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Dutton’s on Verge of Historic Landmark Declaration

Months after vocal protests couldn’t stop the Beverly Hills location of Dutton’s from closing up, the Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission voted Thursday to consider declaring the complex where Dutton’s flagship store in Brentwood is housed a historic-cultural monument.

Four commissioners voted to follow a staff recommendation that the building warranted further investigation as a well-preserved example of mid-20th century California modern architecture. A fifth commissioner, Carlos Singer, recused himself because of his friendship with David Barry, the man who commissioned the building in 1950 and recently sold it. Dutton’s “represents a wonderful, cherished community center,” said architectural photographer Julius Shulman, 96, who helped plead the case to the commission.

But designation as a historic-cultural monument would not provide an ironclad prohibition against demolition, said Ken Bernstein, manager of the city Planning Department’s Office of Historic Resources. The commission is expected to take a final vote within two months. If it names the structure a historic-cultural monument, the designation will be put to a vote by the City Council.

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