[FoRK] [TRAVELMAN] LAX Encounters restaurant closed for repairs

Rohit Khare <rkhare at gmail.com> on Mon Mar 12 13:57:30 PDT 2007



(Los Angeles, California – March 8, 2007) The popular, space-aged
themed Encounter Restaurant at the top of Los Angeles International
Airport's landmark Theme Building will be closed until further notice
while renovation to the upper arches is performed. Ground-level
offices, the City Deli cafeteria, and the airport's commissary that
provides food to the rest of the airport's concessions will remain
open. The renovation project is expected to last approximately six
months. However, the restaurant is expected to open much sooner.

The renovation will be to the upper arches above the Encounter
Restaurant and will include the stucco "skin" of the spider-like,
futuristic structure. The upper arches are decorative and do not
provide structural support for the glass-encased restaurant. The upper
arches have not been renovated since they were erected in the late

The renovation was scheduled after a 1,000-pound, 5-foot-by-10-foot
piece of the stucco "skin" was discovered to have fallen off the
underside of the east upper arch two Saturdays ago. Airport workers
immediately installed protective, tunnel-like scaffolding over the
entrances to the Theme Building while visual inspection from the
restaurant's roof-top was conducted and while awaiting the arrival
yesterday of a 100-foot-tall crane from which engineers could inspect
more closely. After airport engineers and inspectors reported late
yesterday afternoon that there was water seepage into the stucco on
the topside of the arch and the possibility of other pieces of stucco
falling onto the rooftop of the restaurant, airport officials decided
to ask the Encounter Restaurant manager to close the restaurant early
last night.

The last major renovation of the Theme Building was completed April
1999, when a $3-million, six-month project included renovating the
underside of the cross bridge that forms the roof of the Encounter
Restaurant and the bottom of the restaurant with new galvanized steel,
stucco and painting. At that time, inspection of the upper arches
revealed no problems.

The Theme Building was completed in August 1961 at a cost of $2.2
million. Architects Pereira & Luckman Associates, Welton Becket &
Associates, and Paul R. Williams designed the building's 135-foot-high
parabolic arches to symbolize the optimism of a futuristic Los Angeles
in the space age. In 1992, the Los Angeles City Council designated the
Theme Building a cultural and historical monument.

The landmark building is often shown in commercial films and
television newscasts as an establishing scene for Los Angeles and the
airport. During renovation, the nightly color lighting program will

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