The Shangri-La Hotel, a white Streamline Moderne building at 1301 Ocean Avenue, has been nominated for landmark designation by the Landmarks Commission.
The 1939 structure was developed as an apartment hotel (ads in 1940s newspapers displayed the kitchenettes and offered furniture that would coordinate with the Moderne style). The building is L-shaped, with curvilinear walls (the design is said to resemble an ocean liner), casement windows, horizontal accents, stepped massing on the upper floors that creates roof decks for the penthouse rooms, and a flat roof.
Michelle Hoden, who appeared before the Commission on behalf of the owner, explained that the owner “fully embraces the designation” and had requested in the past that the Commission hold off on the landmark process until after a two-year remodeling of the hotel’s interior had been completed.
The Commission voted unanimously to file for designation, but while they were in agreement with the consultant’s recommendation that the Shangri-La be designated under criteria 1 (symbolizes elements of the cultural, social, economic, political, or architectural history of the City), 4 (distinguishing architectural characteristics), and 6 (unique location, familiar visual feature), they decided that it should also be studied for possible designation under criteria 2 (artistic interest or value) and 5 (work of a distinguished architect).
Another hotel that was discussed was the landmark Lido Hotel at 1447 4th Street. The hotel was requesting permission to install new business identification signs for the Benihana restaurant on the ground floor. A existing sign will be replaced by a somewhat smaller sign, the size being reduced from 10 feet to six feet. Four window signs that have never actually received approval will be “legalized,” and a new projecting 3.5 foot “blade” sign will be added. Also, staff recommended that the building’s “bird spikes” which are installed to prevent birds from roosting, be minimized so as not to present too cluttered an appearance. The Commission approved these changes.
In other actions, the Commission approved a Certificate of Appropriateness for the installation of new HVAC (air conditioning) equipment on the roof of City Hall. The applicant (the City of Santa Monica) had made changes per Commission requests, reducing the height of the proposed screen around the equipment, setting the screen back from the parapet wall, changing the design of the screen louvers from an inverted V to a downward sloping louver, and routing the piping between the screen and the parapet. The Commission expressed satisfaction with these changes and voted to approve, with one dissenting vote.
The Commission also approved four Mill Act contracts that will be presented to the City Council in late October. The Mills Act provides tax relief for owners of landmark properties who are making changes to the structures and property. Contracts were approved for 514 Palisades Avenue, 2219 Ocean Avenue, 405 Palisades Avenue, and 236 Adelaide Drive. Two other contracts, for 2612 Third Street and 3018 Third Street, were continued pending further and more complete information.