LA City Council Makes It Official: Tom Bergin’s is an Historic Cultural Landmark

In a voting process with no new comments by either Council Members or the public, the City Council this morning approved the Historic Cultural Landmark application for Tom Bergin’s Bar and Restaurant, which was submitted last fall by the Miracle Mile Residential Association and the Los Angeles Conservancy.

After being supported by the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission earlier this year, the application ran into some strong opposition during the last few weeks from the Bergin’s owners, Frank and Derek Schreck.  The Schrecks argued at a June 12 Planning and Land Use Management Committee meeting that since the nomination was based on the business’s influence in the community, and not the actual building it was housed in, it was not appropriate to preserve the structure.  They further contended that doing so would prevent them from selling the property to a developer, and thus prevent them recouping some of the considerable investment they’d made in the now-shuttered business.

Joe Bergin, grandson of Tom Bergin, also opposed the application at the PLUM meeting, saying he’s been looking into removing and moving some of the bar’s most distinctive elements, with hopes of re-opening the business in a new location.

After that discussion, however, the PLUM committee did vote on June 12 to recommend that the landmark application be approved, minus the property’s parking lot. (The birfurcation was intended to make at least part of the parcel easier to redevelop.)

At today’s full Council meeting, an amendment to remove the parking lot from the landmark designation was approved, and the larger motion to grant landmark status to the building also passed, with no further discussion, as part of the Council’s consent agenda for the day.

After the meeting, MMRA Vice President Ken Hixon told the Buzz that, “We are delighted to finally make it official.  From our point of view, Bergin’s has always been a landmark.”  Hixon also said that the MMRA is “incredibly thankful” for the extensive support shown by the community, City Council Member David Ryu and others, which contributed greatly to the landmark effort.

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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