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Los Angeles Tower Records Store To Be Considered For Historic Preservation

Industry: Music Industry

Plans to demolish West Hollywood store were twice rejected by city council

Los Angeles, California (PRUnderground) March 21st, 2013

 In past year the city council for the city of West Hollywood twice rejected plans for demolition of the Tower Records Store. So now the applicant to preserve the Tower Records store, author, Domenic Priore sees the opportunity to celebrate the area’s music and counter-culture history by historically preserving the site for cultural, social and historic significance. His application will be discussed during a West Hollywood Historic Preservation Commission public hearing at 7pm this Tuesday on March 26 at Plummer Park at the Senior Center at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevards in rooms 5 and 6. Anyone who is interested can attend and can speak for two minutes during the hearing.

“This property is just really important,” Priore said. “It was such a central location for the music industry back in the day. It was really where all the buzz really was.” He authored “Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Last Stand in Hollywood,” a book about the role The Strip played in uniting music and social consciousness in the greater Los Angeles area in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Priore, who also wrote for Tower Records’ “Pulse!” magazine in the 1990s, said the store pitched to that counter-culture and its popularity ballooned. The location would eventually host artists as they conducted album signings, promotions and concerts. “It was where a lot of the pop media and the music behind pop media was coming from in a way,” Priore said. “The center of the music industry … was coming out of that one store.”

Tower Records closed in 2006, and shortly thereafter, a developer proposed a mixed-use project on the property, which twice was rejected by the city council during the past year.

Priore said he would like to see the site become a cultural resource center that celebrates The Strip’s history. Since the site is near several hotels, the location could be a major tourist draw, he said. “Any tourist from any part of the world wants to go to some kind of a place like that and get a sense of why this place is important,” Priore added. He referenced Hollywood and Vine, where there is little history on site to alert tourists to the significance of the intersection.

Priore said the Tower Records location has great visibility, and has plenty of space for such a use. Although music has evolved through the digital age, many people still enjoy records, he said. Priore mentioned popularity of Record Store Day, which is held every April. “People still have an identity with Tower Records,” he added. The author said he has fought for a cultural resource designation before. He said that in 2010 he helped save the Venice West Cafe, which was of significance to the Beat Generation.

Media Contact: Jerome Cleary, 310 920-2424

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