June 19, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Hostel on Historic Property Eyeing Expansion

Hostel located on same property as 19th-century Rapp Saloon eyeing five-story expansion

By Sam Catanzaro

A Santa Monica hostel located behind a 19th-century historic saloon is eyeing a significant expansion.

On Wednesday, Santa Monica’s Planning Commission will hear plans to expand a hostel located on 2nd Street in Downtown Santa Monica. Project applicant Hostelling International USA–also known as American Youth Hostels, Inc–wants to add a five-story, 60-foot tall building to 1436 2nd Street. The 15,622 square foot expansion would increase the capacity of what is now a four-story, 200-bed hostel by 40 beds.

Project designer Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio is planning on using prefabricated modular units as opposed to employing traditional wood frame or concrete construction.

1436 2nd Street with the hostel in the back of the property.

The Rapp Saloon–Santa Monica’s first historic landmark as old as the city itself–is located on the same property as the hostel. Built in 1875 and designated a landmark in 1975, the Rapp Saloon is the first masonry structure built in the city, according to the Planning Commission.

“A remarkable survivor from the year Santa Monica was born, this small brick building was constructed as a beer hall by William Rapp. An 1877 newspaper ad promoted the ‘Los Angeles Beer Garden’ with fresh Los Angeles beer always on hand,” reads a write up on the building from the Santa Monica Conservancy. “The arches give this vernacular building an Italianate air. It has gone through many incarnations in its long life, even serving briefly as City Hall in 1888-1889.”

From 1911 to 1914 the building was used by the Vitagraph Film Company as an early movie studio. Over the years it has also been home to a Salvation Army, a radiator repair shop, a piano tuning shop and an art gallery.

“Saving the Rapp Saloon took several decades of effort. Vacant and abandoned since 1959, the owner hoped to sell and relocate the building so that this prime location could be redeveloped. It was named the first landmark in the city in 1975, and the city offered to support the relocation. Ideas floated to use the building as a historical museum. By 1984 no viable purchaser had emerged with a realistic plan for re-use; and the owner threatened demolition. Finally, in 1986, the American Youth Hostel acquired the property with the intention of preserving and re-using the historic landmark,” the Conservancy added.

A rendering of the proposed expansion as seen from 1st Court (the alley).

According to the Planning Commission, the hostel expansion is “designed and situated in a manner that is respectful and harmonious with the Rapp Saloon landmark located at the front of the property.” While the Rapp Saloon’s appearance would be relatively unchanged by the expansion, plans do call for minor alterations to the building including lowering the raised interior floor, eliminating concrete steps at the exterior, and extending the door to sidewalk level to improve access to the building.

City Staff is recommending the planning commission approve the expansion.

Related Posts

Santa Monica Aligns Mask Orders with LA County

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

On June 15, Interim City Manager Lane Dilg signed the 37th supplement to align Santa Monica’s local emergency provisions with Los Angeles County...

Former Santa Monica Resident Sentenced to Federal Prison for Embezzling More Than $22 Million from Employer

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

A former executive at a Hollywood-based digital marketing company that represents influencers on Instagram and YouTube was sentenced recently to...

Edify TV: Tourism Returning to Santa Monica?

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

A busy Memorial Day weekend in which Santa Monica hotel occupancy rates reached their highest levels since the pandemic began...

Santa Monica College Cancels Fireworks Show, Main Street Parade Also Off

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

Firework shows in Marina del Rey and Pacific Palisades back this year By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has...

Summer Safety Tips When Hiking and Biking Outdoors

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

LAFD Captain Erik Scott gives us tips on staying safe while enjoying the mountains this summer. Brought to you by...

Crossroads Wins CIF and State Regionals

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

The Crossroads Varsity Boys Soccer Team had a stellar championship season starting with a true underdog story with CIF Division 6 Playoff...

Edify TV: Closing Expo Line Bike Path Gap?

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

Plans are in the works to close a frustrating gap in the Expo Line Bike Path. Learn more in this...

Markedly Different Reactions to Sheriff’s Plan to Clear Boardwalk Encampments

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

Plan to clear Boardwalk by Fourth of July met with applause, condemnation By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex...

Edify TV: Westside Vandalism Suspect Arrested

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

A man has been arrested in connection with a series of Westside vandalisms in West L.A., including at a local...

Loved Ones Ashes Stolen From Families Car In Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Loved Ones Ashes Stolen From Families Car In Santa Monica *...

LA County Lifeguards Return to Summer Staffing Levels as Heat Wave Rolls Through

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

Triple digit temperatures expected for inland LA County this week  By Sam Catanzaro As summer heats up, Los Angeles County...

Martin Cadillac Redevelopment Takes Shape on Olympic Near Bundy

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

West Edge development underway near Expo/Bundy station By Sam Catanzaro Wood and concrete framing is now visible at the Martin...