A Los Angeles City Council committee has approved granting historic preservation status to the Villa Aurora, a Pacific Palisades mansion that was a meeting place for German intellectuals who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s and '40s.
Monday's vote by the Recreation, Library and Cultural Affairs Committee, after unanimous approval for the plan last month by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission, sends the proposal to the City Council for final approval. If the plan is approved by the council, the 22-room villa will be saved from demolition for at least six months if USC, its owner, sells it.
USC plans to sell the house and move its prized library to the university's downtown campus unless $15 million is raised to pay for repairs and allow the university to convert the villa into a study center for German literature written in exile. An effort to raise the money has been under way in West Germany since last fall, when USC inherited the house from Marta Feuchtwanger, who died in October.