20/5/2018 1:44 pm  #1


BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

https://www.wehoville.com/2018/05/18/wehos-bing-crosby-building-nominated-national-historic-register/

The California State Historical Resources Commission voted this week to nominate the Bing Crosby Building in West Hollywood for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

I walk/drive by this building several times a week. It is in quite a bit of disrepair so I am thrilled to see that SOMEONE cares!  


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
 

20/5/2018 2:31 pm  #2


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

Paul, does listing make money available for the needed repairs, or does it merely prevent destruction and detrimental change?


https://www.wehoville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/6CA74F9B-8C51-4FA1-A6AF-FC5D8882B06A.jpeg

https://www.wehoville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/36E4429A-A0EF-41C0-A294-59231BFCD23B.jpeg

 

 

20/5/2018 7:43 pm  #3


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

What are the results of listing?
In addition to honorific recognition, listing in the National Register has the following results for historic properties:


  • Consideration in planning for Federal, Federally licensed, and Federally assisted projects: -- Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires that Federal agencies allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation an opportunity to comment on all projects affecting historic properties either listed in or determined eligible for listing in the National Register. The Advisory Council oversees and ensures the consideration of historic properties in the Federal Planning process.
  • Eligibility for certain tax provisions -- Owners of properties listed in the National Register may be eligible for a 20% investment tax credit for the certified rehabilitation of income-producing certified historic structures such as commercial, industrial, or rental residential buildings. This credit can be combined with a straight-line depreciation period of 27.5 years for residential property and 31.5 years for nonresidential property for the depreciable basis of the rehabilitated building reduced by the amount of the tax credit claimed. Federal tax deductions are also available for charitable contributions for conservation purposes of partial interests in historically important land areas or structures.
  • Consideration of historic values in the decision to issue a surface mining permit where coal is located in accordance with the Surface Mining Control Act of 1977; and
  • Qualification for Federal grants for historic preservation, when funds are available. 


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
     Thread Starter
 

25/7/2020 3:17 pm  #4


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

In July 2017  I sent to the State of California the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the Crosby Building on the Sunset Strip.  After a couple of editorial changes, it was nominated to be considered by the State Historical Resources Commission at its meeting on 17 May 2018.  What appeared to be a rather straight forward meeting was changed at the last hour by the owner filing an objection to the nomination.  Fortunately I was in Palo Alto, California where the State meeting was held and was able to present testimony before the commission as to why the building should be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The commission voted unanimously for granting the national listing.  The State has sent it on to the National Park Service which grants the national status.  Since the owner objected, it will be listed as “eligible for National Status.”  However, the State of California will list it as a State Historic Place without any restrictions.

The building was granted status in Categories A, B and C:
Category A - Property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history. This building was the primary office of Bing Crosby and the location where the first video tape recorder was developed.
Category B - Property is associated with the lives of persons significant in our past. The people were Bing Crosby and John T. (Jack) Mullin.
Category C - Property has distinctive characteristics and high artistic values.

The present situation with the building is that the owner has had his business ventures delayed.  I am in periodic contact with his attorney.  The plan is to incorporate the building into a tower hotel behind it.  It is to be kept as a historic object and used for a restaurant.  I also believe that the city of West Hollywood would like to preserve it.  However, the historic status does not prevent it from being torn down.  Anyone in the Los Angeles area should make their interests known to the City of West Hollywood they are the one that can prevent it from being demolished.

If someone wants a copy of the historical registration form that was submitted to the State of California please send me a request to phillips.r@talk21.com.   It contains the history and related information that was used to justify the historic status of the building.  I also have pictures of the intended new plan for the building.

Bob Phillips

 

 

25/7/2020 5:28 pm  #5


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

Keep up the good work, Bob.

 

26/7/2020 12:41 am  #6


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

Why is this called the Bing Crosby Bldg.?   Was it originally a place where Bing conducted business?   Or is this just a building Bing happened to own but didn't do anything in?   Never knew of a Bing Bldg.

Last edited by Archiefit (26/7/2020 12:42 am)

 

26/7/2020 6:24 am  #7


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

Oct 1936
Construction of the new $40,000 Bing Crosby building at 9028 Sunset Boulevard commences. Bing’s organization ultimately occupies the top floor of the three-story building. G. Arnold Stevens, a graduate of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, takes space on the second floor in 1938 and becomes Bing’s doctor as well as a close friend.

 

26/7/2020 6:30 am  #8


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

More details of the history here -

https://www.larchmontbuzz.com/featured-stories-larchmont-village/wehos-bing-crosby-building-nominated-for-national-historic-register/

And a photo has the name of Everett Crosby (Bing's brother and business manager) just visible at very top left, as well as "CROSBY BLDG" over central entrance.
.

http://www.westhollywoodpreservationalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/photo-9026-Sunset-bing-crosby-building.jpg

 

 

26/7/2020 8:18 pm  #9


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

I visited there in 1957 and met Larry Crosby. He asked if they could do anything for me and I did ask about visiting Paramount but Bing wasn’t with them anymore and he couldn’t help.
He did offer some other but I declined as I didn’t wish to feel like a bludger.
Looking back I don’t suppose it would have hurt when thinking of how much money one has spent on records etc.
But, I don’t regret the decision I made at the time.

 

26/7/2020 8:44 pm  #10


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

In the early 1930s Bing Crosby had his main office at Paramount and Decca was close by.  However, when he began his radio broadcasts his organization began to expand, and he purchased a building under construction on Sunset Boulevard on 15 October 1936.  Why move to this remote location?  It was half way on the main road between Beverly Hills and the studios in Hollywood.  A number of the stars had already had offices for their agents in this area that became known as the Sunset Strip.

Bing was different from the others in that he directly maintained his own contracts.  The building did have offices for his agent and his brother Everett, but it also contained his financial people, his doctor and other support functions.  By 1945 Bing had established many separate corporations from acting to the Crosby Research Foundation, and he hired Basil Grillo to reorganize his business interests.  Basil located the heart of this "empire" in the Crosby Building.  The agent function was taken over by Bing's own staff, and his doctor friend and tailor left.  Bing upended the show business model by setting up his own operation.  

While Bing did not spend much time in the building all his finances came through this building as well as his mail.  If one mailed a letter to Paramount or NBC or Decca, it came to this building for processing.  This operation was handled by his brother Larry.  The Electronic Division was created here to manage his radio show technical operations when he left NBC for ABC.  It was here that Jack Mullin held forth when he was not working on the Crosby radio show.  It was from here that Jack worked with Ampex and Minnesota Mining (3M) to develop a new recorder for Bing and tape for it.  I worked in the building from 1951 to 1957 on the video tape recorder development for Bing.  For more on the building and the Electronics Division see:  https://ethw.org/First-Hand:Bing_Crosby_and_the_Recording_Revolution.




  

 

27/7/2020 5:23 am  #11


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

The very, very sad fact of the matter is that (at least prior to the Pandemic) very rich individuals with absolutely ZERO knowledge or care about the history of the Sunset Strip, Sunset Plaza, etc. have been literally "sucking up" any and all available properties along it. They wish to do nothing but destroy what exists and put up hotels & condos all with "retail space" at ground level. The Pandemic may very well have been the Crosby Building's best friend.  With the exception of an enormous project East of the location that was well underway prior to the economic shutdown, everything has come to a halt.  Perhaps the "new world" where people will be working from home and less in need of office space and more conglomerate hotels will save it. Time will tell.


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
     Thread Starter
 

28/7/2020 1:42 am  #12


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

The Bing Crosby Building has been standing because a number of people realized its importance.  The first was an architect that gave up his commission because he would not let the building be torn down.  He felt it was a historic architecture.   The IEEE pressured me to get it declared a landmark because of the video tape development work there.

In researching how to make it a landmark, I found that it was not a simple task.  My research turned up another evaluation by West Hollywood that stated it qualified as historical architectural.  I applied for the forms from the State of California, and they sent me the paperwork.  After a number of discussions with them they helped me through the process.  There were four categories.  I applied for three of them (see my 11/7/2020 message above or the list below).  In the process I had to contact the owner, who was not keen on keeping the building.  After a number of discussions with his lawyer, a new plan was developed that kept the building as part of his development and its history.

I submitted the paperwork for the three categories, and it was considered a go for approval.  However, at the last minute the owner objected to keep his options open.  I had to plead my case before the State Commission, and they unanimously approved all three categories.  It is rare that a building qualifies in more than one or two. 

I am still in contact with the owner's lawyer, and the plans are still in place to keep it.  However, with all that has happened in the last year, the building and hotel site may be sold.  Anyone with an interest in keeping the building should make their case with the City of West Hollywood.  They are the organization that has the life or death decision about this historic building.

Bob Phillips

The building was granted status in Categories A, B and C:
Category A - Property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history. This building was the primary office of Bing Crosby and the location where the first video tape recorder was developed.
Category B - Property is associated with the lives of persons significant in our past. The people were Bing Crosby and John T. (Jack) Mullin.
Category C - Property has distinctive characteristics and high artistic values.

Last edited by Robert Phillips (28/7/2020 1:45 am)

 

28/7/2020 2:32 am  #13


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

I applaud all of your efforts. May I also direct all of us to this very active and valuable person who just happens to be the daughter of Al Martino. She has a GREAT Instagram account known as "Vintage Los Angeles" and has fought for the preservation of "Old Hollywood and Los Angeles".
https://www.instagram.com/alisonmartino/

 


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
     Thread Starter
 

24/8/2020 6:15 am  #14


Re: BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE!

Thanks for that interesting information on such an important building. I lived in Los Angeles for four months in 1988 and visited many buildings which had been important in the entertainment industry but not the Crosby building. I don't know why I didn't look for it.

 

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