Old news flash: Johnie's building WILL NOT be impacted by Purple Line Extension construction


A couple of media stories have been making the rounds today about attempts to give city of Los Angeles historic status to the old Johnie's building.

I want to make something clear: historic status or not, Metro has long planned to preserve the iconic former coffee shop on the northwest corner of Wilshire and Fairfax during construction of the Purple Line Extension.

Check out the above project fact sheet. The top rendering clearly shows Johnie's in relation to the planned Wilshire/Fairfax station, whose entrance will be at Wilshire and Orange Grove. There will be a construction staging area on the parcel west of Johnie's — for the express purpose of preserving the Johnie's structure!!!


Categories: Projects

7 replies

  1. Yes, all subway stations have “knock-out panels” in the mezzanine levels to facilitate future portals.

    I wonder where the station box is oriented though. The positioning of the Wilshire/Fairfax station looks identical to Hollywood/Vine stations’s position in relation to its respective intersection. In that case, the station box sits farther east of the intersection so an actual future entrance at the Hollywood/Vine corner is not possible. Is this the same for W/F?

    If they ever open up a portal on the north side of Wilshire, they should just call it the “LACMA” station.

  2. For those riders who are transferring to a Bus that runs on Fairfax will have to walk two blocks. No wonder Rick Caruso wants to extend his trolley to the LACMA.

  3. I can see why they chose the location, but where Johnie’s is would have really been a great spot for a station entrance.

    The entrance in the rendering above, as noted by Merritt D. Mullen, has no pedestrian access to the north side of Wilshire, which means you have to walk to Fairfax or Ogden to cross the street. It’s also inconvenient for people trying to make bus transfers at Wilshire/Fairfax, with the arguable exception of people heading eastbound on Wilshire. Granted, we’re talking about maybe a 0.1 mi walk at most, but even that can cause problems with transfers.

    Most other stations (Hollywood/Highland, Vermont/Santa Monica, and Vermont/Sunset, just to name a few) have entrances right at the intersection, making bus-rail transfers a breeze.

    If, however, they could find some way to build a portal on the north side of Wilshire (closer to Fairfax), I think that would fix the problem.

  4. Looks good, but there should be a second entrance on the north side of Wilshire, directly into LACMA, and maybe a third further west across Fairfax.

  5. I notice, like some other stations in L.A., Wilshire/Fairfax has only one entrance. To get between the station and LACMA requires crossing Wilshire Blvd (but I don’t see any crossing lanes in the rendering). Why don’t they have an entrance on both sides of the street leading to a common concourse? And why don’t they have another pair at the west end of the station? An entrance does not have to occupy a large patio as many Metro stations do.

    When I was in DC, I knew which end of the station was closest to my destination and would get on the train at one end or the other to save walking. In this plan, if I were going to a destination at the west end of the station, I have to walk to the east end, ascend to the surface and retrace my steps to the other end. Maybe they are saving a few bucks by having only one entrance, but it makes things inconvenient.


    • Hi folks;

      For those interested in the issue of station entrances, here’s some more info from a fact sheet for the Purple Line Extension:

      “The full nine-mile extension of the Purple Line includes seven new stations. Each is shown below along with the entrance location(s). Metro will fund one “full” entrance at six of the seven stations. Metro will fund two “full” entrances at the Westwood/UCLA station due to the high number of boardings anticipated there. A “full” entrance contains two escalators, two elevators and stairs.”

      13. Could there be additional entrances added to the stations? How could that happen?
      All of the stations are being designed to provide for additional entrances either at the time of initial construction or at a later date. New entrances could be included if additional funding can be secured. At two locations so far, adjacent property owners have expressed interest in working with Metro to provide and fund additional entrances. They are:

      Wilshire/Fairfax: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has indicated an interest in providing a station entrance on the north side of Wilshire Boulevard directly across from the one planned for the northeast corner of Wilshire and Orange Grove.

      Century City: In the event that a primary station entrance on the northeast corner of Constellation/Avenue of the Stars is not deemed feasible because of changes in conditions to that property as it is developed, an alternate site has been identified on the southwest corner on the Century Plaza Hotel property. The Century Plaza Hotel has committed in their development agreement with the City of Los Angeles to work with Metro for a possible subway entrance on their property if necessary. Westfield has also indicated an interest in providing a station entrance with a direct connection to their Century City Shopping Center.

      Conversations with these entities are ongoing and it is still too early to say whether or not the additional entrances will be able to be built.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source