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Firm Selected to Renovate, Expand Civic Auditorium

October 12, 1989|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Glendale officials have selected the firm that designed Dodger Stadium and the Atlantic City Convention Center to renovate and expand the 51-year-old Glendale Civic Auditorium, declared a historical monument because of its role in the community.

Nello Iacono, director of parks, recreation and community services, said a panel of city and community leaders last week agreed to hire URS Consultants of Long Beach to oversee the four-year, $9.5-million project. The agreement still requires final approval by the City Council, expected in about a month.

The firm's past projects also include the Jacob J. Javitz Convention Center in New York and the recently completed $28-million restoration of the Cleveland Convention Center, said Praful Kulkarni, managing principal. The Cleveland project served as a case study for the Glendale Civic, Kulkarni said.

Glendale officials had long debated over what to do with the auditorium, a cavernous building at Verdugo Road and Mountain Street that has steadily deteriorated. The building has been the home of high school dances, weddings, antique shows and beauty pageants.

Officials had considered replacing the Spanish colonial revival-style structure, built in 1938 as a public works project, with a new convention facility and arts center.

The debate ended last year after hundreds of residents rallied to the defense of the city-owned auditorium, which they said stands as a monument to cherished memories.

Plans call for revamping the building, adding three meeting rooms adjacent, constructing a three-story parking garage and improving traffic circulation. Construction could begin within a year.

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