During the Golden Age of the motion picture industry, major studios such as Fox, were self-contained industrial plants that housed all the facilities necessary for production, distribution, and exhibition of their films. Fox Studio operations acquired its current site in 1924 and began constructing Movietone City in 1928. Major stars who worked on the campus included Tom Mix, Dolores Del Rio, and Janet Gaynor.
In 1990, Fox Studio identified the need for a comprehensive master plan for its West Los Angeles studio property in order to identify opportunities for growth on the site while maintaining the historic nature of the campus. Historic Resources Group evaluated the studio site for its historic significance and identified a historic district associated with Fox’s development as one of the major motion picture studios of Hollywood’s “Golden Age.”
To protect the historic significance of the site while allowing for much-needed new development, HRG developed a 25-year preservation plan to guide both the rehabilitation of buildings which contribute to the historic district and the compatibility of adjacent new construction. The Fox Studio Preservation Plan proved to be a landmark in preservation planning and has subsequently been emulated by others. The plan provides guidelines for rehabilitation, new construction, and landscape maintenance. It also includes an internal process for project review that allows Fox to streamline new development while preserving its historic legacy. Over the life of the plan, HRG has worked on over thirty rehabilitation projects and new construction projects on the Fox Studios site. This was the first time a self-administering preservation plan was successfully implemented in the City of Los Angeles.
HRG’s work at Fox Studios is ongoing.