WACPA Photo 1
WACPA Photo 3

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Construction of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills (the Wallis) presented several challenges for the Center’s staff and board of directors. The project combined the rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of the historic 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office with construction of a striking new contemporary theater immediately adjacent. Successful completion of the project required addressing sensitive historic preservation issues and a thorough environmental review.

As historic resources consultant to the project, Historic Resources Group guided the adaptive re-use of the Post Office building, meeting the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and preserving a beloved landmark for future generations. HRG consulted on the compatible design and construction of the adjacent contemporary theater and aided the entitlement process by providing historic resources environmental review. HRG also helped secure a federal tax credit to reduce overall costs for the project.

Containing the 500-seat Goldsmith Theater, the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, a theater school, a café, and a gift shop, the Wallis officially opened in October 2013. The preservation of historic post office buildings has become a significant issue with the closure of these facilities across the country. This project illustrates that these facilities can be adaptively re-used and remain significant community landmarks.

Photos by John Edward Linden.