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Beer bar where the Fred Harvey lunch counter used to be; right: the beer hall
» 12 ) The team brought it back to its original beauty through a very painstak- ing process.
“We got the landlord to let us go in
and meticulously and delicately do what they did to the rest of the station and start peeling away,” Wright says. “What was different about this space was grease all over the ceiling from the restaurant cooking. We methodically went in and cleaned each and every cork tile on the ceiling. We were bowled over when
we saw the actual colors of the ceiling, vibrant colors that hadn’t seen the light of day for 50 years.
“The ceiling was cleaned bit by bit, tile by tile, scaffolding by layer of scaffolding. The unusual thing about the ceiling in this space is that because it’s art, it’s not a flat surface. So scaffolding gets scooted over a few inches every time a little bit more.”
After much meticulous cleaning, the team headed by Casing Restoration redis- covered many of Colter’s loving details, like a band of color around the histori- cal lights that are hanging down. They thought that band of color was black and were shocked to find that it was actually
Smoked mussels
“I’m an angeleno and I love thIs cIty. I’m all In on thIs cIty and I’ve Invested my lIfe savIngs In helpIng brIng back downtown and makIng It great agaIn. I love the soul of thIs cIty.”
– Cedd Moses
brewery, we had to add gross ton weight to this. So, while we put metal in the basement to support it, the crazy thing is we had to painstakingly go through and take out each individual floor tile one by one, pack them up and bring them into storage.
“But the bar area in the main room was by far the most complicated piece. It was the idea of trying to figure out how to fit all of what we needed to do operation- ally and aesthetically into that space and still let the space do the talking. The real challenge was to not bring anything new in there. We wanted to make everything look like it had been there a long time. Putting anything new in there was a real gamble.”
Walking into the Streamliner is like stepping into the train car of a glamorous time machine to the 1940s.
The architecture in the 2,300-square- foot Streamliner bar is all original and also designed by Colter. The booths are the original, just reupholstered. The scal- loped walls, glass mirrors and floating ceilings are original. Only the lights in the ceiling were changed from ( 16 »
a beautiful teal that coordinated with the ceiling.
“Mary Colter made great use of the teals and vibrant colors, and it was amaz- ing to have all the muck taken off and have those colors exposed once again,” Wright says.
All the original booths have been reup- holstered, and great care was taken not to disrupt the original Colter geometric tile floor. The amazing design looks like a jig- saw pattern up close and a Navajo blanket from the mezzanine looking down.
“You can’t compete with that floor,” Wright says. “The biggest thing we were challenged with was how we impact the space as little as possible. When you have to put in a modern kitchen and a modern
bar, there are a lot of things to consider. “We had to take the new bar and put it in a modern form in the footprint of the
old lunch counter within a half-inch so as not to damage the floor any more. So we designed a very complicated metal in- frastructure that would allow us to move around inside and then enough room to create a cabinet in the middle that will hold the gigantic light fixture. Everything from having to cut historical tiles to feeling really bad about drilling, we had to have tiles re-created to patch areas and a color match process.”
Wright says the most profound change was in the old kitchen space, which is now the brewery.
“In order to have a functioning
A shellfish platter featuring scallops, oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp and uni
LA WEEKLY | November 9 - 15, 2018 |

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