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Empty Westwood Village storefronts to be filled temporarily this fall

September 23, 2013|By Matt Stevens
  • One of a number of empty storefronts in Westwood Village.
One of a number of empty storefronts in Westwood Village. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

A letterpress print shop, a skateboard maker and an array of furniture, art and accessory stores will temporarily fill empty storefronts in Westwood Village this fall as part of an effort to bring back some buzz to the UCLA-adjacent retail area.

The Hammer Museum on Monday announced details about its Arts ReStore LA project that will hit the neighborhood starting Nov. 1.

The pop-up enterprises will run for 24 days and include more than a dozen vendors. In addition to retailers, an “Open Forum” event space and a speaker series featuring workshops by local artists will inhabit the village during the month.

For decades, Westwood Village was known for its nightlife, movie theaters, fancy restaurants and bustling street traffic. But in recent years, the village has fallen on hard times.

Despite is prime location, most of the movie theaters have shuttered, and empty storefronts have lined the main boulevard for years.  

After numerous failed revitalization attempts over the last two decades, some community leaders in Westwood have started looking to the arts for inspiration. In May, the Hammer Museum won one of several $100,000 grants from the Goldhirsh Foundation to help improve Los Angeles by 2050.

Drawing on the pop-up village concept popularized in cities like Oakland, Ann Philbin, director of UCLA's Hammer Museum, worked with property owners to open up space where creative types could try their hands at running businesses this fall.  

Those businesses will include a used book store, a seller of handmade ceramics, and a Homeboy Industries location, according to a statement released Monday by the museum.  

Arts ReStore LA will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m Thursdays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays during the 24 days it will operate in November, according to the museum.


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Twitter: @MattStevensLAT

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