A State appellate court issued a decision last week that will block the demolition of Venice’s Lincoln Place Apartments.
“This is a significant legal victory that will protect one of Los Angeles’ largest and most significant post-war multi-family communities,” said Linda Dishman, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Conservancy. “The court held that the City of Los Angeles illegally issued demolition permits for seven buildings at Lincoln Place in 2003, and can’t consider any further demolition of the remaining 45 buildings without significant additional environmental review.”
In 2003, the Conservancy joined the California Preservation Foundation, the 20th Century Architecture Alliance, and the National Organization of Minority Architects in challenging the City of Los Angeles’ issuance of demolition permits for Lincoln Place.
This modernist garden apartment complex was built between 1949 and 1951 and contained 795 residential units spread over 52 buildings on 33 acres of land in Venice.
The complex was designed by Heth Wharton and Ralph Vaughn, a significant early African-American architect. They also designed Chase Knolls Garden Apartments in Sherman Oaks, which is a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.
Lincoln Place’s current owner, AIMCO (Apartment Investment and Management Company), like its previous owners, has sought to raze the 45 individual buildings that remain and build a new condominium project on the site. For over a decade, the Lincoln Place Tenants Association has worked to preserve its community, and had filed separate litigation challenging the City’s environmental clearance of the Lincoln Place redevelopment project.
“I am pleased with this decision because it gives me the tools I need to keep Lincoln Place standing,” said new City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, who has supported the preservation of Lincoln Place. “Lincoln Place is part of the heart and soul of Venice, and I’m looking forward to providing new energy within City government to recognize and protect it as a historic community.”On August 5, the California Historical Resources Commission will hear the nomination of Lincoln Place to the California Register of Historical Resources.