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The Challenges of Restoring Downtown

By Eric Richardson
Published: Sunday, November 27, 2005, at 12:55AM

There's a great article in today's LA Times about the unexpected treasures and challenges unearthed by developers restoring Downtown's historic buildings. The beginning of the piece focuses on the Douglas Building, and if there ever was a conversion job to deserve the attention, it's this one. For instance, consider just the restoration of the flooring:

[Architect Rocky Rockefeller] discovered that some of the original Douglas fir floors were intact but were covered with linoleum. The wood was painstakingly buffed and polished. Another delay came after the original hand-laid octagonal tiles were found under layers of linoleum and carpeting. The off-white tiles were badly discolored from glues, but workmen sitting on their knees restored them by shaving off one-fortieth of an inch with hand-held grinders, which cost an additional $50,000.

The results are amazing. The article goes on to talk about the Subway Terminal Building and the El Dorado Hotel. Definitely worth a read.


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