Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Location

Beverly Hills, CA

Owner

Beverly Hills Cultural Center Foundation

Design Architect

Studio Pali Fekete architects (SPF:a)

Landscape Architect

Lutsko Associates

Construction Manager / Owner's Rep

Freeman Group

This performing arts center in the heart of Beverly Hills involved the creation of a new cultural facility to preserve and adapt the landmark 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office to include a new 500-seat state-of-the art theater adjacent to the landmark Italian Renaissance Revival building, and three classrooms, a 150-seat flexible studio space, a donor lounge, production support services and administrative offices within the historic building itself.

The Beverly Hills Post Office is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was constructed as a Work Projects Administration (WPA) project on the site of the former Pacific Electric Railway Station. Designed by prominent local architect, Ralph C. Flewelling, in concert with Allison & Allison Architects, the Italian Renaissance Revival building complements the design of the adjacent City Hall.

Artist Charles Kassler was commissioned to decorate the walls of the interior Grand Hall with fresco murals depicting the creation of the mail service and views of modern life during the Depression. These murals are one of only two fresco murals in California and stand today as an elegant representation of the citizens of another era. The Post Office opened in 1934 and was dedicated in 1936 under the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration.

Photo Credit: John Edward Linden