Councilmember Bill Rosendahl issued the following statement on the City’ s Planning and Land Use Management Committee vote approving the Barry Building as an historic-cultural monument:
“I am pleased that my council colleagues voted to support the fine work of the Cultural Heritage Commission and ratify its decision designating the Barry Building an historic-cultural monument.
“There has been an extraordinary level of commitment and support from my constituents to preserve this outstanding architectural gem. In addition to petitions signed by over a thousand local residents, this historic-cultural designation is supported by the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Brentwood Community Council, the Brentwood Historic Society, and several local homeowners associations.
“This building is a significant landmark within the Brentwood community. It is a rare and excellent example of Mid-century California Modern architecture in a commercial building and would be the only building of its kind to be designated in Brentwood. In addition, it has served as a quiet retreat and gathering place within the neighborhood for more than 50 years.
“In a community where there has been a great deal of new development, it is understandable that residents want to save some of the last bits of community history existing along the San Vicente corridor. This building represents a superior standard of architectural integrity and a vibrant community rich in history, and must be preserved for future generations.
“This designation, however, does not end the matter. It does not prevent the owner from developing his property, or ultimately even demolishing the Barry Building. It creates a 180-day review process if the owner requests a permit for demolition or substantial alteration, during which time the community and the owner would work together to try to achieve the goals of both parties. It could also be extended for an additional 180 days upon approval of the City Council. The designation also requires that an EIR be prepared before a demolition is approved. In trying to protect the Barry Building, the Brentwood community followed the City’s rules and has acted in good faith. However, without the protection of the historic-cultural designation, the community is effectively disenfranchised – with no safeguards in place for ensuring a fair and orderly process for achieving a balance between the desires of the community and the will of the developer.
“I am hopeful that this issue can be resolved prior to it being heard before the entire Los Angeles City Council, and will be meeting will both sides to find a ‘win-win’ solution that benefits all parties.”