West Hollywood Preservation Alliance

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

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Asleep at the Switch?

8001-8003 Santa Monica Boulevard – before the alterations

Regarding Item 8.A. on the Historic Preservation Commission’s (HPC) agenda for January 27, 2020, the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance (WHPA) is quite dismayed with the recommendation that the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) REMOVE the building located at 8001-8003 Santa Monica Boulevard from the 2016 Commercial Historic Resource Survey’s list of potential cultural resources. There are already so few of these resources left in the city, and those that remain need particular care and attention.

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‘Historic WeHo’ Photo Exhibit at the Library Through October

Photo by Tony Coelho, from his Historic WeHo exhibit at the library

NOTE: The West Hollywood Library will be closed until March 31.

About the “Historic WeHo” exhibit:

West Hollywood’s heritage is a rich inheritance of traditions, attributes, and cultural resources. Architectural heritage includes much more than preserving, displaying, or restoring a collection of historic buildings. It is both tangible and intangible. Ideas, stories, and other elements of who we are and how we identify ourselves are essential to the understanding of our place.

Preserving West Hollywood’s architectural and cultural heritage is integral to the growth and identity of West Hollywood. Through historic preservation, we are able to tell stories of times that preceded Cityhood and of people, events, and ideas that embrace the vibrancy of our City.

The City of West Hollywood has recognized the importance of preserving its cultural resources since its incorporation as a City in 1984. The City adopted a Historic Preservation Ordinance in 1989 and has designated over eighty historic and cultural resources, including six historic districts.

In 2015, arts and planning staff began a project of documenting all of the City’s designated historic properties. This exhibition shows a selection of photographs from the over 80 properties that were documented by West Hollywood photographer Tony Coelho, representing a wide array of architectural styles and associations with well-known architects and builders. These images celebrate West Hollywood – recognizing our past, present, and future.

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Duplex Up for Historic Designation But Developer Disagrees

1251 N. Detroit Craftsman Duplex, Built 1914

The WHPA is seeking help from members and the public to designate as a local cultural resource the rare 106-year old craftsman duplex at 1251 N. Detroit in West Hollywood.

City staff, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the WHPA all support this designation. But one outside developer opposes it and has filed an appeal which we hope the City Council will deny and then approve the property as a local cultural resource.

ACTION: Speak out or submit a citizen position slip on Agenda Item 3.A. supporting city staff’s recommendation.

WHAT: West Hollywood City Council Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 6:30 pm

WHERE: City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.; free validated parking in adjoining garage

Here is the official statement from the WHPA to the City Council:

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WHPA Statement in Support of City Proposal to Purchase Log Cabin Property on Robertson

The board of directors sent this statement to the West Hollywood City Council in advance of the council’s meeting tonight:

The West Hollywood Preservation Alliance (WHPA) urges the City of West Hollywood to purchase the two parcels of land at 617-621 North Robertson Boulevard. That purchase would help preserve the 2,000+ square foot historic log cabin building that has served the recovery community for many years and would enable the city to plan for future community uses – perhaps affordable housing? – on the remaining nearly 13,000 square feet of land.

Furthermore, the fact that the city’s 2016 commercial survey considered the log cabin property eligible for historic designation not only on the local level but also on the California Register and the National Register attests to the property’s architectural, social, and cultural significance. It’s that rare “trifecta” of designations that few buildings can achieve.

It’s time to make a deal with the City of Beverly Hills and to purchase this precious land that comes with so much history and so much future potential use by the city and its residents.

Community Rallies to Save Lions Club Building

From WEHOville.com: “621 N. Robertson Blvd. (today home to the local Lions Club and a meeting place for recovery groups) is a one-story clubhouse in the Log Cabin style built in 1936 by the Boy Scouts of America Troop 27 as a clubhouse.

West Hollywood City Council members and members of the recovery community are expressing feelings of shock with the announcement that the City of Beverly Hills intends to demolish the historic log cabin on Robertson Boulevard that has long been the home for drug and alcohol recovery groups.”

In the city’s 2016 survey of commercial properties, the building was deemed eligible for the “trifecta” of designations — as a local cultural resource designation as well as California state and National Register designations. Designation at the local level is often key to protecting and preserving a building.

The property is owned by the City of Beverly Hills and may have originally been used by the city’s water department. The lease on the property expired more than 40 years ago, and now Beverly Hills plans to develop the lot for other uses.

West Hollywood residents are encouraged to express their concerns to Beverly Hills officials:

Renovation of El Mirador Underway

Beverly Press updates the current status of renovations to the El Mirador, a seven-story apartment building on Fountain Avenue at Sweetzer. The city designated the building as a cultural resource in 1992. It has been closed since 2010.

The article includes a quote from WHPA Board Pres. Victor Olmenczenko:

“The El Mirador is an architectural treasure whose current rehabilitation and restoration bode well for historic preservation in West Hollywood. For over 90 years, the El Mirador has caught the eyes of both tourists and residents alike as they travel along Fountain Avenue. The building’s ornate ‘Churrigueresque’ Spanish Colonial Revival style is quite rare nowadays … The El Mirador could garner even additional recognition at the state and national levels, which if achieved, could also result in some fine tax benefits.”

Jerome Nash, the owner the building, has yet to say whether he intends to convert El Mirador into an urban inn or condominiums or resume renting the its 32 units.

Renovations are expected to be complete in early 2021.

HPC to Review Proposed Changes to French Market Project and Rehab of Berman/Kohner Building

French Market and Paseo revised street-level experience – Source: Faring.

The agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission includes consideration of:

  • A draft of the city’s 2018-2019 Certified Local Government (CLG) Annual Report.
  • Changes to plans for the redevelopment of the French Market site.
  • A request to enter into a Mills Act Contract for the rehabilitation of 9165-9169 Sunset Boulevard (Berman/Kohner Building).

Read the agenda for tonight’s meeting HERE [PDF].

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2019 – 7:00 P.M.
Plummer Park Community Center, Rooms 5 & 6
7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, California 90046

WHPA Supports Designations for Whisky a Go Go and Detroit Street Craftsman Duplex

The West Hollywood Preservation Alliance (WHPA) supports city staff’s recommendations and urges the Historic Preservation Commission at its October 28 public hearings to recommend to the City Council that the following two properties be designated as local cultural resources in the City of West Hollywood:

Item 9.A.: 8901 Sunset Boulevard, “The Whisky a Go Go Building.” All public comments heard at the previous Oct. 2 HPC hearing on this potential designation were supportive of designation. However, due to a lack of quorum, a decision on this item was continued to the Oct. 28 meeting. The WHPA reiterates its full-throated support for designating this property which, according to the latest survey of commercial properties, is that rare example of a “trifecta” in which a building is considered historically significant at the local, state, and federal levels.

Item 9.C.: 1251 N. Detroit Street, “Rare Craftsman Duplex.” Although scheduled for an HPC hearing at its August 26 meeting, the hearing was postponed and no public comments were heard although community members were ready to speak and supportive citizen position slips were ready to be submitted.

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Four Sunset Strip Landmarks Considered for Cultural Resource Designation

Westside Market on the Strp, circa 1940s, now site of the Roxy

The West Hollywood Historic Preservation Commission will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 2, to consider designating four iconic buildings on the Sunset Strip as cultural resources. Three of the buildings are associated with the Strip’s Rock ‘n Roll era: the Roxy Theatre, the Rainbow Bar and Grill and the Whisky a Go Go. The fourth site is a 1938 Streamline Moderne office building, formerly known as the Sentney Building, at 9157-9163 Sunset Blvd.

You can read staff reports evaluating the eligibility of the four buildings HERE.

WEHOville covers the history of each building in article titled, Some of the Sunset Strip’s Most Famous Venues Seek Designation as Cultural Resources.

Meeting Information
West Hollywood Historic Properties Commmission Meeting
Wednesday October 2, 2019 – 7:00 P.M.
Plummer Park Community Center, Rooms 1 & 2
7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, California 90046

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