Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lawry's California Center now Los Angeles River Center

Remember Lawry's Prime Rib?  How about Lawry's California Center?  Larry's California Center was started as a showcase of restaurants and shops to promote Lawry's  seasoning and sauce products and was not profitable throughout its history.  I remember going there once!  Lawry's Prime Rib Restaurants are separate restaurants  under separate ownership and were not affected by the  eventual decision to close the center.

Entrance to California Lawry's Center

The Lawry's center was completed in 1953 and expanded in 1961.  The center opened its first outdoor dining area called La Cocina in 1970.  La Cocina in 1991 was a self-serve restaurant.  In the mid-1970's, it opened a restaurant for evening dining, which was known for its steak.   The third restaurant, Los Portales offered Mexican food.

California Lawry's Center

 The Center was closed sometime in 1992 and sat abandoned for approximately 2 years.  There were several possible buyers and possible demolition, but a news report from the Los Angeles Times states that the Center would be reborn as a hub of of environmental and educational activities.  The $8-million project was to transform the complex's hacienda-style buildings and lush gardens into the Los Angeles River Center, which would be a focal point of efforts to develop greenbelts, parks and other public facilities along the riverbed's industrialized corridor.

California Lawry's Center

The Los Angeles River Center is a hidden jewel, sequestered behind thick, ivy covered walls,  There is a wide, circular brick driveway with a spreading ficus tree in the center that marks the entrance and directs you through the arched wrought-iron gate.  The small courtyard at the entry is a charming introduction to the Center.  The expansive multi-level patio is enclosed on three sides by the arcaded terraces of the Center's buildings.  A three-tiered fountain stands in the center of a tiled reflecting pool.

From the main courtyard, an arched entryway in a stucco wall leads to the San Fernando Courtyard.  A magnificent old ficus tree keeps the patio in shade and the patio offers an alternate space for dining or dancing.

The Center is an event facility for weddings, as well as indoor celebrations or large meetings that can take place in the California Building.  The main event space in the California building features a Mexican-tile floor, arched windows and a huge peaked skylight that floods the room with natural light.  The Los Feliz Room can accommodate smaller meetings and conferences.


Wall art

Wall Art


No comments:

Post a Comment