A Spanish Revival house at 733 19th Street may become a landmark, as the Landmarks Commission culled it from the monthly list of proposed demolitions to nominate it for designation.
The single-family residence was the topic of much discussion, with the Commission facing an issue that has come up before – are there enough good examples of the Spanish Revival style in Santa Monica to eliminate the need to preserve more mediocre examples?
Commissioner Ruth Shari expressed “disappointment” with an initial consultant’s report on the house, as she said it did not give examples of features that proved it rose to a level of integrity worthy of a landmark. Other members of the Commission were “on the fence” as to the house’s aesthetic appeal. A vote to nominate it in order to obtain more information was taken and the majority of votes carried the motion.
Then the Commission agreed to hear a speaker who had submitted a late chit due to misinformation about the speaker process. Rob Zeiger, the owner, told the Commission that the house had been extensively remodeled both inside and outside, after the 1994 earthquake. “There is nothing original about the house,” he said. “The front is the only part that’s preserved.”
But Commissioner Barbara Kaplan pointed out that “from the street the front has a lot of integrity.” Façades are often designated, and, according to Kaplan, more extensive consultant and staff reports might address how much integrity the front of the house does have.
A second vote was taken, with a majority again choosing to nominate the house.
The Commission also pulled two apartment houses, at 3218 and 3214 Highland Avenue in Ocean Park, from the demolition list. Roger Genser thought the two buildings were “pristine examples” of 1950s courtyard apartment architecture, typical of housing for the working class. Action on the two buildings was continued to obtain more information.
The Commission also nominated a commercial building at 312 Wilshire Boulevard. The owner, according to Ken Kutcher of Harding Larmore Mullen Jakle Kutcher & Kozal, who appeared on the owner’s behalf, is in support of designation, although a new restaurant is scheduled to open on the ground floor. Designation can proceed without impacting the development of the restaurant space, although no construction can take place during the designation process.
Other actions necessitated continuation. A commercial building at 1202 Third Street was continued without a nomination, as there is time to request more information, and the owner, who is on the East Coast, was not present or represented. Likewise, an adaptive reuse project at 507 Wilshire Boulevard, scheduled for discussion on what is happening with the project, was postponed due to the owner’s absence. The 507 Wilshire project involves a façade with a new building behind it, but the deterioration of the façade was of concern to the Commission.
Also continued was further discussion on the features of new construction at City Hall. The proposed project involves construction of a new electrical room, window replacements, and access ramps at the rear of City Hall. The Commissioners thought that the new designs brought back after their initial discussion in October were an improvement, but they still wanted modification on the ramps and some change to the exterior design of the one-story electrical building.
Statements of Official Action were approved for a house at 929 Lincoln Boulevard and the former Sci-Arc building at 3030 Nebraska Avenue.
No action was taken on the following proposed demolitions: 941-943 11th Street, 126 Hollister Avenue, 2301 10th Street, 602 10th Street, 633 10th Street.