Silver Lake neighbors launch counter-attack against small-lot development

Waverly Drive project renderings/Marcus McInerney

The current owners of the 2925 Waverly Drive view the 1959 ranch-style house in Silver Lake as a tear down, with plans to replace it with five, three-story single-family homes.  But some of the neighbors view the same mid-century property designed by noted Chinese-American architect Gilbert L. Leong, who created numerous buildings in Chinatown, as a historic-landmark worthy of preservation. On  Thursday, the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission, over the objections of the owners,  decided it will consider declaring the approximately 2,000-square-foot house with a  pool  a city landmark, a move that  for now would prevent its demolition.

The commission will now take  closer look to see whether the home is indeed worthy of landmark status.

Land-use consultant Robert Cherno, who was hired by a group of neighbors opposed to the project, said the focus of declaring the house a landmark is to “save L.A. history” and not deter development.

The home’s architectural pedigree when it was promoted for sale earlier this year at an asking price of $947,000.  Leong designed the house for Dr. Miguel Tirado and his wife, actress Matildi Lion-Peligri, according to the monument application. The Tirado family owned the house until it was sold this year.

“It is virtually unaltered since construction and comes with a swimming pool that was part of the original design,” according to the application. “The house is significant as an intact example of mid-20th Century ranch style.”

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