vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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For an LA Hearst haven, a 'move' to an Arizona state

Carole Lombard loved tennis, and this pic of her on the court, Paramount p1202-1195, apparently ran in a 1936 edition of William Randolph Hearst's Los Angeles Examiner. In December 1938, it announced Clark Gable was filing for divorce from Ria Langham so he could marry her:

The Examiner's offices, which later brought in sister publication the Herald-Express to become the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, were at 1111 South Broadway.

Opened in 1914, it was designed by architect Julia Morgan, who some years later would design Hearst's opulent mansion at San Simeon. The Herald-Examiner, an afternoon paper following its merger with the Herald-Express, was losing circulation and by its closing in October 1989 was down to 238,000 -- less than one-third of the rival Times.

Did Lombard ever set foot in this building? Possibly, if she was to meet Hearst columnist Louella Parsons on her own turf, but we have no recorded proof. It's decidedly more likely that Marion Davies did, as she was the love of publisher Hearst, who had offices and living quarters at the top level.

The building was named a city historical-cultural monument in 1977, effectively denying this Moorish marvel from razing once the paper shut down. But aside from some film shoots, little took place inside, even as downtown slowly began its revival. There was talk of converting it into housing, but nothing came of such plans, while residential buildings sprouted across adjacent blocks, making new apartments largely unnecessary.

Now we have real plans for its future, and it involves higher education. But not from the private University of Southern California or its principal rival, the younger, public University of California at Los Angeles (you know it better as UCLA). Instead, it's from an institution that shares membership with both in the Pacific-12 Conference...

...Arizona State University.

On the surface, that makes little sense. Why would an institution based in Tempe, Ariz. (with satellite campuses in nearby downtown Phoenix and its suburbs Mesa and Glendale),

be interested in downtown Los Angeles?

Well, just as southern California is fertile territory for recruiting college athletes, so it is for drawing college students who don't shoot baskets or spike volleyballs. Both ASU and its principal rival, the University of Arizona, have heavily promoted online education in southern California, and the private, formerly for-profit Grand Canyon University based in Phoenix frequently runs TV spots in LA. And of course, there's the nearly ubiquitous University of Phoenix.

ASU is a colossal institution -- more than 59,000 undergraduates at Tempe, and more than 109,000 students at campuses around the world. In 2013, it opened what it calls its "California Center" (appropriately located on Arizona Avenue in Santa Monica). This will boost the university's presence in Los Angeles.

Here's how the interior of the Herald-Examiner building looks today. (Note the arched window, which has been boarded up for many years following a labor dispute at the paper.)

Much of the building's 80,000 square feet will be used in a journalistic manner, as part of ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. (Cronkite, a former reporter for United Press before his long career with CBS radio and television, gave the university permission to name the school for him in 1984.) Other ASU endeavors, including its Hershberger Institute for Design and the Arts, will use the facility; Hershberger coordinates programs with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The building is expected to open in spring 2020, along with restaurants for the increasingly trendy neighborhood -- another sign of downtown's revival.

For more on the university's plans, visit http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-asu-herald-examiner-20180821-story.html.

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