Constructed in 1967, the Forum is a sports and entertainment venue designed by Charles Luckman and Associates in the New Formalist architectural style. With its striking cylindrical shape ringed by a colonnade of sculpted concrete columns, the Forum quickly became a landmark for generations of sports fans and concert goers. Until 1999, the Forum was the home to the L.A. Lakers and L.A. Kings sports franchises and regularly hosted major live music acts including Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, The Jackson 5, Nirvana and Prince. In 2000, the Forum was sold to the Faithful Central Bible Church, which used it for Sunday services. Although they rented it for occasional concerts or sporting events, the Forum’s days as a major sports and entertainment venue was effectively over.
In 2012, the Forum was purchased by the Madison Square Garden Company with plans for a rehabilitation effort. As historic resources consultant to the project, Historic Resources Group provided the required historic resources environmental review. HRG helped secure a federal preservation tax credit for the project and completed its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Historic Resources Group also provided guidance for the rehabilitation, meeting the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and preserving a beloved landmark for future generations.
The rehabilitation of the Forum breathes new life into a beloved and iconic structure that otherwise may have been demolished. The project illustrates how historic sports facilities can be sensitively updated to accommodate the latest technological advancements, code requirements, and visitor expectations, while maintaining a sense of history.