The historic Miracle Mile building at 5757 Wilshire Blvd. was renamed SAG-AFTRA Plaza today, marking the latest major milestone in the history of the recently-merged media and entertainment union.
The new name was unveiled during a dedication ceremony, which included special guests from the entertainment and media industries, as well as local elected leaders. SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White, SAG Foundation President JoBeth Williams, Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge and Jerome Snyder of Oschin Snyder Partnership, which owns 5757 Wilshire Blvd., addressed approximately 300 attendees.
“This is a proud moment for SAG-AFTRA members in Los Angeles and around the country,” said Howard. “To see SAG-AFTRA Plaza lit up along this beautiful boulevard, in the heart of Los Angeles, is evidence of our tightknit bond with the Wilshire Boulevard community and the Miracle Mile. It is a fitting home for our national headquarters and Los Angeles Local.”
“Renaming this building SAG-AFTRA Plaza is a momentous occasion for our union,” said White. “Both legacy unions called 5757 Wilshire home since the 1990s. Following our merger in 2012, we considered finding a new location, but after a thorough review, we found no other location better served the union’s needs than 5757 Wilshire. From our large boardrooms and membership lobby, to the new SAG Foundation offices on the top floor, and the SAG-AFTRA Credit Union offices moving to new space on the first floor, this building provides everything our growing organization needs to efficiently serve our members.”
The naming of SAG-AFTRA Plaza is part of the lease agreement between the union and Oschin Snyder Partnership signed in January 2014. The lease agreement combined the two legacy leases of AFTRA and SAG into one lease and extends it to 2026. The agreement includes a highly-competitive rate per square foot, a generous tenant improvement allowance and, at no additional cost to SAG-AFTRA, naming rights to the 5757 Wilshire building for the term of the lease. Commercial real estate brokers Cushman & Wakefield administered the deal.
“The newly renamed SAG-AFTRA Plaza is also home to the SAG Foundation Los Angeles offices recently relocated to the 10th floor with a great view of the new building sign. Our new office includes an incredible classroom that will host even more casting and branding workshops for SAG-AFTRA members and our volunteer BookPALS will now receive their training with the backdrop of the Hollywood sign. This incredible new SAG Foundation facility benefits SAG-AFTRA members without receiving one penny of union dues,” said Williams. “It also so happens that the SAG Foundation is turning 30 this year. We’re not only celebrating our history of assisting, educating and inspiring SAG-AFTRA members, but we’re looking forward to giving back in even greater and new ways over the next 30 years.”
The building opened Nov. 15, 1948 as Prudential Square, housing more than 1,200 employees of the western office of Prudential Insurance Company. It was designed by famed architects Walter Wurdeman and Welton Becket in the International Style and was the tallest and largest privately owned building in the city when it opened. The duo also designed the Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Becket’s firm would go on to design the Capital Records building, the Petersen Automotive Museum and the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Over the years, 5757 Wilshire has housed a department store and an AFTRA-signatory classical music station, KFAC. A piece of the Rock of Gibraltar — the symbol of Prudential — is located in the ground floor lobby. In 1982, Prudential moved to a larger location and 5757 became known as Museum Square.
In 1993, Screen Actors Guild moved its national headquarters into the building and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artist’s followed in 1997.
New SAG-AFTRA Plaza signage was formally unveiled today. A 50-by-60-foot drape was dropped to reveal a 46-by-40-foot rendering of the union’s brand, created by global branding firm Siegel+Gale in collaboration with SAG-AFTRA’s communications and marketing team. The logo was adopted by the SAG-AFTRA National Board of Directors in 2014.
During the ceremony, additional doorway signage and sidewalk pillars were also revealed. Building signage was designed by AREA Architecture, fabricated by Windsor Displays and installed by Aloha Electric Sign Company. All signage illuminates at dusk lighting up Wilshire Blvd.