A historic dedication ceremony was held Wednesday at The Culver Studios, with a ribbon-cutting moment for the fabled bungalows’ renovation. The four bungalows were actually moved to a prominent location on the historic production lot, relocated from a more remote area. They are now just behind the famed Culver Studios Mansion.
The project involved constructing new foundations for the bungalows, then carefully putting back the interiors. The work was monitored closely by Culver City officials, as well as a historic preservation consultant, and was done in accordance with U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
Michael Hackman, CEO of The Culver Studios, said, “We take our responsibilities as stewards of this historic landmark extremely seriously. The legendary films made here are part and parcel of the very fabric of this studio, and we want to make sure that history is appropriately celebrated.
“By moving these landmark structures to a spot immediately adjacent to the historic mansion, we have effectively created a prominent node to showcase our historic structures within our walls,” he added.
Culver City officials and VIP’s came out to help Hackman dedicate the bungalows.
“This links with the heart and soul of our town. We are the heart of Screenland,” Jeff Cooper, Culver City’s Mayor, told me.
“This pays homage to Culver City. Everything else you see is new and contemporary, and here, the Culver Studios is the blending of a 21st century studio with respect for our heritage and history.
“We celebrate The Culver Studios for taking the time and effort to preserve these structures and make them functional for decades to come. Amazon Studios is embracing the storied history of The Culver Studios. I am proud they’ve chosen to call Culver City its home,” the Mayor added.
Thomas Small, Vice Mayor, was wearing his unique “Vice Mayor” pin. With his architectural background, he worked on the plans for two years, helping to integrate the architecture from the old stages. “The way the buildings were moved and restored has been absolutely top-flight. This is excellence in historic preservation,” he advised.
The bungalow renovation is phase 1 of The Innovation Plan, an ambitious project to modernize the nearly century-old studio, and to prepare it for hundreds of new Amazon Studios employees.
The plan recognizes the enchanting, star-studded legacy of the studio, restoring both the mansion and the bungalows.
It also includes modernizing and reimaging the studio lot itself, equipping it to meet 21st century entertainment production needs. The result will transform how movies and TV shows are made on the lot, embracing new digital technology, while minimizing the operational impact on Culver City neighbors.
“The Culver Studios is one of the great treasures of Culver City. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for this historic site,” Hackman confided.
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By Carole Bell
Culver City Observer