The Horizons/Zephyr surf and skate shop at 2001-2011 Main Street moved closer to landmark designation at the April 9 meeting, with the Landmarks Commission voting to nominate the one-story building.
The nomination process had seemed stalled two months ago when the Commission, after hearing input from community members as well as the owner, was unable to decide what action to take.
Juli Doar, granddaughter of the property owner, plans to build a LEED certified, moderate-income apartment complex on the site, a project that many community members endorse. On the other hand, numerous surfers and skateboarders have expressed concern about the idea of losing what they deem a historic site and a worldwide tourist destination.
A consultant’s report prepared for the Commission by PCR Services provided a great deal of information about the building itself and the events and personages associated with it, including a profile of Jeff Ho, co-founder of Zephyr Surfboard Productions, and of the “Z-Boys” skateboard team that emerged from “Dogtown” in south Santa Monica in the 1970s.
Howard Laks, the architect hired for the proposed project, responded to the concerns of Horizons fans. He presented to the Commission a slide presentation showing how the front building, which currently houses the surf shop, could be incorporated into the new structure. He cited his work on the remodeling of the Lobster restaurant on Ocean Avenue as an example of what could be done with Horizons.
“The existing structure speaks to its past use,” said Laks. “It provides a past and present transition and a sense of place.” He added that to be safe, the structure would need a seismic retrofit and other upgrading measures, but the building could still retain its “existing profile and character.”
The nomination of the property at 2001-2011 Main Street does not specify what parts of the structure are to be designated. That will be decided at the time the Commission votes on designation, possibly next month. Several speakers noted that the back building on the property is in bad shape and should not be included in the designation.
In other developments, the Commission agreed to have City staff write a letter to the owner of the former Zucky’s building, suggesting that the owner restore the original colors of the landmarked Zucky’s sign. The sign had been re-painted as part of a new design approved two years ago by the Architectural Review Board, prior to the Landmarks Commission’s designation of the sign. According to staff, the owner had never been contacted concerning the need for applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness for the color change.
Certificates of Appropriateness were granted to the design for new restrooms and an ice cream kiosk at the Santa Monica Pier, and to the design for the exterior of a ground-floor restaurant at 225 Santa Monica Boulevard.
The Commission nominated a single-family house at 136 Hart Avenue for a Structure of Merit designation. This does not signify that a building is a landmark but it provides short-term protection for the property, during which time period (90 days) the Commission may separately pursue designating the surrounding neighborhood a Historic District.
No action was taken on proposed demolitions at: 402 20th Street, 1541 11th Street, 1237 25th Street, 2931 Washington Avenue, 433 20th Street, 633 10th Street, 1408 Hill Street, 851 19th Street, 1027 21st Street, 444 10th Street, 2009 Montana Avenue, 636 16th Street, and 901 Harvard Street.