Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc. today began work to restore and return the landmark radio tower at Sunset Bronson Studios in Hollywood to its original location on the lot. The radio tower was one of two matching towers erected in 1925 to serve Warner Bros.’ affiliate radio station KFWB.
At the time, Warner Bros. housed their west coast operations in the 30,000-square-foot, colonial-style office building at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Bronson Avenue. The two radio towers flanked the building’s entrance, but in 1950 Warner Bros. removed one and transferred the other to its current site on the lot’s northeast corner.
“The restoration and relocation of the former KFWB radio tower at Sunset Bronson Studios exemplify Hudson’s respect for the lot’s rich history and our commitment to its bright future,” said Victor J. Coleman, the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We intend to offer technology, media and entertainment companies the best of old and new Hollywood via state-of-the-art creative office and production facilities, which will include amenities and a level of service integration these types of properties typically lack.”
Today, the former Warner Bros. office building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in part due to the filming of the world’s first talking picture, The Jazz Singer, at the property in 1927. The radio tower’s four-legged, steel skeleton rises approximately 160 feet, and displays “KTLA” and “5” on all sides. KTLA, one of the largest independent television stations in Los Angeles, has been headquartered at the lot and had its call letters on the tower for over 60 years. Following an initial inspection, Hudson intends to move the tower off-site for restoration and structural retrofitting, and then reinstall it with updated KTLA signage in front the office building’s west wing, likely in early 2015.
Hudson expects to break ground on Icon, a 14-story, 323,000-square-foot, high-tech office building on the northwest portion of the lot, in February of next year. Icon’s innovative design by Gensler architects integrates and enhances Sunset Bronson Studios’ historic character by improving site-lines and restoring the landmark office building’s façade, and featuring landscaping and architectural elements, such as free-standing columns and, of course, the former KFWB radio tower.