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Culver City Ice Arena Declared A Significant “City Cultural Resource”

The front of the Culver City Ice Arena
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

CULVER CITY, CA — In a surprise move, on July 28, the City Council of the City of Culver City unanimously declared the Culver City Ice Arena to be a City Cultural Resource at the “Significant” level.

As reported in this space on July 25, the declaration prevents the property owner, Michael Karagozian, from demolishing, removing or altering the exterior appearance of the building, “…in whole or in part, without first obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness or a Certificate of Exemption.”

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City of Culver City Must Declare Culver City Ice Arena As A Significant City Cultural Resource

COMMENTARY: Some thoughts on the latest developments surrounding the former practice home of the Los Angeles Kings, the now defunct Culver City Ice Arena.


The landmark sign outside the Culver City Ice Arena.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

CULVER CITY, CA — Nearly six months after it closed its doors for the last time in its most recent incarnation on February 2, the Culver City Ice Arena is still in limbo.

Today, the only sign of life at the rink, if you can call it that, are automobiles parked in its lot, which was rented to a nearby auto dealer for storage of its inventory.

Indeed, the building is dark, the ice melted away months ago. Despite that, the rink is still “breathing,” as owner Michael Karagozian cannot do anything with the building, other than operate an ice rink, due to zoning restrictions on the property.

The latest development is that on July 28, the City Council of the City of Culver City will consider declaring the property a City Cultural Resource, which, depending on the classification, could prevent the property owner from demolishing, removing or altering the exterior appearance of the building, “…in whole or in part, without first obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness or a Certificate of Exemption.”

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Open Letter To Culver City City Council on Culver City Ice Arena

The following is an open letter that was sent to members of the City Council, City of Culver City (this one was addressed to the Mayor), regarding the property where the Culver City Ice Arena operated (the former practice home of the Los Angeles Kings; they closed on February 2). A new lessee, Planet Granite, wants to build a rock climbing, yoga and fitness center in that location.

As a long-time resident of Culver City, California, I felt compelled to let the City Council here know that a new, state-of-the-art ice rink in that location, and everything that comes with it, is what’s best for Culver City.

UPDATED: February 20, 2014. Now includes video of public comment period during City Council meeting, City of Culver City, February 10, 2014, when supporters of the Culver City Ice Arena addressed the City Council, including Los Angeles Kings radio color commentator Daryl Evans, and yours truly.


The landmark sign outside the Culver City Ice Arena.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

Honorable Jeffrey Cooper
Mayor, City of Culver City
9770 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232-2703

Dear Mayor Cooper:

As you are aware, the Culver City Ice Arena has ceased operations, with a new lessee, Planet Granite, expected to takeover the property with the purpose of building a yoga, rock climbing and fitness center.

As you must also be aware, City staff has discovered a zoning variance granted to the owners of the property that dictates that an ice rink is the only approved business that can be operated at that site. If I am reading the document correctly, the existence of this variance indicates that for the property to be used for any other purpose, another zoning variance would have to be granted, or the property would have to be re-zoned.

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Profit Was Not The Primary Goal For LA Kings’ Now-Dashed Plans For Culver City Ice Arena

The landmark sign outside the Culver City Ice Arena.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Without some sort of miracle from above, the Culver City Ice Arena, where the Los Angeles Kings practiced for more than twenty years, starting in the mid-1970’s, is now in its final week of operation, set to close its doors for good on February 2.

Owners of the property have leased it to Planet Granite, which has announced plans to open a yoga, rock climbing and fitness center in that location.

Even though the chances of keeping the rink open are slim, at best, supporters have launched a campaign to save it, and have bombarded Planet Granite with messages protesting their plans.

“Since the announcement of the Culver City location, the Planet Granite team has received a great number of e-mails, phone calls and Facebook posts from members of the Culver City and greater L.A. skating community,” the company said in a statement posted on their blog. “We are overwhelmed by the depth of feeling within this group.”

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