Lanai City is listed by National Trust


POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Century Plaza Hotel hosted President-elect Ronald Reagan's victory celebration, a welcome-home gala for the Apollo 11 astronauts and Bob Hope's Century Ball.




Endangered history


        America's 11 most endangered historic places for 2009, as compiled by the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

» Ames Shovel Shops, Easton, Mass.


» Cast-Iron Architecture of Galveston, Texas


» Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles


» Dorchester Academy, Midway, Ga.


» Human Services Center, Yankton, S.D.


» Lanai City, Hawaii


» The Manhattan Project's Enola Gay Hangar, Wendover Airfield, Utah


» Memorial Bridge, Portsmouth, N.H., to Kittery, Maine.


» Miami Marine Stadium, Virginia Key, Fla.


» Mount Taylor, near Grants, N.M.


» Unity Temple, Oak Park, Ill.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation sees that history and the hotel's midcentury architecture as reasons to stop the wrecking ball. The group names the hotel on its annual list being released today of historic places it considers endangered by neglect or development.

Also listed are the Utah hangar that housed the Enola Gay B-29 bomber that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan; Lanai City, featuring plantation-style homes built by 1920s pineapple baron James Dole; and Miami Marine Stadium, which along with the Century Plaza is an example of 1960s modernist architecture that preservationists say is increasingly under threat of redevelopment.

It is hard for a generation that has grown up with such architecture to recognize it as historically significant, said Richard Moe, director of the trust.

“;The problem is we're losing most of the best examples before they become historic,”; Moe said.

The Century Plaza Hotel was built at the core of Century City, a high-rise district in Los Angeles on the former site of a 20th Century Fox movie lot. The hotel, which opened in 1966, was designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, whose later work included the World Trade Center towers.

The 19-story hotel has been a popular place to stay for Washington politicos, earning it the nickname “;West Coast White House.”;

Actress Diane Keaton, a trustee of the preservation group, said the hotel is worth saving. “;It's curvy. It's this beautiful kind of crescent shape,”; she said. “;It's a sexy building.”;

The intact, early-20th century plantation town Lanai City is being threatened by a commercial development the trust says would destroy or deface as many as 20 of its historically significant homes, municipal buildings and shops.

The preservation group hopes people will seek to have the sites protected as historic monuments, Moe said.