As the last shadows of summer draw long, gentrification and rejuvenation continue apace in Downtown Los Angeles. The storied Globe Theatre building at 740 South Broadway, developed by William Garland and first opened in 1913, will get a new lease on life courtesy of owners who have held onto it for decades and have recently embraced its future potential.
The theatre itself reopened in 2015 following a $5 million renovation – its mysterious, noir-ish character and network of secret passageways have helped make it an in-demand event space. According to the new plan, the building’s upper floors will become 47 live-work units after sitting empty for the last 20 years.
The building’s progress is another testament to an historic area that is going through a bit of an identity crisis as it becomes more popular. After a long period of stagnation and blight, wealthy young professionals have returned to DTLA, inspiring new development and pricing out some formerly established denizens. Some of the neighborhood’s glorious architectural landmarks, such as the Globe, are refurbished and back on the radar, while others, such as the notorious Hotel Cecil, have not survived the transition.
LA has an irksome and often-remarked-upon habit of erasing its own history, but groups such as the Los Angeles Art Deco Society have kept alive the interest in distinctive structures such as the Globe, many of which are concentrated downtown. The new Globe building won’t be ready for move-in until at least 2018 – it will emerge significantly cleaned up and easier on the eyes, but it is too early to know how an influx of new residents will alter DTLA’s character.
– Emerson Dameron, A+D Intern
– Photo Credit: www.globetheatre-la.com