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Office of Historic Resources


									 City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning

Office of Historic Resources
JULY 2011                                                                                             VOLUME 5, ISSUE 3

Los Angeles Reaches major Preservation
Milestone: Historic-Cultural Monument #1000
On June 1, 2011, the City of Los Angeles reached a sig-         crimination, the company opened in a storefront in
nificant milestone in its historic preservation program:        South Los Angeles and later built its own headquarters
the approval of City Historic-                                                          on Central Avenue (Historic-
Cultural Monument #1000,                                                                Cultural Monument #580;
the Golden State Mutual Life                                                            1929). The company quickly
Insurance building at 1999 W.                                                           grew to become the largest
Adams Boulevard in West                                                                 black-owned business west of
Adams.                                                                                  the Mississippi River and in
                                                                                        1948 commissioned the con-
The Golden State Mutual                                                                 struction of a new home of-
Building is a very fitting recipi-                                                      fice on Adams Boulevard.
ent of this honor. Built in                                                             The building served as the
1949, this six-story commer-                                                            headquarters for the company
cial building was designed in                                                           for over 60 years, from 1949-
the Late Moderne style by                                                               2010.
architect Paul R. Williams
(1894-1980). Williams was the                                                                The building also includes
first certified African-American       Paul R. Williams’ Golden State Mutual Building       two significant murals in the
architect west of the Missis-                       becomes HCM #1000                       lobby, depicting the African-
sippi River, the first African-                                                             American experience in Cali-
American member of the American Institute of Archi- fornia: “The Negro in California History--Settlement and De-
tects, and also served on the first Los Angeles Planning velopment” (1949) by Hale Woodruff and “The Negro in
Commission in 1920.                                            California History--Exploration and Colonization” (1949) by
                                                               Charles Alston.
Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company had been
founded in 1925 by three African-American business- These murals became the subject of considerable activ-
men. Serving African-Americans who had been denied ity prior to the approval of Historic-Cultural Monument
coverage by insurance companies because of racial dis-                                                   (Continued on page 2)

New HPOZs Approved For
Hollywood Grove & Jefferson Park                                                           Inside this issue::

The Los Angeles City Council has            of early residential development in            SurveyLA Receives
recently approved two new Historic          the Hollywood area.                            CLG Grant                      2
P rese rvat ion Ove rlay Z one s
(HPOZs), bringing the total number          Simply walking the neighborhood’s
                                                                                           OHR Summer Interns
of Los Angeles neighborhoods that           north-south streets above Franklin
have obtained HPOZ status to 29.            Avenue starting at Canyon Drive on             Make A Difference              3
                                            the west provides an immediate feel
Hollywood Grove                             for what a residential tract in Holly-         Preserving Los Angeles’
                                            wood’s early days looked and felt              Bridges                        4
Nestled in the foothills of the Holly-      like. Lush landscaping and a mix of
wood Hills within the Los Feliz com-        sub-tropical and native plants                 New Historic-Cultural
munity, the Hollywood Grove                 abound, punctuated by ubiquitous               Monuments                      6
HPOZ, approved by the Council               palm trees. Wide front porches on
during May, is a remarkable example                              (Continued on page 5)
Page 2                                                                             VOLUME 5, ISSUE 3

Historic-Cultural Monument #1000
(Continued from page 1)                                                owner, Community Impact Development, a non-profit social
status. When Golden State Mutual ceased operations, the Cali- service organization in South Los Angeles, also expressed
fornia Department of Insurance                                                                      strong support for the murals re-
became its conservator and began                                                                    maining in the building.
liquidating most of the company’s
assets, including the interior mu-                                                                  While the question of whether the
rals. While the murals had been                                                                     murals are an asset separate from
painted on canvas and affixed to                                                                    the building remains the subject of
the lobby walls, OHR staff and the                                                                  a legal dispute, the Office of the
Cultural Heritage Commission                                                                        City Attorney did successfully
believe that they are clearly integral                                                              obtain an order from the Los An-
to the building: they had been spe-                                                                 geles Superior Court allowing the
cifically commissioned by Paul R.                                                                   City’s Historic-Cultural Monu-
Williams, had been painted “to                                                                      ment designation to move for-
suit” for these particular locations                                                                ward. The designation identifies
within the building lobby, and                                                                      the murals as significant character-
remain thematically inextricable to                                                                 defining features of the building.
a building that itself has been cen-
tral to the African-American ex-                                                                    Los Angeles reached its 1000th
                                           One of the murals found inside the Golden State
perience in Los Angeles.                                                                            Historic-Cultural Monument after
                                         Mutual Building: Charles Alston’s The Negro in California nearly a half-century of historic
The Smithsonian Institution had                   History– Exploitation and Colonization           designations through its historic
made an offer to purchase the mu-                                                                  preservation program: the City’s
rals, with plans to install them in                                                                original Cultural Heritage Ordi-
the new National Museum of African-American History and nance was approved in 1962, and the City will be celebrating its
Culture in Washington, D.C., but later withdrew its offer after 50th anniversary during 2012. At the first meeting of what was
community opposition grew to removing the murals from their then called the Cultural Heritage Board, on August 6, 1962,
original location.                                                     Historic-Cultural Monument status was approved for the
                                                                       Leonis Adobe (Historic-Cultural Monument #1, on the border
The Los Angeles Conservancy, whose Modern Committee was of Calabasas), Bolton Hall in Tujunga, the Plaza Church in El
the applicant for the Historic-Cultural Monument, began an Pueblo, Angels Flight Railway, and the Salt Box mansion on
advocacy campaign to retain the murals on-site, together with Bunker Hill (destroyed by fire in 1969 following relocation to
the West Adams Heritage Association. The building’s new Heritage Square).

OHR Receives Certified Local Government Grant
For Outreach and Social Media
The Office of Historic Resources has been awarded a $22,500          With large segments of the population now engaging with their
Certified Local Government (CLG) grant from the California           communities through person-to-person social networking, the
Office of Historic Preservation to assist with the public out-       OHR looks forward to pioneering new techniques that allow
reach program for SurveyLA, the Los Angeles Historic Re-             for citizens to connect with one another and share information
sources Survey Project.                                              on historic resources that matter to them.

In 2010, the OHR received a CLG grant to hire a contract con-        SurveyLA’s social media strategy will likely include
sultant who would help coordinate SurveyLA’s outreach activi-        “MyHistoricLA” workshop/training webinars and an increased
ties. The OHR will use the 2011-2012 CLG grant to imple-             use of “Web 2.0” applications such as Facebook, Twitter,
ment the outreach program in advance of our Year 3 surveys,          Tumblr, Flickr, LinkedIn, MindMixer and Foursquare. The
and to expand the program to include a social media compo-           OHR hopes that this social media strategy will serve as a replic-
nent.                                                                able social media model for other cities and local non-profit
                                                                     preservation organizations statewide.
Page 3                                                                             VOLUME 5, ISSUE 3

OHR Interns Make A Difference
The Office of Historic Resources (OHR) is benefiting from the
work of six talented interns this summer.
                                                                                                Jenn Wilson Gonzalez is a Ph.D.
Erin Chapman is a Master’s student in Preservation Studies at                                   student at UC Riverside, studying
                    Boston University. She has a B.A. in                                        public history and 20th century United
                    History (with a minor in Political Sci-                                     States history, with an emphasis on
                    ence) from UC Riverside, and grew up                                        Los Angeles and its built environ-
                    in Palmdale. Erin is assisting the His-                                     ment. She has a B.A. in history from
                    toric Preservation Overlay Zone                                             UCLA, and is contributing to Sur-
                    (HPOZ) unit, helping to prepare Pres-                                       veyLA’s historic context statement
                    ervation Plans for proposed new                                             working on The Entertainment In-
                    HPOZs, and is also providing support                                        dustry theme.
                    to the OHR’s Mills Act program.
                                                                    Amanda Locke has completed
Erica Dolcini graduated in May with                                 her junior year in Urban and Re-
a B.S. from the University of South-                                gional Planning at Cal Poly
ern California in Policy, Management,                               Pomona. A resident of Glendora,
and Planning, with a minor in Archi-                                Amanda has been assisting the
tecture. She has been interning in the                              OHR’s HPOZ unit since March.
OHR since February, assisting with                                  In addition to assisting with the
SurveyLA and other projects. She                                    annual HPOZ Conference,
worked previously for a preservation                                Amanda has put together a re-
planning firm in Petaluma and served                                source library for the HPOZ unit,
as a squad leader for the famed Tro-                                compiling all of historic resources surveys, Sanborn maps and
jan Marching Band.                                                  other historic archival materials and has assisted staff in prepar-
                                                                    ing draft Preservation Plans for pending HPOZs.

Ian Dull, a native of Orange County, is a 2009 graduate of Yale     Gina Yang graduated in June from UC Santa Barbara with a
University. Since graduation, he has worked as an intern in the     B.A. in Art History with emphasis in Architecture and Environ-
                          Sacred Sites program of the New                                    ment. Gina was selected from more
                          York Landmarks Conservancy, where                                  than 40 applicants as this year’s OHR
                          he prepared documentation reports                                  Getty Multicultural Summer Intern,
                          for historic churches and synagogues.                              with stipend support from the Getty
                          He also spent much of 2010 in Cam-                                 Foundation. She has previous work
                          bodia, creating an archive of the                                  experience in UC Santa Barbara’s Uni-
                          work of Vann Molyvann, Cambodia’s                                  versity Museum Architecture and De-
                          foremost modern architect. He is                                   sign Collection, Santa Barbara’s chap-
                          assisting in the work of the Cultural                              ter of the American Institute of Archi-
                          Heritage Commission.                                               tects, and the Architectural Founda-
                                                                                             tion of Santa Barbara.

    Office of Historic Resources                          Office of Historic Resources Staff:         HPOZ Unit: City Hall, Room 601
    Department of City Planning                                     Ken Bernstein, Manager                   Craig Weber, City Planner
    200 N. Spring Street, Room 620                           Janet Hansen, Deputy Manager           Matthew Glesne, Planning Assistant
    Los Angeles, CA 90012                          Lambert Giessinger, Preservation Architect          Nora Dresser, Planning Assistant
    (213) 978-1200                                       Edgar Garcia, Preservation Planner         Lameese Elqura, Planning Assistant
    Fax: (213) 978-0017                                                                             Steven Wechsler, Planning Assistant
Page 4                                                                               Volume 5, Issue 3

 Preserving Los Angeles’ Historic Bridges
 Incorporating input from the Cultural Heritage Commis-                These discussions resulted in a new project alternative that
 sion, the Los Angeles City Council has approved a revised pro-        would leave one side of the bridge completely intact, while
 ject design for a widening of the his-                                                       pursuing a more modest (22') widen-
 toric North Spring Street Bridge (HCM                                                        ing on the other side. The new bridge
 #900) which will now preserve more of                                                        addition would be somewhat differen-
 the bridge's significant architectural                                                       tiated visually from the historic bridge,
 features than the original proposed pro-                                                     in keeping with historic preservation
 ject. Constructed in 1927 near the origi-                                                    standards, which emphasize the im-
 nal site of the City’s founding, the                                                         portance of avoiding a false sense of
 North Spring Street bridge is situated in                                                    historical development and conveying
 one of the most historically rich areas                                                      an accurate sense of time and place.
 of the City, linking the communities of
 Lincoln Heights and Chinatown.                                                                 At its meeting of May 5, 2011 the Cul-
                                                 A view of the current Spring Street Bridge     tural Heritage Commission praised the
 The bridge is also located between two                                                         new bridge design concepts and indi-
 of the oldest Los Angeles River Bridges                                                        cated its belief that the new alternative
 - the North Main Street Bridge (1910)                                                          would help ensure that the bridge
 and the North Broadway-Buena Vista                                                             retain its historic eligibility. The Final
 Bridge (1911). The North Spring Street                                                         EIR was approved by the full City
 Bridge has been determined eligible for                                                        Council on June 14, 2011.
 the National Register of Historic Places,
 is listed in the California Register of                                                        The Sixth Street Bridge
 Historical Resources, and was desig-
 nated as Historic-Cultural Monument                                                           In addition, the Commission and the
 (HCM) #900 in 2008.                           Bureau of Engineers illustration of a proposed  OHR are also closely monitoring the
                                                      differentiated dual arch bridge          proposed demolition and replacement
                                                                                               of the Sixth Street Bridge (HCM
 Over the past two years, the Commis-                                                          #905), constructed in 1932. The
 sion has expressed concerns about the potential loss of historic      bridge, nearly 2/3 of a mile long, is the largest and longest
 status for this and other landmark LA River bridges. The              bridge constructed over the L.A. River. Unfortunately, the
 monumental Los Angeles River bridges between Downtown                 bridge is suffering structurally from Alkali Silica Reaction
 and Griffith Park are some of the City’s most iconic landmarks        (ASR), a chemical reaction that is causing destruction to the
 with a total of 14 bridges designated as Historic-Cultural            bridge’s concrete.
 Monuments, including the North Spring Street Bridge.
                                                                       While it now appears likely that the ASR will require replace-
 The bridge project as originally proposed would have widened          ment of the bridge’s concrete, the Cultural Heritage Commis-
 the deck by 40' (20’ feet on each side), nearly doubling the span     sion has requested that BOE fully evaluate a reconstruction
 of the current bridge. It would also have removed historic rail-      alternative consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Stan-
 ings, light fixtures, and brackets, obscured the double-arch          dards, akin to the approach taken in Pasadena during the early
 span over the river, and incorporated new additions mimicking         1990s with the Colorado Street Bridge over the Arroyo Seco. If
 the historic features lost through the widening. The project's        reconstruction is not feasible, the Commission has requested
 EIR concluded that this project would result in an adverse ef-        that BOE consider partial preservation alternatives that maxi-
 fect and loss of the bridge’s landmark designation.                   mize retention of the bridge’s key historic features. The Com-
                                                                       mission and OHR staff will be working with BOE staff on
 During 2010, the Commission proposed further study of alter-          such alternatives in the coming weeks.
 natives that would safeguard the historic designation of the
 bridge. The staff of the Office of Historic Resources (OHR)           Please contact Edgar Garcia, Preservation Planner with the
 worked closely with BOE staff and representatives of Council          Office of Historic Resources, at 213-978-1189 for more infor-
 District 1 to continue developing alternatives that would pro-        mation regarding the current efforts to preserve the city’s his-
 tect the historic designation of the bridge while also meeting        toric bridges.
 the goals of the project.
Page 5                                                                                    Volume 5, Issue 2

Hollywood Grove and Jefferson Park
(Continued from page 1)                                                Park neighborhood is one of the City’s finest examples of both
Craftsman bungalows provide generous views of the hills, while         an early street car suburb, and the proliferation of the Arts and
neighboring Period Revival houses remind                                                   Crafts movement of the early 1900s in the
us that Los Angeles is a place where archi-                                                form of simple, yet elegant, single-story bun-
tecture is just one of many free forms of                                                  galows for the growing middle class. Fanciful
expression.                                                                                eaves, intricate wood work, turrets, stone,
                                                                                           masonry and shingles are displayed in ways
Hollywood Grove, named for the avocado                                                     that defy the modest scale of these houses
orchards that predate the subdivision is a                                                 and make the many streets of this vast dis-
collection of 138 houses built largely be-                                                 trict instantly charming.
tween 1905 and 1939, and many of its origi-
nal inhabitants had close ties to the early                                               Unlike many of the mansions that were built
motion picture production industry. While                                                 “up the hill” closer to Adams and Washing-
none of the early residents are known to be       An example of one of the homes in the   ton Boulevards, most of the nearly 2,000
movie stars, the house at 1972 Canyon                   Hollywood Grove HPOZ              houses in Jefferson Park are not associated
Drive was prominently featured in the film                                                with a particular architect. Rather, most of
Chinatown. The neighborhood remains re-                                                   the houses were built using prefabricated kits
markably intact: 108 of the homes were                                                    or plan books produced by the likes of Sears
identified as “Contributing” (historic) struc-                                            and Pacific Ready-Cut Homes.
tures in the historic resources survey for the
HPOZ.                                                                                        In addition to its celebrated architecture,
                                                                                             Jefferson Park has long embodied the ethnic
Jefferson Park                                                                               and cultural diversity for which Los Angeles
                                                                                             is known. Upon the elimination of racially
The West Adams area southwest of Down-              A Craftsman home featured in the re-     restrictive covenants in the 1940s Jefferson
town Los Angeles is widely known for its            cently adopted Jefferson Park HPOZ       Park found instant favor with African-
preponderance of architecturally and his-                                                    American and Japanese-American families.
torically significant structures, and has been home to six of the While the neighborhood demographics today are even more
City’s HPOZs. In June, the City has adopted its 29th HPOZ, diverse, many of the business and institutions along Adams and
the City’s second largest district: Jefferson Park.                       Jefferson Boulevards and Western Avenue, within the HPOZ,
                                                                          reflect the contributions of these predominant communities.
Often referred to by locals as “The Bungalows,” the Jefferson

L.A.’s Newest HCMs
(Continued from page 6)                                                designs of several other Historic-Cultural Monuments, includ-
                                                                       ing the Park Plaza Hotel and the Barker Brothers Building.
HCM #1000: Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Com-
pany Home Office                                                       HCM #1002: Gertrude and Harry Kaye Building/ Hannah
See article on Page 1.                                                 Schwartz Apartments
HCM #1001: May Company Garage                                          Built in 1947, this four-story multi-family residential building is
                        The Beaux-Arts style nine-story park-                                    located on Almont Drive and placed
                        ing garage and retail building at 9th and                                adjacent to the cities of West Holly-
                        Hill Streets in downtown Los Angeles                                     wood and Beverly Hills. The property
                        was built in 1927 and was one of the                                     exhibits features of the International
                        first of its kind to be constructed in the                               Style and Streamline Moderne and was
                        city at a time when the auto culture was                                 one of the few privately-owned multi-
                        booming. The building included retail                                    family apartment buildings designed
stores along its street frontage and was designed by Claude                                      by notable Los Angeles architect Paul
Beelman and William Curlett, who were responsible for the              R. Williams, the first African-American architect admitted to
                                                                       the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Page 6                                                                             Volume 5, Issue 3

L.A.’s Newest Historic-Cultural Monuments
The Los Angeles City Council gave final approval to nine
new City Historic-Cultural Monuments between April and
June of 2011                                                        HCM #997: Clifford E. Clinton Residence

HCM #994: Arsenberg-Stendahl Home Gallery                                                          Built in 1928 in Los Feliz, this
                                                                                                   two-story single family resi-
                                  This property in the Holly-                                      dence exhibits features of the
                                  wood Hills was built in 1920                                     Spanish Colonial Revival style,
                                  for Lee B. Memefee and                                           with multi-level side-gabled
                                  designed by architect Wil-                                       roofs covered in red Mission
                                  liam Lee Woollett, who also                                      tile, iron grills and a decora-
                                  designed other significant                                       tive painted door at its front
                                  Los Angeles buildings, in-        entrance. Until 1949, the property was owned by Clifford E.
                                  cluding Broadway’s Million        Clinton, the owner of the famed Clifton Cafeterias chain and
Dollar Theatre. The two-story residential building is an exam-      a noted leader in Los Angeles civic reform movements. Clin-
ple of Mediterranean Revival architecture with Mid-Century          ton led the recall of Mayor Frank Shaw in 1938; during this
Modern additions. Purchased in 1927 by major art collectors         period, a bomb was placed in the basement of the home,
Walter C. Arensberg and his wife Louis Stevens, the property        which damaged the kitchen but left Clinton and his family
was bought in 1954 by Earl L Stendahl, who used it as an art        unharmed.
gallery. It continues to function as a gallery space today.
                                                                    HCM #998: Boettcher House
HCM #995: 9027 West Alden Drive Apartments
                                                                                                    This two-story single family
                                   Situated on the northwest                                        residence in West Adams’
                                   corner of Alden and Weth-                                        Central Arlington Heights
                                   erly Drive near the Beverly                                      neighborhood was built in
                                   Center, this two-story apart-                                    1905-1906 as a winter resi-
                                   ment building houses four                                        dence for Charles Boettcher,
                                   residential units. Built in                                      a noted businessman based
                                   1931, the building is an ex-                                     in Colorado. The property is
                                   cellent example of the Span-                                     an example of Craftsman
                                   ish Colonial Revival style                                       style architecture that was
with a flat red tile roof, a hacienda plan, stucco walls, decora-   designed using the Radford Architectural Company catalog.
tive tiles, and wood balconies with open spindle work.              Some of its character-defining features include gabled roofs,
                                                                    clapboard siding, wood trim, box beamed interior ceilings
HCM #996: Garden of Oz                                              and built-in cabinetry.

                                  Begun in 1991 in the Holly-                                         HCM #999: Marsh Du-
                                  woodland area, this landscape                                       plex
                                  garden area created by Gail
                                  Cottman is a unique folk art                                       Located in Hancock Park,
                                  environment comprised of                                           this Mediterranean Revival
                                  outdoor public art pieces,                                         style residential duplex build-
                                  with contributions from over                                       ing was built by contractor
                                  75 artists. The property has a                                     Edward Goralsky in 1928
                                  decorative wrought-iron front                                      for Margarete Mae Marsh.
gate and employs a large amount of statuary and found ob-                                            The property exhibits a high
jects. Initially developed as to expand a rose garden, the land-    level of architectural design and detailing, including a slightly
scape evolved into a tile and sculpture garden inspired by the      pitched side-gabled roof covering in red Mission tile and
“Wizard of Oz,” which now exists as children’s folk art and         multi-light arched casement windows on its front elevation.
peace garden.                                                                                                     (Continued on page 5)

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