The End of an Era – Beverly Hills Friars Club to be Demolished

I remember when I first came to Los Angeles many years ago, going to the Friars Club in Beverly Hills and seeing the likes of Milton Berle, Suzanne Pleshette, and numerous other personalities wandering around.

The buffet at the Friars Club was amazing.  More food than you could ever think of eating.  It was old Hollywood personified.

This piece of Beverly Hills real estate is no more.  The Friars Club Beverly Hills, a branch of the famed New York establishment of the same name opened in 1947.  In 2007, after losing a lawsuit to its New York namesake, it changed its name to Club 9900 and closed shortly after.

The Friars Club has lost another battle waged by the Los Angeles Conservancy Group to include its 1960’s modernist design in the California Register of Historical Resources. The architect, Sidney Eisenshtat, was a prominent Los Angeles figure known for his oversized interiors and exteriors of brick, thin slab or concrete.

Unlike Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, has no preservation ordinance, but there is a move next year to possibly implement the Mills Act, which offers tax credits to Los Angeles homeowners who preserve historic structures.

Had there been plans to rebuild after the demolition, the City of Beverly Hills might have had some review power.  But, as of now, there are no plans in the works.

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2 thoughts on “The End of an Era – Beverly Hills Friars Club to be Demolished”

  1. I have lived in that neighborhood for over a decade and am worried that all the charming Hollywood Regency buildings will be demolished one by one. I started my life in Beverly Hills and hate to see how many wonderful buildings are being torn down. As of yesterday, half of the old Friars Club is demolished and plans are to leave a vacant lot until the developer can come to an agreement with the city on permits, which is rumored to take at least a year. Tearing it down instead of revitalizing it was a complete waste.

    P.S. In fact, the second apartment I lived in at 9908 Durant Drive was once the residence of Suzanne Pleshette.

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