West Hollywood Preservation Alliance

To identify, protect and preserve the historic, architectural, and cultural resources of West Hollywood

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WEHOville: Palm Avenue Project Conflicts and Irregularities

From WEHOville:

West Hollywood’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) on Monday will review a proposal for a project on Palm Avenue whose architect is a member of that same commission.

The fact that Ed Levin, a partner in Levin-Morris Architects who was appointed to the HPC in 2005, is working on the project has angered some of its neighbors and those who will be evicted because of it. Levin will have to recuse himself from a vote on the project, but neighbors assert that his close relationship with other commission members will have an impact on their perception of it. The project also is opposed by the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance.

The project that Levin has designed for Westwood Property Ventures, a part of Jeffrey Damavandi’s Dylan Investments, consists of a four-story, L-shaped building with an underground parking garage that will house seniors and resources for them including a hair salon and recreation space. The proposed project is going before the HPC because it will wrap around and incorporate two existing houses designated by the city as culturally significant parts of the Old Sherman Thematic Group. One of the houses, at 927 Palm, will serve as an administrative and reception area for the building. The bungalow at 931 Palm will be a stand-alone residence. With the 931 Palm bungalow, the project will have 49 units.

Two Exciting Preservation Events for You – May 22 & May 25

A walking tour of West Hollywood’s North Harper Avenue Historic District on May 22 and a screening of short films on local LGBTQ historic places on May 25 are the highlights of this year’s celebration of preservation month. Mark your calendars to attend:

Hooray for (West) Hollywood Annual Historic Preservation Celebration

Date: Monday, May 22, 2017 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Free

Location: North Harper Avenue Historic District

1300-1330 N. Harper Avenue

Travel back in time via clips of movies shot in West Hollywood going back to 1944, then take a walking tour of the magnificent 1920s apartment buildings of the North Harper Avenue Historic District. City staff will be on hand to answer questions about the benefits available to owners of historic homes, and refreshments will be served.

LGBTQ Historic Places in L.A. Screening and Panel Conversation with the Los Angeles Conservancy

Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

$5 charge waived at door for WHPA members

Location: Great Hall, Plummer Park

7377 Santa Monica Blvd.

This event features a special screening and panel conversation showcasing the Los Angeles Conservancy’s first three short films on significant LGBTQ spaces and civil rights stories. The films showcase the following locations: The Black Cat (Silver Lake), The Woman’s Building (Chinatown), and Plummer Park, Great Hall/Long Hall (West Hollywood). The event will also explore other LGBTQ historic places throughout Los Angeles.

Lexington-Curson Residential Historic Resources Survey

COMMENTS BY THE WEST HOLLYWOOD PRESERVATION ALLIANCE

FOR THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION MEETING OF MARCH 15, 2017

ITEM 9.B. “LEXINGTON-CURSON RESIDENTIAL HISTORIC RESOURCES SURVEY”

The West Hollywood Preservation Alliance (WHPA) was very pleased when the City Council supported the awarding of a contract last year to the firm Historic Resources Group (HRG) to prepare a historic resources survey of early 20th century residential properties on the city’s Eastside. It was about time to undertake such a survey. Even before our organization’s establishment five years ago, folks on the Eastside would oftentimes bemoan that their part of town seemed to be neglected.

But even before that, the Westside proudly embraced the designation of the Old Sherman Thematic Grouping of historic properties built between 1899 and 1907 that primarily housed workers at the Pacific Electric Railway. The homes in this grouping are representative of West Hollywood’s birth as a distinctive neighborhood, and the character of those homes evoke its modest beginnings. And right now, several of them are being fixed up while still retaining their architectural integrity in a new life as the San Vicente Bungalows/Hotel.

The homes in the Old Sherman grouping are not all next to each other — meaning they’re not contiguous — just like the 30 properties identified as contributors to a new thematic grouping on the Eastside are not all next to each other. Being contiguous is a requirement of a formally recognized historic district like the city’s famous Harper Avenue Historic District. Being contiguous is not necessary for maintaining a sense of place, a sense of time, a sense of cultural and architectural memory.

The WHPA truly appreciates the research and information presented by Historic Resources Group in the 19-page document accompanying the staff report that presents the history and importance of the area being considered for a thematic grouping. But we also appreciate the views of the owners and residents who have raised their concerns about this thematic grouping.

There seems to be some confusion and misunderstanding reflected in some of the comments and views expressed in the attachments to the report. Some commenters appear to think that their apartment buildings and homes are part of or subject to the thematic grouping, but they are not as far as we’ve been able to determine. And still others are concerned that this grouping will result in regulatory intrusion into their lives.

We might benefit greatly if we were to receive input from some owners of properties in the already established Old Sherman Thematic Grouping or the Courtyard Thematic Grouping or the Plummer Park Grouping. Questions still abound and that’s why we’re all here tonight. We all deserve to hear and listen to one another. The conversation has just begun. Before sending this matter on to the City Council for its deliberations, we hope that the Historic Preservation Commission is able to resolve or address concerns and questions currently being raised.

–WEST HOLLYWOOD PRESERVATION ALLIANCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Laura Boccaletti, Judson Feder, Roy Rogers Oldenkamp, Victor Omelczenko,and Jon Ponder

Citywide Commercial Historic Resources Survey

COMMENTS BY THE WEST HOLLYWOOD PRESERVATION ALLIANCE FOR THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION MEETING OF MARCH 15, 2017

ITEM 9.A. “CITYWIDE COMMERCIAL HISTORIC RESOURCES SURVEY”

WHPA again thanks GPA Consulting for providing West Hollywood with a “Citywide Commercial Historic Resources Survey.”

We’re here tonight specifically because the WHPA as well as the City Council wanted a better understanding of why 10 more local buildings could not be added to the final eligible list. The difference between APPEARS INELIGIBLE and APPEARS ELIGIBLE is an important distinction, and through discussions with professional preservation architects, historians and through our own research, we have found that many of the 10 additional structures do offer merit and could, in fact, be included on the survey, or should have been.

Tonight we’ll hear from professional historian Charles Fisher of the LA Conservancy. Both the MACHA Theatre and the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance have enlisted his services to explore further the possibility of deeming the building at 1107 N. Kings Road as eligible for formal cultural status. He will discuss the merit of this unique structure. We’ll also be hearing from former Historic Preservation Commissioner George Credle about several other properties on the list of “10 Ineligibles.”

As we understand the process, the Historic Preservation Commission cannot at this time formally change the results of the survey prepared by GPA Consulting.

We would hope that the HPC in concert with the city of West Hollywood would, however, recommend funding a limited further study from an alternate professional historic source as a direction for city council. We think obtaining a second opinion would be the right thing to do.

–WEST HOLLYWOOD PRESERVATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Laura Boccaletti, Judson Feder, Roy Rogers Oldenkamp, Victor Omelczenko,
and Jon Ponder

Join Us for Walking Tours of the Sunset Strip

Historic Preservation Commission to Review Commercial Survey and Eastside Thematic Grouping

Access the just issued update of the West Hollywood survey of potentially historic commercial buildings and the proposed Eastside thematic grouping of early 20th century homes at this link.

And please reserve next Wednesday, March 15, 7 p.m., in the Plummer Park Community Center, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., to attend the Historic Preservation Commission meeting which will be reviewing these two very important preservation topics. The Commission appreciates receiving public comments and your opinions.

Regarding the commercial survey —

– GPA Consulting is maintaining that WHPA’s 6 suggestions and City Council’s other 4 suggestions are still INELIGIBLE for any type of formal historic designation (local, state, federal). A historian did submit additional information on the MACHA Theatre building that’s in an attachment to the city report, but it appears to not have swayed GPA’s final analysis.

Regarding the Eastside thematic grouping of early 20th century homes —

– Thirty (30) properties are identified by the contractor Historic Resources Group as being potential contributors to a historic thematic grouping. HOWEVER, please note this particularly disconcerting section from the staff report:

“PUBLIC CORRESPONDENCE. In addition to all comments and questions during the two community meetings, staff has received various emails from the public expressing opposition to the adoption of a thematic grouping (EXHIBIT C). On March 6, 2017, a petition signed by 43 residents of West Hollywood was submitted in opposition to the adoption of a thematic grouping (EXHIBIT D).”

New Short Films: LGBTQ Historic Places in L.A.

We’re proud to present our new short film project, LGBTQ Historic Places in L.A.! These three films bring together a diversity of stories, perspectives, and experiences that reveal the layered historic and cultural importance of LGBTQ places throughout L.A. County.

Each 7-minute film spotlights a different location: The Black Cat (Silver Lake), The Woman’s Building (Chinatown), and Plummer Park, Great Hall/Long Hall (West Hollywood).

The Conservancy premiered the films at The Black Cat recently and held a special panel conversation – stay tuned for more screenings and panel conversations in the coming months.

Watch LGBTQ Historic Places in L.A.

City of West Hollywood to Host Annual Historic Preservation Celebration on Oct. 27

The City of West Hollywood and its Historic Preservation Commission will celebrate the City’s historic preservation accomplishments at an evening event on Thursday, October 27, 2016 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Schindler House/MAK Center for Art and Architecture, located at 835 N. Kings Road.

The event is free and open to the public; RSVP is requested. Parking will be available at the Kings Road Municipal Parking Structure, located at 8383 Santa Monica Boulevard, at the corner of Kings Road.

For more information, click HERE.

We Believe These Six Buildings Should Be Added to the Survey of Historic Commercial Buildings

The West Hollywood Preservation Alliance (WHPA) commends the work that has been conducted by GPA Consulting to provide West Hollywood with a “Citywide Commercial Historic Resources Survey.” A total of 763 properties were surveyed, and the final draft list identifies 57 individual commercial
properties as potentially worthy of cultural resource designation as well as a potential Sunset Plaza Historic District (comprised of 10 buildings).

The survey did evaluate the following SIX (6) properties but deemed them ineligible. We believe they are all worthy of consideration as historic resources, all with mitigable alterations or no changes at all! Therefore, we ask that each of these buildings be considered on the final list as eligible for designation as a West Hollywood Cultural Resource and be assigned at least the “Code 5S3” as an individual property of significance to the city’s cultural history and memory.

1107 N. Kings Road – The MACHA Theatre now operates out of this building just a few steps north of Santa Monica Boulevard. Constructed just after World War II for small manufacturing, the building is a reminder of West Hollywood’s now fading industrial past. In an example of adaptive reuse, the building has served as a cultural venue for over 43 years, previously housing the Shakespeare Society of America’s Globe Theatre and now the MACHA which is operated by the organization Mujeres (Women) Advancing, Culture, History & Art.

7617 Santa Monica Boulevard – The Madison Car Wash building is the last example of a Googie-style commercial building in West Hollywood and should be preserved.

8445 Santa Monica Boulevard – The former home of the famous Ritts Furniture Store, this building retains its mid-century modern sensibility and changes made in the ensuring years could be reversed.

8465 Santa Monica Boulevard – Totally unchanged from the days of Historic Route 66, the Holloway Motel still provides lodging to travelers and is the only remaining motel along West Hollywood’s stretch of this historic road.

8225 Sunset Boulevard – Now the Pink Taco, this building previously housed The Players Club that catered to Sunset Strip stars and crowds of the 30’s and 40’s and was identified in the city’s 1986 survey as potentially historic. Since cityhood, however, the property has somehow changed in ways that has affected its “integrity,” according to the survey. The building could be returned to its historic integrity and its place in the Sunset Strip’s cultural memory.

8850 Sunset Boulevard – Now The Viper Room rock venue, this is the oldest remaining commercial building on the Sunset Strip, built in 1921. This storied building first operated as Young’s Market and boasts a long history as an entertainment venue, playing a prominent role in several musical genres. The building merits placement on the final list of potentially eligible historic commercial properties in West Hollywood.

West Hollywood Historic Preservation Alliance Summer Walking Tours

The Romanesque Building on Harper Avenue.

August and September offer a fun selection of WEHO walking tours of famous landmarks and stunning world-class architecture. From Deco to The Doors, from Mid-Mod to movie stars, lots to see!

1. GOLDEN AGE OF (WEST) HOLLYWOOD

August 6 SATURDAY -10:30 AM

Long before there was Weho there was another West Hollywood, also full of stars & bars. We venture on foot to the playgrounds of the legends, from the Roaring Twenties to the Sunset Strip riots-our most popular tour.

2. DOORS TOUR

August 13 SATURDAY – 3PM

Dress in your rock finery as we rock out to the music of The Doors and visit the favorite hangs of Jim and the boys. A dozen sites in a dozen blocks, this was Jim’s creative home. Follow the Lizard King’s footsteps- bring your own Jack Daniels!

(Extra optional $15 fee to enter grounds of Cherie Amour, last known US residence of Jim Morrison.)

3. GOLDEN AGE OF (WEST) HOLLYWOOD

August 20 SATURDAY 10:30 AM

Reprise of our most popular tour.

4. A THICKET OF FICKETTS

August 27 SATURDAY 3PM

Mid Century Modern Mania as we visit the Space Age Bachelor Pads of Ed Fickett, AIA. These fanciful 50’s apartments epitomize So Cal living. Dress 50’s if you can!

TOUR INFO

Tours begin at Tara at Laurel Park 1343 N. Laurel Ave, West Hollywood. See MAP.

Select complimentary parking passes for Zone 6 are available to first five cars.

Other parking options: free on Fountain Avenue (Read signs!) and metered parking on Sunset or pay parking in 8000 Sunset -Trader Joe’s. For passes, please arrive fifteen minutes early to secure a spot.

Suggested attire: Thematic clothing is always a plus, dress for comfort, possible sultry weather, hat and sunscreen suggested. Bring a water bottle for hydration.

Tour is a gentle walk, suitable for all. Wheelchair friendly.

COSTS

Tours cost $20 per person.

WHPA members can take one tour for free. (Subsequent tours are $10 per member.)

Payment via cash, square or check. MEMBERSHIP includes one free tour ($20 value) and half priced tours all year (BEST VALUE- plus we want you as a member!)

RESERVATIONS

Space is limited, so reservations are required.

To make a reservation, please email us by clicking HERE. [info@whpa.c]

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West Hollywood Preservation Alliance
PO BOX 46073 West Hollywood, CA 90046
Email: info@westhollywoodpreservationalliance.org
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