8th & Western – Art Deco garage incorporated into mixed-use complex in L.A.’s Koreatown

The Architect's Newspaper

March 4, 2020

The two buildings will be connected via a roof terrace and pedestrian bridge.

On the corner of 8th and Western in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Koreatown is a peculiarly-shaped building awash in the signage of Korean-owned businesses. In 1931, several decades before Koreatown was officially established, the building was opened to the public as the Pellissier Square Garage, an Art Deco structure designed by Morgan, Walls & Clements to provide miscellaneous services for the city’s burgeoning car culture. The building’s stepped facade, designed to draw attention from passersby, lends the building a unique street presence that is currently obscured and neglected.

Pellisier Square Garage is one of many Art Deco buildings in Koreatown designed by Morgan, Walls & Clements, including The Wiltern and Chapman Plaza. (Courtesy Dick Whittington Studio)

It was recently revealed that the unusual building will be incorporated into a mixed-use development, named 8th & Western, designed by KTGY Architecture + Planning (KTGY), and developed by Jamison Properties, LLP.

“The new complex reflects the history and future of its vibrant Koreatown surroundings,” KTGY associate Principal Keith McCloskey said in a press statement. “The existing parking garage is among some of the oldest reinforced concrete garages in the City. The new, mixed-use building improves, restores and re-uses it, connecting it with sleek, new apartments and retail, while adding generous rooftop amenities atop the historic building.” More specifically, the original building will have a rooftop pool and a screening room and VR room on its ground floor, while the new building will provide 230 apartment units and 13,300 square feet of retail. The two buildings will be linked via a new pedestrian bridge and roof terrace.

The rooftop of the original building will feature a pool for the residents of the complex.

KTGY and Jamison Properties are working with local historic consultants to preserve the original building’s signature Art Deco ornamentation, while the new building will incorporate those elements in a darker color palette. “Although the new building is contemporary in style,” explained McCloskey, “the vertical balcony slots with angled planes help to capture some of the vertical quality of the surrounding Art Deco history. The result is a fusion of new and old, reflecting one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in Los Angeles.”

8th & Western is scheduled to open in 2022.