If buildings could talk, 908-910 S. Broadway, an Art Deco building in Los Angeles with a Banksy painting on it, would surely have a lot to say. Designed in 1914 by Meyer & Holler, an architectural firm famed for drafting opulent commercial buildings around Hollywood, the seven-story building has been a silent observer of Tinseltown’s changing landscape for over 100 years. But the most important tale the building could share didn’t happen around it, but rather to it, when Banksy , an anonymous British street artist, left a surprise painting—known to fans as Swing Girl or Girl on a Swing —on the building’s facade in 2010.
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that the building’s current owners, Tarina Tarantino and Alfonso Campos, would sell the structure, and effectively the mural as well, to the highest bidder after filing for bankruptcy in April. The artwork in question depicts a young girl swinging off the A in the word Parking, which had been previously sketched on the building’s exterior. The publication Banksy Explained theorizes the work “probably comments on the lack of places for kids to play safely in what is a fairly rough area of Los Angeles.”
Since 2007, the couple had used the top floor of 908-910 S. Broadway for the showroom of their eponymously named accessories brand Tarina Tarantino, filling the other floors with tenants. Unfortunately for the pair, many of the renters backed out of leases because of the ongoing effects from the pandemic. Despite their bad luck, the mural by the famed street artist might just be their saving grace.
In court filings from earlier this year, the couple wrote that they believed the building to be worth $16 million, but that number doesn’t factor in the Banksy artwork. “This isn’t your typical real estate transaction,” Campos told The New York Times. “We understand the intrinsic value that the Banksy adds to the building.”
With the fine art connected to the real estate sale, the owners hope the building sells for at least $30 million. If these desires materialize, the Banksy painting will increase the building’s value by at least $14 million. “This sale presents an unprecedented opportunity to own a treasured Banksy mural, a unique piece of Hollywood history, and an icon of Los Angeles culture contained within a beautifully restored Art Nouveau landmark,” Jeff Azuse, senior vice president of Hilco Real Estate, who is representing the seller, said in a statement. For buyers interested in the building, the Banksy, or both, bids are due October 6.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
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