Greater Los Angeles Preservation Report - October 2013

Santa Monica City Hall

ImageThe Art Deco Society of Los Angeles is pleased to see preservation-related work underway at Santa Monica City Hall. Designed in 1938 by Donald B. Parkinson and Joseph M. Estep, the building at 1685 Main Street is a wonderful example of the PWA Moderne style. The current renovation includes door and transom restoration, hardware replication, structural investigation and seismic improvements. The project team is lead by Spectra Company with assistance from PCR Services.

Long Beach Preservation

ImageThe ADSLA Preservation Committee continues to work with Long Beach Heritage to monitor the use of Measure K Funds and school renovations. Because so many schools were destroyed in the 1933 earthquake, Long Beach schools are a treasure trove of Deco. In addition to the buildings themselves, many contain gorgeous WPA and PWA murals, bas-reliefs and sculptures that must be protected. The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) has authorized a historic resources report to be completed by the end of 2013, identifying historic LBUSD schools. Our preservation committee is working to ensure that proper protective measures guard against demolition and promote adaptive reuse whenever possible.

(In the image above, allegorical figures representing literature, engineering, technology, art and music surround the doors of Washington Middle School. The building was designed by W. Horace Austin of Long Beach and John C. Austin of Los Angeles.)

Bringing Back Broadway

ImageAnother project we're watching closely is the Streetscape Plan for the historic theater district on Broadway. The plan, developed by Bringing Back Broadway (BBB), identifies historic cultural resources along Broadway from 8th Street to Olympic. An area of particular concern to us is the preservation of the colorful terrazzo sidewalks and foyers, works of art designed to create an inviting entryway for Deco era shops, restaurants and theatres. Although we approve of the plan's findings and recommendations, the Preservation Committee wants to ensure that the recommendations are strictly followed by City Departments when downtown construction is approved in the area. We will lend extra eyes, ears and enforcement of the oversight and implementation of the plan by the BBB.