Protect this Hollywood Landmark
A front page story in Overture newspaper explains why the underground echo chambers of the Capitol Tower at Hollywood and Vine are threatened. Following are excerpts from the article; scroll down to find out what you can do to protect this Hollywood landmark.
Capitol Fights to Save Famed Echo Chambers
Neighboring high-rise construction could irreparably damage unique underground echo chambers designed by Les Paul
by Linda Rapka, Overture Managing Editor
Overture (newspaper of the Professional Musicians, Local 47)
June 2008, Vol. 88, No. 2
"Plans to construct a 16-story condominium and office tower adjacent to the landmark Capitol Records building have raised concerns that the condo's proposed underground parking garage could irreparably damage Capitol's unique echo chambers located underneath the tower."
"The eight shock-mounted reverberation echo chambers were designed in part by Les Paul, father of the electric guitar and multi-track recording. Buried 25 feet below the Capitol parking lot and fanning out below the studio on the east side of Capitol's headquarters, they are reinforced with 10-inch thick concrete outer walls with a one-foot-thick ceiling. A speaker pipes music into one end of each chamber and a microphone picks up the reverberation at the other end. They vary in shape to give different sounds, absorb shock and provide superior acoustics for recording. . . .
"Capitol is concerned that vibration from the construction as well as day-to-day use of the proposed parking garage could cause noise leakage during recording sessions and potentially result in permanent damage. . . ."
The article quotes Peter Rotter: "These echo chambers are important to the very survival of this legendary studio and its creative clientele . . . we need to ask ourselves and our city leaders if it's worth [it] to destroy it for a parking lot." For updates on the situation, go to promusic47.org.
Everyone who loves Hollywood should write letters and demand full protection for this beloved landmark. We need to preserve the echo chambers, but also the view of the tower. Building a sixteen floor anything next to it is a crime against our history, in my opinion.
The editors at Overture recommend writing to the following:
City of Los Angeles
Planning and Land Use Management committee
City Hall 200 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Attn: Councilmember Ed Reyes
Councilmember Jose Huizar
Councilmember Jack Weiss
Re. Capitol Studios
Proposed Parking Facility at 6230 Yucca Street, Los Angeles
Matter No. 08-0550, CPC 2006-7068, ZC HD ZAA SPR, CD13
[your name and contact info.]
When you write your letter, please make it positive. We are for preserving history, rather than against idiot developers who say crackpot things like "digital signal processing and other digital audio recording techniques can simulate almost every echo chamber effect." (This is an actual comment by the developers' attorney.) This landmark will be protected - be part of the effort.