January 25, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Third Street House Garage Gets Nod from Landmarks Commission:

In a change from recent controversies regarding alterations of homes in the Third Street Neighborhood Historic District, a house at 2544 3rd Street easily received a Certificate of Appropriateness at the Landmarks Commission’s September 8 meeting.

The two-story 1912 Craftsman residence, considered by most locals as an outstanding example of the vintage style, will be joined by a three-car garage structure to be built on the rear of the property.

2544 3rd Street previously received a Certificate of Appropriateness in June 2000. At that time, the property was described by the owner, Scott Campbell, as being in a state of disrepair, with its foundation crumbling and its redwood shingles deteriorating. The house’s character-defining features were restored, the house was relocated approximately 36 inches to widen the driveway, and some additions were built, including fences and a 350-square-foot deck at the rear of the house.

The proposed garage addition will be built using the same materials as the main house. Its design calls for shingled siding, a gabled roof, overhanging eaves, exposed rafter tails, and carriage house-style doors.

City staff found the proposed design to be in keeping with guidelines for the Third Street District but did have two suggestions: that the design for the garage doors should more clearly distinguish the garage as newer than the house, and that the exterior cladding on the garage structure should be different, to more clearly distinguish the historic elements of the house from the modern ones of the garage.

Campbell told the Commission that he had no problem with most of the staff suggestions, but “the exterior cladding is the only part that [I] have a sort of issue with.” He wanted the cladding to be redwood like the shingles on the main house.

Neighborhood resident Karen Blechman spoke on behalf of the Third Street Citizens Participation Committee (CPC), and expressed support for the project. The CPC had met on July 24 at the applicant’s house to discuss the design proposal. No major concerns came out of this meeting and neighbors were “predominantly in favor” of the proposal.

The five Commissioners present at the Landmarks meeting, one by one, voiced their approval. Ruthann Lehrer supported Campbell’s insistence on using redwood siding on the garage. “Differentiation can be achieved in more subtle ways,” she said, referring to the design for the garage doors, “which have characteristics of Craftsman design but could never be mistaken for anything but modern.”

Roger Genser summed up the Commission’s enthusiasm for the house and the new project: “This house is so important and is the gateway of the neighborhood. We’ve been talking about having signage for the entrance to the District – this house is almost the signage itself.”

A Certificate of Appropriateness for another residence at 2612 3rd Street was postponed to the October meeting at the request of the applicant.

In other business, the Commission took no action on the following proposed demolitions: 353 20th Street, 426 Ashland Avenue, 1253 17th Street, 701 20th Street, 1050 Centinela Avenue, and 720 San Vicente Boulevard.

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