The Santa Monica Landmarks Commission has voted to designate the west wing of the building at 2001-2011 Main Street, which houses the Horizons/Zephyr surf and skate shop, as a City Landmark and to designate the property as a landmark parcel.
The designation will include language specifying that demolition of non-designated portions of the parcel will not be limited by the designation of the west building. This includes the parts of the structure known as the “south” and “east” wings of the building, which were not found to be worthy of landmark status. The non-inclusion of these parts of the structure will enable the owner to develop the property.
Ken Kutcher of Harding Larmore Mullen Jakle Kutcher & Kozal, acting on behalf of the owner, 2001 Main Street LLC, spoke about his hope that the Commission would take action in a manner that would preserve history and serve his client’s needs at the same time.
“We support the staff’s recommendation of the [west wing] as a cultural landmark,” said Kutcher. “We also support designation of the entire property as a landmark parcel and the non-designation of the south and east portions of the building.” He suggested that the Commission “call out some areas of flexibility” with the property, as had been done with 954 5th Street* in order to more easily facilitate development of the non-designated portions, and added that a certain amount of restoration work would be have to be done to the west building.
The Commission discussed the problem posed by signage and artwork featured at the Horizons shop, including the logo on the front door of the Zephyr shop and murals inside and outside the property.
Commissioner Ruthann Lehrer said that she had discussed the artwork with Horizons owner Randy Wright, who was concerned that the designation might prohibit further art projects such as the painting of a new exterior mural.
But the Commission concluded that the Horizons art was not a part of what they were designating. Commissioner John Berley said: “It’s the sense of spirit in the place that’s significant. The people who make the pilgrimage to this site want to see the place that was commemorated in the film [Dogtown and Z-Boys].”
In other developments, the Commission gave preliminary comments to representatives from the City Manager’s office who presented a plan for a temporary office building to be constructed on the east side of City Hall, where the former police station was located.
The plan called for a two-story building, with some three-story portions at the north end, which would house the overflow of City staff until funding became available for a permanent structure as part of the new Civic Center plan.
The Landmarks Commission’s role was to offer comments based upon their purview, as City Hall is a designated Landmark. This proved to be their main concern, with several Commissioners saying that the new building should be built to “not touch City Hall.” Some Commissioners questioned why money would be spent on a “temporary building” and asked how long the “temporary” period would be. When told by the City representatives that the time frame would be 15-20 years, they expressed doubt about the idea.
Commissioner Ruthann Lehrer advised the representatives to come up with a “program” for the building’s use, pointing out that use defines the design of a space.
The Commission took no action on the following proposed demolitions: 2339 Ashland Avenue; 2222 Pico Boulevard; 440 20th Street; 1315 Palisades Beach Road; 853 21st Street; and 2517 La Mesa Drive.
*See Santa Monica Mirror, February 22-28, 2007: https://smmirror.com/MainPages/DisplayArchiveArticle.asp?eid=4992