Tuesday, February 16, 1999

Board wants Janss Dome repainted

LANDMARK: Westwood’s historic rotunda will return to original
blue, gold form

By Christine Byrd

Daily Bruin Contributor

After recent rain delays, the historic rotunda of Janss Dome in
Westwood is expected to return to its original appearance with
zig-zag aqua and white tiles and gold leafing by the end of this
month, just months after being completely covered in a white
sealant.

The Westwood Design Review Board ordered the restoration of the
colored tiles, claiming they had not expected the rotunda to be
covered when they approved the repainting of the building where
restaurateur Michael Chow is preparing to open his new restaurant,
Eurochow.

"When you go to paint a house, you don’t paint the roof," said
Sandy Brown, co-president of the Holmby/Westwood Property Owners
Association, explaining the logic behind the board’s decision.

"I want the paint back as close to the original color as
possible," said Gary Klein, city planning associate.

As soon as Klein approves the color choices, the building will
be painted once again.

"We’re still going through the color choices," said Chris Chun,
spokesman for Chow.

To keep the design true to its previous colors, Klein is relying
on two pictures of the building before it was painted white.

"They’re going to say it looks like it used to. I guess that
means we’ve done it right," Klein said.

Chow had installed the white sealant on the roof because it was
leaking, Klein said. Klein is requiring that the sealant be
re-painted to match the way the dome looked before, and then to
have another type of sealant placed over that.

"I hope to have it finished within the next two weeks," said
Chun, who wants to have Eurochow ready for business as soon as
possible. "I’m probably more eager than anyone else."

Klein added that Eurochow does not have to wait for the dome to
be re-painted to open their doors for service.

"Nothing I’m aware of is preventing them from opening," Klein
said.

Another reason Chow may have painted the dome is to match the
interior of the restaurant. When Eurochow opens, it will have white
linens, white walls and white marble floors.

"He wanted a very clean, white design," Brown said, of Chow’s
plans for his restaurant.

The community did not expect this to include the outside of the
dome, however.

"It didn’t dawn on the Design Review Board that they would paint
the roof," Brown said.

Located at the three-way intersection of Westwood Boulevard,
Broxton and Kinross Avenues, the dome is in the heart of Westwood
and has been hailed as an architectural work of art and symbol of
the village.

"It’s a focal point of the village," said Terri Tippit, the
chair of the Design Review Board. "This is what describes our
village – the dome."

Built in the 1920s by Allison and Allison, the same firm that
designed Royce Hall, Janss Dome was intended to be in theme with
UCLA’s architecture, from the overall Romanesque Italian design,
right down to the blue and gold tiling on the roof.

"It’s been painted more times than we could think," Klein
said.

The city can require it to maintain the appearance it had at the
time it was declared one of more than 20 "locally significant
historic buildings" by the Westwood Village Specific Plan.

Some community members, though, would like to see the building
restored to the blue and gold design it had when it was first built
as headquarters for Janss Corporation.

"We had hoped they would be able to restore it to the original
original," said Brown, referring to the blue and gold colors of the
1920 building.

But it would be extremely expensive to strip away the layers and
layers of paint that have been added over the years, Tippit said.
The board can only require the restaurant owners to maintain the
dome’s appearance after the time it was declared historical.

"They’re restoring it to the way it was when they bought it.
That’s all they’re required to do by law," Brown said.PATIL
ARMENIAN/Daily Bruin

The Westwood Design Review Board is requiring that the historic
dome in Westwood be repainted to match its original colors.

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