City Council OKs Tower Near L.A.’s Capitol Records

Thu August 07, 2008 - West Edition

LOS ANGELES (AP) The City Council approved plans July 11 for a 16-story condo and office project next to Capitol Records’ famed cylindrical tower despite arguments that construction noise and other disruptions would ruin the aural qualities of the studio’s underground echo chambers.

The unanimous vote came after developer Second Street Ventures agreed to implement a series of mitigation measures meant to protect the signature sound of the facility in the building, which resembles a giant stack of vinyl records. The measures include limiting construction hours and building underground walls and a foam barrier.

“They’re simply fantastic mitigation efforts that reduce to almost nothing — but not nothing — the possibility that there might be an interruption in the important echo chambers at Capitol Records,” said R.J. Comer, an attorney for the developer.

Capitol parent EMI Music North America said in a statement that it would seek an appeal of the council’s decision, but that it was comfortable with the mitigation efforts should that appeal fail.

“The agreement will protect the acoustic integrity and operations of the Capitol Records Studios and ensure it continues as one of the world’s premiere recording facilities, as it has for more than 50 years,” the company said.

Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, the Beach Boys and Paul McCartney are among the famed musicians who have recorded at the studio since its 1956 opening.