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Weho Council Begins Process for Werle Building Upgrade

City staff is working on making the second floor ADA compliant, and creating more space for public meetings and storage.

The West Hollywood City Council unanimously directed staff on Monday to formulate a plan for upgrading the Werle Building's second floor.

The city owns the two-story building located at 625 N. Robertson Blvd. and last year designated it to be used solely to support nonprofit organizations.

The floor will need electrical improvements, an elevator, accessible restrooms, accessible stairs and ramps, and other upgrades that will enable it to accommodate increased public use, according to a city staff report.

"The second floor, which is not compliant with [the Americans with Disabilities Act], has limited public access and use," the report states. "A portion is occupied by the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives, and another portion has been used for storage and low-use offices for city maintenance staff and the West Hollywood Park and Library Construction Project."

Before the council voted, Councilman John Heilman mentioned his concern about the need to specify eventual uses for the upgraded second floor.

"We might be doing retrofitting of the Werle Building without a clear indication of what we're going to use it for," Heilman said. "I don't want us to be in a position where we're ... going to have to come back later and do some tenant improvements to it based on what the space is actually going to be used for."

Members of lesbian organizations and West Hollywood residents spoke at the council meeting.

"If we didn't have access to that building the Mazer would not exist," archive board member Jeri Deitric said. "We would like to expand the second floor to make it a lesbian space where different organizations can have their activities there."

Marsha Salisbury of the West Hollywood Lesbian Visibility Committee noted that the group's mission statement is "to bring more lesbians to West Hollywood."

"The upstairs space in the Werle Building would be perfect for that," she said.

West Hollywood resident Yola Dore said "I cannot believe that any building in our fine city would be anything but accessible."

Ivy Bottini observed the second floor is "very tight quarters," adding "it is the only place in West Hollywood that serves lesbians."

The council authorized $10,000 to cover the cost of paying an architect to do a "scoping and schematic design" analysis of the impacts and costs associated with the upgrade project, according to the staff report.

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me November 24, 2012 at 04:20 AM
wait, isn't the building they wanted to take away from 12-steppers and make it into a nursery school????.....until there was an uproar, that is.....whose dumb idea was that anyway???
Rudolf Martin November 24, 2012 at 06:59 AM
"Marsha Salisbury of the West Hollywood Lesbian Visibility Committee noted that the group's mission statement is "to bring more lesbians to West Hollywood."" what a bizarre mission statement. what a strange mission to provide tax money for. is it april fool's day again?
jimmy palmieri November 24, 2012 at 09:37 PM
THE BOTTOM FLOOR OF THIS BUILDING NEEDS TO ALWAYS BE THE RECOVERY CENTER. IF THAT IS TAKEN AWAY, THERE WILL BE PUBLIC UPROAR AGAIN, AS THERE WAS THE LAST TIME IT WAS THREATENED TO BE TAKEN AWAY. AND YES, IT WAS GOING AWAY. NO MATTER WHAT PUPPETS OF CERTAIN COUNCIL OFFICES GET UP AND SAY DURING PUBLIC COMMENT. THERE WERE AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE ON THE COUNCIL WHO WANTED THE RECOVERY CENTER EVICTED. THEY PANICKED BECAUSE THEY WERE UP FOR RE-RE-RE-RE-ELECTION, AND TOOK IT OFF OF THE AGENDA. THE TOP FLOOR? I THINK THE EXTRA ROOM SHOULD BE AN LGBT COMMUNITY ROOM WHERE EVERYONE CAN PLAY NICE TOGETHER, SINCE THERE IS NO OTHER SPACE THAT WILL BE FOR GAY MEN EXCLUSIVELY, EXCEPT BARS, AND ALL OF US ARE NOT INTERESTED IN BARS. SO I DO NOT AGREE IT SHOULD BE A LESBIAN ONLY SPACE. THE END.
me November 25, 2012 at 07:01 AM
Tis never the end my friend.....like the energizer bunny, the BS keeps going and flowing and going and flowing....
joninla December 22, 2012 at 07:35 AM
From what I have noticed, it is one of the most heavily used "Community Space" in all of West Hollywood (despite years of babble about new 'community rooms' being built all the time). Likewise, it has been allow to operate in the most awful deteriorating state for such a needed and heavily used public building in WeHo.

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