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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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Two MATT Projects Receive Chair’s Awards at L.A. Conservancy’s 2022 Preservation Awards

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and the Herald Examiner Building are recognized for excellence in restoration

Since 1982, the L.A. Conservancy has recognized some of Los Angeles County’s most remarkable efforts to preserve architecturally and culturally significant historic resources–showcasing the power of historic preservation as a beacon of past and future. Recently, two MATT projects–the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and the Herald Examiner Building–have been recognized as 2022 Chair Award winners. The winners will be honored at the 2022 Preservation Awards Celebration this coming October. The Los Angeles Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to recognize, preserve, and revitalize the historic architectural and cultural resources of Los Angeles County.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

The Academy Museum is located in the former Wilshire May Company Building, now renamed the Saban Building. This Art Deco Streamline Moderne landmark was built in 1939 and was once one of Los Angeles’s largest and most elegant department stores. The building won landmark status in 1992, due to the concerted efforts of the L.A. Conservancy.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Joshua White, JWPictures/©Academy Museum Foundation

The Academy Museum has served as a vital preservation and adaptive reuse initiative of this community landmark, maintaining the building’s façade in its Streamline Moderne splendor. The Saban Building’s restoration crew retained, cleaned and repaired 95.7% of the building’s original limestone cladding, 51% of the granite and 65% of the gold-glass mosaic. Involving everything from sleuthing through historical records, to testing solutions in laboratories, to scouring surfaces for defects with ultra-high-definition lenses, to good, old-fashioned elbow grease, the salvation effort restored the May Company to its original grandeur, keeping its history alive for the next generation of Angelenos to enjoy and granting it a new chapter as the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Herald Examiner Building

The Herald Examiner Building first opened its doors in 1914 and became a downtown Los Angeles icon. Sadly, it sat vacant for years after printing its last edition in 1989, with film sets ghosting in and out of the once buzzing space. The building was the first collaboration between newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and Julia Morgan, AIA’s first female member.

In collaboration with co-owners Hearst Corp., developer Georgetown Partners and Main Street Advisors, the team executed the restoration, renovation, modernization, and seismic strengthening of the Herald Examiner Budling’s core and shell to its former glory and repositioned it for mixed use, without affecting the historical fabric of the building. This revitalized historic landmark is now bustling with activity and new life.

MATT Construction looks forward to celebrating both of these incredible projects alongside the rest of the project teams at the 2022 Preservation Awards on October 13th, 2022.

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