Cumulus Project Presents Danger to Eastside of Culver City

by Charles and Susan Deen

Special to The Culver City Observer

The first Cumulus high-rise, glass-covered tower that is looming over the Culver City eastern town limits has a most glaring and major design flaw. Every day between 5 and 6 p.m., there is a sun-bright reflection that casts an overly bright and unwanted shadow upon Culver City Arts District homes. The Arts District is the trendy new name for the McManus Park neighborhood.

According to news reports, the Cumulus project is a 1,200-unit mega complex rising next to the Expo Line near the La Cienega/Jefferson station. In addition to the 1,200 apartment units, here will be 100,000 square feet of commercial space in what will be two high-rise buildings.

Seniors and children need to be forewarned not to look directly at the sun-bright reflection coming off the mirror-glass building exterior. This glaring light is also creating a hazard that could blind pilots of low-flying planes and helicopters. LAPD helicopters frequently over-fly our neighborhood and the Expo Line on official law-enforcement missions.

We have had our neighbors complain about unwanted heating of their homes and being unable to use parts of their homes for ordinary household chores due the sun-bright glare.

Almost two decades ago when the Walt Disney Concert Hall was being completed in downtown Los Angeles and as the rave architectural reviews had quieted-down, nearby businesses and condo residents began to complain about the high temperatures caused by reflected heat coming off the shiny new metal building designed by the world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Drivers had also complained about being blinded by the intense glare.

We remember that instead of a simple fact-finding investigation by the developers and the architect on these complaints, businesses, residents and drivers were being categorically dismissed as people making too much of the problem. There was another round of praises upon the form-bending use of titanium-clad stainless steel that was creating such a wondrous rainbow of colors.

It was not until after several lawsuits had been filed that Los Angeles city staff paid much attention to this serious problem and did a formal investigation. Finally, the remedial solution was found to spend a reported $180,000 sandblasting the stainless steel to tone-down the shiny finish.

Since the health, welfare and safety of the Culver City residents is at stake, we and our neighbors are asking Culver City staff to intervene on our behalf.


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