  The main dining room could be outfitted with 4 drop screens along the South wall, enabling very large meetings to take place by simulcast (this is a common format at the American Astronomical Society meeting).  The renovated facility would offer a wide range of modern and restored historic conferencing environments.  The latest technology (1080p projection, state of the art sound, internet, lighting, and window treatements) would be available in all locations.   Note that another alternative is to renovate all of what is there.  We emphasize that the Faculty Center has it all:  8 conference rooms with seating ranging from from 10 to up to 600; some are divisible; all with access to the outdoors, for breaks.   Local hotels, from the new 29 story one being built in Westwood to the restored Bel Air Hotel, would provide plenty of rooms for guests- at no financial risk to UCLA.    If UCLA  still needs Club Bruin, we suggest a remarkable institution could come to help.  It's called the Private Sector, which runs business enterprises like hotels.  If this is such a great idea, a partnership could be found to establish the hotel in Westwood.  Freed from the strictures of tax free financing and 501c(3) rules, the facility could negotiate sweetheart deals for big games and graduation, and suites could be reserved for significant UCLA supporters-and their friends.  And none of these users would be scrutized as being on UCLA business, or not.

The UCLA campus has some open space left and is graced with significant architecture from a range of periods.  The Faculty Center is unique in that much of its funding was raised by small gifts from faculty and its operations funded nearly completely from dues, for over 50 years.  We think that the Faculty Center can be updated.   However, we believe that the Faculty Center needs to reconsider its governance.  First, in addition to the Board of Governors, there should be member involvement via committees that will attract new business and put on events of interest to the members.   These committees would also be involved in a wide range of day to day issues.  Second, we think there should be a standing committee of distinguished faculty, emeriti, and UCLA donors, who would oversee and protect the Faculty Center in the long term. The Standing Committtee should be privy to all issues considered by the Board of Governors, and would be able to decide unilaterally when important issues must go before the membership.  This Committee, along with the Board, would represent the interests of the membership to the UCLA administration.  It's not a perfect solution, but it has some attractions.

We hope that in the fullness of time, the value of what we have will be appreciated, and that people will marvel at the renovated Faculty Center and, we hope, a UCLA museum that might someday reside on its walls.  And we hope that while historic, our Faculty Center will not simply fade into history.

 
 
Membership Awaits Board Response After Historic 815-269 Vote

Record Turnout of Half the Membership returns 3 to 1 vote

Faculty Center Bylaws 5D: "The proposal shall be adopted if majority of ballots returned are marked in its favor"

Holmby Westwood Homeowners Join Hotel Opponents
 

Official UCLA Faculty Center announcement

R. Michael Rich's Editorial 22 March 2011


The results of a historic ballot on the future of the faculty center were announced on Monday 22 March, on the Faculty Center website.   Formal balloting concluded on 15 March.  The counting process was observed by representatives of all interested parties, with counting beginning at 10am on Monday morning and results being announced late in the afternoon. The historic ballot was initiated by a petition drive that started in December of 2010, and the total number of voting members-nearly half the entire membership- is unofficially the largest ever to vote in a Faculty Center election.   The official tally of 815 to 269 represents a decisive statement, in an election that was well publicized by two email announcements.  Ballots contained arguments in favor of preservation, and also contained an argument written by Prof. Ronald Mellor, in favor of the Residential Conference Center.   "The voting process was well publicized and the ballot materials even handed" said Michael Rich, a member of the adhoc Committee to Save the Faculty Center; Rich went on to say "We did campaign for our position, but the Administration was free to do so as well".  Rich noted the Administration's email blast last Friday from Scott Waugh, to all UCLA employees "Of course, we never had access to those kinds of resources".  Results of the count have been transmitted to various media, and no official word has yet been heard from the UCLA administration.

Although the vote is decisive, the Faculty Center Board of Governors must still decide whether to act on the vote.   Up until now, the Faculty Center interests have been represented by members of an appointed committe chaired by Prof. Norm Abrams, to oversee the design of the new faculty center that would be incorporated into the hotel.  We will keep you updated as developments occur.  Our news item is followed by an Editorial posted below.

The board of the 50 year old Holmby-Westwod Property Owners Association, representing 1100 members, formally voted its opposition to the Hotel project, and ordered 150 more yard signs to voice that position.   According to sources,  UCLA's Hotel/Ballroom project will be their main topic at a meeting in May, and they are seeking support of other groups.  The formation of a coalition appears to be imminent.

Vision for a Renewed Faculty Center

The adhoc Committee to Save the Faculty Center stated that it recognizes that a restored faculty center is essential.  Work has already begun on an effort to present a cohesive vision for a renewed and restored facility.  Of course, the Board of Governors and others would need to support that effort; these ideas are at the moment only a vision for the future.






                                                          Mother and Child,  Isamu Noguchi  1944
The Adhoc Committee to Save the Faculty Center continues to extend its prayers and condolences to the people of Japan as they struggle to recover from their losses of historic proportions.  We recall and acknowledge the contributions of Isamu Noguchi and George Nakashima to the Modernism movement.   We ur
Does this interior and ceiling look familiar?  Stanford's 1965 Faculty Club is good enough for Stanford University...
UCLA Faculty Center main dining room   Photo by Joe Fletcher
California Heritage Council Lauds UCLA Faculty Center;
State's Oldest Preservation Organization Urges Preservation

" Designed by the architectural firms of Austin, Field and Fry and Welton Becket, the Faculty Center is noteworthy for its use of the California ranch architectural style.  The Faculty Center reflects a bygone era of a gracious mid-century home set among impersonal institutional structures of the UCLA campus, a juxtaposing aesthetic important to preserve for future generations of students and faculty to experience.  The structure has been characterized as "in the style" of Cliff May.  Most importantly, from the time of its completion in 1959, it has played a vital role in the fabric of the UCLA Campus, and as such, ranks as an historic site equal to the Officers' Club at the Presidio in San Francisco.

The Council believes the Faculty Center should be fully evaluated as an historical resource, eligible for listing in the California Register of Historical Resources.  It embodies the distinctive characteristics of the California ranch style architecture and represents the work of a master architect.  The proposed project, consisting of the demolition of this historical resource, would cause significant and irreversible adverse impacts to cultural resources.  Accordingly, UCLA should evaluate at least one bona fide potentially feasible preservation alternative that attempts to meet project objects, incorporates the existing Faculty Center into the project and retains its eligibility as a historical resource."
"The California Environmental Quality Act "requires public agencies to deny approval of a project with significant adverse effects when feasible alternative or reasonable mitigation measures can substantially lessen such effect." 
"With such overwhelming public sentiment, including faculty, staff, support groups, and neighbors in favor of preservation of the Faculty Center, the California Heritage Council urges the University of California at Los Angeles to reaffirm its long standing tradition and commitment to its rich architectural heritage.  Because the Regents of the University of California have adopted a Sustainability Policy that supports low carbon footprints for any future construction, preservation of this structure is certainly a laudable step in this direction."

New Faculty Association Blog Entry: March 8, 2011 (link here)

"Demand Narrative" Released for Proposed Hotel/Conference Center to Replace Faculty Club

 
There is still time to help us reach our goal!
 

Sign the e-petition that supports saving our Faculty Center at:

 www.thepetitionsite.com/190/help-save-the-ucla-faculty-center

additionally:
Public comments on Notice of Preparation still being accepted!  
email Tracy Dudman:
t.dudman@capnet.ucla.edu
Support saving our building!

EXPRESSS YOUR OPINION!  Yard signs "No UCLA Hotel" are available from Toni Gray, GToni2882@aol.com
 


NEW photographs of the UCLA Faculty Center by Gene Mezereny are available here; remember to click on the left sidebar of the mezscapes site.   Please attribute photographs to Gene Mezereny, if you do use them.



PRESENTATIONS ON UCLA ACADEMIC WEBSITE SHOW LUXURY HOTEL PLANS 6 MONTHS
BEFORE FACULTY CENTER MEMBERS WERE INFORMED
   LINK  NOTE: MOST RECENT PLANS ARE THOSE
LABELED  1/11/11 Faculty Welfare Committee Presentation Materials and are downloaded as pdf.
In the most recent plans made publicly available, the now 278 room 4-star luxury hotel and conference center stretches from the present Lot 2 Kiosk at Hilgard and Westholme, to Murphy Hall.  The Faculty "club" as it would be called, is relegated to the present Murphy Hall parking lot.  Outside dining would either be next to the main entry ramp for the underground parking, facing Murphy Hall, or right above the main Hilgard Bus terminal.   One level beneath the Faculty Center dining area and "event lawn" would be the main truck loading dock area for the 300,000 s.f. facility.  According to plans presented to the Faculty Welfare committee, 2 stories of guest rooms are on top of the Faculty "club", the ground level of which is dining space, topped by standard meeting rooms.  Amenities for the hotel guests include a full lobby bar, dining where the old Faculty Center dining rooms and outdoor areas are presently, and a swimming pool area (with likely poolside bar) on top of the main Ballroom.  EASY LINK Link to plans with annotation. 

 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
 
 
 
MARMOL CALLS FACULTY CENTER "MID-CENTURY GEM"

Noted Architect urges Conservation

Leo Marmol, one of the world's leading experts on preservation of mid-century structures, has called for the preservation and renovation of the "iconic" UCLA Faculty Center.  In an email sent 17 February, Marmol, who is executive architect on the preservation of the Century Plaza hotel, stated that "The Faculty Center is a rare example of a public building in the California ranch style, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, multiple fireplaces, cathedral ceilings, and similar elements usually reserved for residential spaces. Losing this building would be losing a piece of our Modern history."   Marmol's restorations include some of the most important mid-century structures that are frequently illustrated in the architectural canon, including Richard Neutra's Kaufmann House (Palm Springs; pictured below) and designer Raymond Loewy's residence.   Thanks in part to his efforts, the historic Century Plaza Hotel is being restored.  Marmol's complete email message can be found here.


Shown below in this photograph by Julius Shulman, the Kaufmann House by Richard Neutra
is one of the most frequently illustrated mid-century structures.  Marmol and Radziner were
the lead architects in restoring this icon.  Leo Marmol has added his voice to preserving the UCLA Faculty Center.

 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


NEWS FLASH   Mid-century treasure: a carved wood paneled wall over 20 feet long designed by Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman for the Panelcarve company, discovered in downstairs bar!  Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman are currently the subject of a major retrospective at the Craft and Folk Art Museum on Wilshire Blvd across from LACMA.      Link to Evelyn and John Ackerman show at LA Craft Museum.  See recent article about the Ackermans in the New York TimesAccording to co-curator Dale Gluckman, this may be one of the largest, if not the largest, surviving installation of Evelyn Ackerman designed panels used on an architectural scale.  Peter Loughrey, owner of Los Angeles Modern Auctions  discovered the installation; in addition to numerous pieces of Architectural Pottery production, this work adds to the case for preservation.

 

Faculty Center downstairs bar.   Photo by Gene Mezereny.

The downstairs bar (Southeast corner of Faculty Center)  has a monumental panel (back wall) by Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman.  Detail from the wall panel is shown below- it is one of the larger and more interesting surviving installations ever done by the artists.   The work is confirmed as the "Castles" design by Evelyn Ackerman ca. 1964 (Panelcarve company).  The example is especially valuable because it is an early production.

Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman in front of the Paneled Wall, Downstairs bar
Photo by Joe Fletcher

Survey of Furnishings begins:  mid-century treasure discovered!   A David Cressy Phoenix planter from Architectural Pottery demonstrates the architectural design awareness and sensibility connected with those who founded and maintained the 1959 UCLA Faculty Center building and gardens.



Contact us and join our cause at protect-preserve@hotmail.com
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