A 90-year-old movie studio lot got the wrecking ball Tuesday, marking the first installment of the .
Silent-era megastars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks bought the 10-acre lot built in 1919 and renamed it Pickford-Fairbanks Studio, but it was commonly known as “Pickfair Studios.”
Plans call to expand the movie studio by 680,000 square feet, including adding four more sound stages (bringing the total to 11), plus more office space, post-production areas and storage areas.
The demolition is to be done in several phases, starting with the 1927-built Pickford Building and the 1982-built Goldwyn Building. The City of West Hollywood's Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission Design Review Subcommittees signed off on the plans relating to the two buildings in October 2011.
In mid-March, the planning permits were issued, and on March 26, the city’s Building and Safety department issued the demolition permit for The Lot's property owners, real-estate investment company CIM Group.
About 30 people showed up on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Formosa Avenue in West Hollywood April 1 to protest the demolition, but the crane struck the Pickford Building Tuesday.
Despite the loss, Save The Pickfair Studios advocates are determined to thwart the demolition of three more properties on The Lot: the Writers Building, the Fairbanks Building and the Editorial Building.