Friday, October 28, 2016

Commission declares Silver Lake bungalow a city historic monument

1109 Coronado Terrace | City of Los Angeles

1109 Coronado Terrace | City of Los Angeles

SILVER LAKE — The city’s Cultural Heritage Commission today voted 4-1 in favor of declaring a Craftsman home on Coronado Terrace a historic monument over the objections of the owners who are planning to develop new homes on the site.

Representatives for the owners challenged the historic significance of the 104-year-old home at 1109 Coronado Terrace, saying the dilapidated home was neither architecturally distinguished nor important in local history.  “It’s a monument to what”? an owner’s representative asked the commissioners.

But a majority of the commissioners agreed with several residents who spoke in favor of the monument nomination, which would make it very difficult for the owner to demolish the house and make way for new development.

The house is currently fenced off and  in shabby shape, with peeling paint and its arroyo stone retaining walls often the target of taggers. But those stone retaining walls, which can also be found on neighboring properties on Coronado and Sunset, are one of the  key reasons that make the 1910 home worth preserving, according to the historic monument application. The home, one of the first built in the Rowland Heights Tract, sits in what city planners call The Coronado Planning District, which is defined by a “rare and largely-intact concentration of arroyo stone retaining walls … that produce a uniform street scape and distinctive sense of place.”

The owners said they would repair and include the stone walls in a new development.

The commission’s decision now goes to the City Council for review.

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  1. score one for entrenched property owners seeking limit housing availability and keep rents/prices high!

  2. As the owner of a historic property in an HPOZ, I applaud the historic vigilantism of the neighbors.

    • I agree! I also own in an HPOZ and am currently going through the process to get a Mills Act.

      I see nothing but potential in the aforementioned house. It hasn’t even been stuccoed over. New construction doesn’t hold a candle to the bones and detail of these old houses. Old growth timber rules. My condolences to the developer who had big plans to cram a bunch of boxes on this lot. I’m sure there are other opportunities that don’t involve tearing down a craftsman bungalow.

  3. Thank you EVERYONE who sent comments and appeared at the hearing. Amazing news!!

  4. Busta,

    And how will 700,000 and up small lot three story developments help rental or housing affordability.? The developers don’t live here, they just want their profits and then move on to the next opportunity

    • @old timer, it’s basic economics really. more supply satisfies demand and lowers costs over time. putting restrictions on development is anti consumer, only serves to protect those at the top, who already own property in the vicinity. good work guys!

  5. “It’s a monument to what?”

    It’s a monument to one of the grandest ideas of 20th Century America — that craftsmen (hence the term) can profitably build pleasant neighborhoods of affordable, distinctive, single-family homes in which actual families (rather than collections of dissociated, transient roommates) can live their lives and raise their children amongst neighbors, not familiar strangers.

    THAT is what it’s a monument to.

  6. Great news.
    The reason many of us decided to purchase/move into in these historical neighborhoods is because we love the old homes, want to fix them up if needed, and because they are surrounded by HOUSES, not large towering boxes that stifle views and privacy.
    For those, such as “busta”(please don’t take it personally, just fir example) making such comments shows such people do not care what other property owners hold dear. I’m sick of this one sided “Buy Right” argument that ignores and often tramples the concerns and rights of existing property owners, that have invested sweat, tears, money and often broken knuckles into their property and neighborhoods, and using “Buy Right” to run roughshot over them and neighborhoods’ valid concerns just because someone purchased something. There must be a balance.
    “busta” you wanna blame someone for high rents, blame the city that has created this feeding frenzy of Corporate Developers driving up the purchase prices in bidding wars on properties all over the city in a mad rush to slap down Small Lot Subdivisions, artifically driving up property prices and in turn rents. SLS are not going to drop rents, they are for sale. All they will do is forever alter historic single family house neighborhoods for the worse and jam more and more residents in the small quaint areas. Venice is the perfect tragic example. Plus people can’t stop making babies, but that’s a whole other topic on another level.
    GREAT JOB all that fought to save this house and further the fight to stem the invasion of Small Lot Subdivisions into areas that they do not fit.
    Thank you.

    • @everettc no offense taken. this is a perfect example of homeowners + cultural heritage commission over extending their influence. i’m sorry, but no matter how awesome “old growth timber” is there is nothing special to see here. granting historic rights to a property such as this dilutes the validity of all historic grants the city allots.

      it’s a grand leap you’re making to blame development on raising prices. Prices are not raised by competition, which is what developers are creating by purchasing areas that have previously been underutilized. prices will stay high if development is hampered and inventory stays low.

  7. YAY! Let’s declare every house in silver lake (and echo park for that matter) historic! CHA CHING ON ALL MY INVESTMENTS!!!!

  8. Let’s be clear. The sole aim of a development like this is to make a large profit for the investors, with no consideration for the existing community and its history or future. Period.

    This developer is an experienced builder of malls and shopping centers. His proposed subdivision of this lot into 6 mini-lots is not intended to help anyone in need or improve access to housing. Rather, it would create 6 tiny and absurdly overpriced luxury properties in a previously non-luxury neighborhood. I won’t even get into the more superficial issues of aesthetics or scale with the surrounding houses, but “eyesore” would be an understatement.

    For the developer, this is nothing but property. For the community, it is home.

    We the residents of Silver Lake and Echo Park are not opposed to development or progress. We love true progress. But we do not love progress when it is defined as one man’s profit at an entire neighborhood’s expense.

    I applaud the commissioners and the community for standing up to developers like this. We must fight any way we can to stop these profiteers from razing our neighborhoods and leaving their monstrous footprints of greed all over Los Angeles.

  9. I was at the commission when this was on the agenda. Yes, the commission does good, but this house was being considered because of the river rock wall. At some point someone needs to call bullshit on a good intention (the commission) that has become abusive.

    I actually heard Commissioner Irvine say a particular apartment was “very typical” and that it should be declared a monument because it was a good example of a “typical apartment.

    Clearly there’s a need for reform.

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