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Tennis Complex May Replace Historic Site

Times Staff Writer

An abandoned water treatment plant that looks like an old Mexican hacienda would make way for a tennis complex under a proposal for the renovation of La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills.

The plan, which was introduced at a community meeting earlier this month, will go back to the architect for more work before being presented to the City Council in four to six weeks, said Rick Putnam, director of recreation and parks.

It then will be up to the council to decide whether to go ahead with the proposal to revamp the 14-acre park, scale back the plans or put off any action.

Designated as Landmark

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Putnam said experts agreed that the prohibitive cost of bringing the structure up to modern earthquake safety standards would rule out any use of the building, which was completed in 1928.

If it is demolished, he said, a plaque would mark the site of the structure, which has been designated a local historic civil engineering landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The building, a pioneering water treatment project in its day, was damaged in a 1971 earthquake and has not been used since.

Putnam said planners have concluded that it would be best to demolish the structure and use the site to consolidate the park’s 15 tennis courts, which now are on both sides of La Cienega Boulevard.

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Reservoir to Be Replaced

Some of the courts, atop a reservoir in the western part of the park, would be replaced by two baseball diamonds and a soccer field. A new reservoir would be built elsewhere.

The preliminary design by landscape architect Pat Hirsch calls for less drastic changes in the eastern half of the 14-acre park.

A putting green would be moved away from La Cienega Boulevard, additional picnic areas would be created and a second children’s play area would be added.

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The renovation would be paid for from a $7-million parks fund raised by a tax of $3 a square foot on new construction and redevelopment in the city.


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