Producer Joel Silver, the new owner (via his Silver Pictures) of the historic Venice Post Office at 1601 Main, unveiled his plans for the building during a press conference (video and pictures to follow) held at the property earlier today. Attendees included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Mike Bonin from Councilman Rosendahl’s office, members of the Venice Neighborhood Council, those responsible for remodeling the building and a celebrity or two.
Venice Post Office preliminary study rendering (c. 1930s)
The repurposing of the building (originally designed by architect Louis Smith and completed in 1939) from post office to production offices for Silver Pictures will be headed up by architect Bret Thoeny of Boto Design. Judith Lance will design the interiors, Mia Lehrer will be responsible for the landscape design, mural restorer Nathan Zakheim was chosen for Edward Biberman’s 1941 “First Thirty Years of Venice’s History” and Dan McGhee was named contractor on the project. To check out the complete project group, download the Silver Pictures building PDF by clicking here.
Silver Pictures Rendering (2012)
Silver’s purchase of the building is likely a “best case” scenario for the property. An admirer of architecture and design, Silver has a history of preserving and restoring historic properties including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Storer House here in Los Angeles and Auldbrass Plantation in South Carolina. A man of means, Silver is able to provide his historical restorations with the monies they consume.
Silver Pictures Rendering from the Northwest (2012)
Psyched for his offices to be out of Burbank and in Venice (within the next 18 months), Silver told the assembled crowd that 30-100 employees would occupy the building at any given point in time, depending on the Silver Pictures production slate. His company plans to work with local schools to provide cinema programs and also allow other local groups to use the facilities for various functions, including the use of a screening room where they will show Silver Pictures efforts before they are released to the public.
Silver Pictures Rendering from the Southwest (2012)
The producer assured those in attendance that access to Biberman’s “First Thirty Years of Venice’s History” mural will not be an issue while in his possession. The mural, still owned by the US Postal Service, will receive an estimated $100k cleansing. The process will involve cleaning and then sealing the front of the canvas, removing it from the wall (the work is on canvas, but adhered to the lobby wall), removing any remaining adhesive from the back of the mural, sealing it and then fashioning it to a “honeycomb” backing which will then be reaffixed to the wall.