commercial exchange building - Los Angeles - Los Angeles

commercial exchange building - Los Angeles - Los Angeles

COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE BUILDING 416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street CHC-2017-1565-HCM ENV-2017-1566-CE Agenda packet includes: 1. Final D...

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COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE BUILDING 416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street CHC-2017-1565-HCM ENV-2017-1566-CE

Agenda packet includes: 1. Final Determination Staff Recommendation Report 2. Categorical Exemption 3. Under Consideration Staff Recommendation Report 4. Historic-Cultural Monument Application

Please click on each document to be directly taken to the corresponding page of the PDF.

Los Angeles Department of City Planning RECOMMENDATION REPORT CULTURAL HERITAGE COMMISSION

CASE NO.: CHC-2017-1565-HCM ENV-2017-1566-CE

HEARING DATE: TIME: PLACE:

Location: 416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street Council District: 14 - Huizar Community Plan Area: Central City Area Planning Commission: Central Neighborhood Council: Downtown Los Angeles Legal Description: Portion of Block 53 Huber Tract, Lot FR LT 20

June 15, 2017 10:00 AM City Hall, Room 1010 200 N. Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012

EXPIRATION DATE: July 18, 2017

PROJECT:

Historic-Cultural Monument Application for the COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE BUILDING

REQUEST:

Declare the property a Historic-Cultural Monument

OWNER/ APPLICANT:

YSHRE LA LLC c/o Jeremy Selman 30 West 26th Street, 12th Floor New York, NY 10010

PREPARER:

Tara Hamacher and Roger Brevoort Historic Consultants 256 South Robertson Boulevard, #2401 Beverly Hills, CA 90211

RECOMMENDATION

That the Cultural Heritage Commission:

1. Declare the subject property a Historic-Cultural Monument per Los Angeles Administrative Code Chapter 9, Division 22, Article 1, Section 22.171.7. 2. Adopt the staff report and findings. VINCENT P. BERTONI, AICP Director of Planning [SIGNED ORIGINAL IN FILE]

[SIGNED ORIGINAL IN FILE]

Ken Bernstein, AICP, Manager Office of Historic Resources

Lambert M. Giessinger, Preservation Architect Office of Historic Resources

[SIGNED ORIGINAL IN FILE] Melissa Jones, Planning Assistant Office of Historic Resources Attachment:

Historic-Cultural Monument Application

CHC-2017-1565-HCM 416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street Page 2 of 5

FINDINGS •

The Commercial Exchange Building “reflects the broad cultural, economic, or social history of the nation, state, or community” for its association with the development of a new commercial core in downtown Los Angeles during the 1920s.



The Commercial Exchange Building “embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural-type specimen, inherently valuable for study of a period, style, or method of construction” as an excellent example of Beaux Arts commercial architecture in Downtown Los Angeles.



The Commercial Exchange Building is “a notable work of a master builder, designer, or architect whose individual genius influenced his or her age” as an excellent example of the work of Los Angeles-based master architects Albert R. Walker and Percy Eisen.

CRITERIA The criterion is the Cultural Heritage Ordinance which defines a historical or cultural monument as any site (including significant trees or other plant life located thereon) building or structure of particular historic or cultural significance to the City of Los Angeles, such as historic structures or sites in which the broad cultural, economic, or social history of the nation, State or community is reflected or exemplified, or which are identified with historic personages or with important events in the main currents of national, State or local history or which embody the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type specimen, inherently valuable for a study of a period style or method of construction, or a notable work of a master builder, designer or architect whose individual genius influenced his age.

SUMMARY The Commercial Exchange Building, constructed in 1924, is a 13-story Renaissance Revivalstyle commercial building located in downtown Los Angeles at the southeast corner of West 8th Street and South Olive Street. It was designed by prominent Los Angeles architects Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen, and was built by the William Simpson Construction Company for Rudolph Rosenberg of the Eighth and Olive Holding Company. The building was constructed to be an office building in a period of major skyscraper development in the city’s central business district. Characterized by two primary elevations—Olive Street on the west and 8th Street on the north— the subject property has a rectangular plan with a classical, tripartite composition conveyed by a horizontal division of base, shaft, and cornice. The main entry is at the northeast corner and is recessed and framed by terra cotta. The building is clad in red brick with contrasting terra cotta window sills. Windows at the street facing facades are one-over-one, wood sash units grouped in sets of two. The first floor is capped with a metal cornice that spans across the storefronts on both facades and at the base there are inlaid terra cotta bands and a terra cotta stringcourse above the second story. The top two floors feature a decorative floral treatment, engaged pilasters, Corinthian capitals, and a terra cotta cornice. An original fire escape is at the center of the west façade that spans between floors two through thirteen and a neon blade sign is located at the southwest corner. On the interior, the ground floor features an elevator lobby sheathed with buff-colored marble, a barrel-vaulted, coffered ceiling over the lobby area, and a marble

CHC-2017-1565-HCM 416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street Page 3 of 5

staircase. Floors 2 through 12 feature a T-shaped, stacked plan comprised of an elevator lobby at the east side of each floor with a central corridor spanning east to west. The corridors have marble baseboards and wood-frame doors, with sidelights and transoms. Both Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen were native Californians. Walker was born in Sonoma, California in 1881. He attended a special study at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island in 1902. Following apprenticeships with firms that included Hebbard and Gill, Parkinson and Bergstrum, A.E. Rosenheim, and Hunt and Grey, Walker established his own practice in 1909. In 1919, Walker partnered with Percy A. Eisen to form Walker & Eisen Architects and Engineers. Eisen was born in San Francisco in 1885 and was trained alongside his architect father, Theodore Eisen. As early as 1908, Percy was in architectural practice with his father as Eisen and Son, Architects. Together, Walker & Eisen designed over 200 buildings and are responsible for such prominent landmarks as the Fine Arts Building (1927, HistoricCultural Monument #125); the Texaco/United Artists Building (1927, Historic-Cultural Monument #523); the Oviatt Building (1928, Historic Cultural-Monument #195); the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (1928); and the Normandie Hotel (1926, Historic-Cultural Monument #1013). Over the years, the subject property has experienced several alterations, the most significant of which were the removal of a five-foot section of the building and the resulting modifications to the storefronts, to accommodate a City of Los Angeles sidewalk widening project in 1935. Other alterations include the installation of awnings in 1936, the addition of two doors and transoms over the basement entrance on the Olive Street façade in 1947, modifications to the lobby in 1955, and the removal of the overhanging projection of the cornice in 1965. The citywide historic resources survey, SurveyLA, identified the Commercial Exchange Building as individually eligible for listing or designation at the national, state and local levels as an excellent example of Beaux Arts commercial architecture in Downtown Los Angeles and a work of noted Los Angeles architects Walker and Eisen.

DISCUSSION The Commercial Exchange Building successfully meets three of the Historic-Cultural Monument criteria. The property “reflects the broad cultural, economic, or social history of the nation, state, or community” for its association with the development of a new commercial core in downtown Los Angeles during the 1920s. Between the turn of the twentieth century and the late 1920s, Los Angeles’ central business district shifted south and west from its beginnings around 3rd Street and matured into a quintessential American downtown. Scores of new buildings, including the subject property, were erected at the maximum allowable height at the time—150 feet, or roughly 13 stories—to house the entire gamut of commercial uses including banks and financial institutions, hotels, offices, department stores, and smaller retail outlets. Similar to the subject property, many of these buildings featured some combination of commercial uses, typically with retail on the ground story and offices above. Almost all were intended to be bold architectural statements that showcased an architect’s mastery of the Beaux Arts tradition or other, similar architectural styles that exuded formality and prosperity, and the subject property was no exception. When the Commercial Exchange Building was completed it was the only height-limit building on the block and immediate vicinity and helped to define the face of downtown Los Angeles as a metropolitan city. The Commercial Building also “embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architecturaltype specimen, inherently valuable for study of a period, style, or method of construction” as an

CHC-2017-1565-HCM 416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street Page 4 of 5

excellent example of Beaux Arts commercial architecture in Downtown Los Angeles. Reflective of the Beaux Arts style, the subject property has a Classical tripartite composition, symmetrical façade, flat roof, brick walls, rusticated first floor, and panels with floral low-relief carvings. Other distinguishing characteristics are the property’s dentiled cornice, engaged pilasters, and original blade sign. Further, the Commercial Exchange Building is “a notable work of a master builder, designer, or architect whose individual genius influenced his or her age” as an excellent example of the work of Los Angeles-based master architects Albert R. Walker and Percy Eisen. The firm of Walker & Eisen Architects and Engineers was the preeminent architectural firm in Southern California during the 1920s and 1940s. They were especially prolific in Los Angeles designing many commercial buildings, apartment houses and hotels. Together with contemporary peer firms that included Allison and Allison, Parkinson and Parkinson, and Albert C. Martin and Associates, Walker and Eisen were responsible for significantly shaping the urban form of Los Angeles during the early 20th century. While in practice together from 1919 to 1941, they designed more than 250 buildings, primarily focused on larger scale commercial office buildings, apartment houses, hotels, and movie theaters. The subject property is significant not only for Walker and Eisen’s original 1924 design in the archetypal revival-style aesthetic used for early 20th century American skyscrapers, but also for their involvement with repairing the building after the removal of a section in 1935. Although there have been interior and exterior alterations over the years, the subject property continues to maintain a high level of integrity of location, design, materials, setting, workmanship, and feeling.

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (“CEQA”) FINDINGS State of California CEQA Guidelines, Article 19, Section 15308, Class 8 “consists of actions taken by regulatory agencies, as authorized by state or local ordinance, to assure the maintenance, restoration, enhancement, or protection of the environment where the regulatory process involves procedures for protection of the environment.” State of California CEQA Guidelines Article 19, Section 15331, Class 31 “consists of projects limited to maintenance, repair, stabilization, rehabilitation, restoration, preservation, conservation or reconstruction of historical resources in a manner consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring, and Reconstructing Historic buildings.” The designation of the Commercial Exchange Building as an Historic-Cultural Monument in accordance with Chapter 9, Article 1, of The City of Los Angeles Administrative Code (“LAAC”) will ensure that future construction activities involving the subject property are regulated in accordance with Section 22.171.14 of the LAAC. The purpose of the designation is to prevent significant impacts to a Historic-Cultural Monument through the application of the standards set forth in the LAAC. Without the regulation imposed by way of the pending designation, the historic significance and integrity of the subject property could be lost through incompatible alterations and new construction and the demolition of an irreplaceable historic site/open space. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation are expressly incorporated into the LAAC and provide standards concerning the historically appropriate construction activities which will ensure the continued preservation of the subject property.

CHC-2017-1565-HCM 416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street Page 5 of 5

The use of Categorical Exemption Class 8 in connection with the proposed designation is consistent with the goals of maintaining, restoring, enhancing, and protecting the environment through the imposition of regulations designed to prevent the degradation of Historic-Cultural Monuments. The use of Categorical Exemption Class 31 in connection with the proposed designation is consistent with the goals relating to the preservation, rehabilitation, restoration and reconstruction of historic buildings and sites in a manner consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Categorical Exemption ENV-2017-1566-CE was prepared on May 31, 2017.

BACKGROUND On May 4, 2017 the Cultural Heritage Commission voted to take the property under consideration. On May 25, a subcommittee of the Commission consisting of Commissioners Barron and Milofsky visited the property, accompanied by staff members from the Office of Historic Resources.

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

COUNTY CLERK’S USE

CITY CLERK’S USE

OFFICE OF THE CITY CLERK 200 NORTH SPRING STREET, ROOM 360 LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90012

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT

NOTICE OF EXEMPTION (California Environmental Quality Act Section 15062) Filing of this form is optional. If filed, the form shall be filed with the County Clerk, 12400 E. Imperial Highway, Norwalk, CA 90650, pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 21152 (b). Pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 21167 (d), the filing of this notice starts a 35-day statute of limitations on court challenges to the approval of the project. Failure to file this notice with the County Clerk results in the statute of limitations being extended to 180 days. LEAD CITY AGENCY COUNCIL DISTRICT

14

City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning PROJECT TITLE

LOG REFERENCE

Commercial Exchange Building

ENV-2017-1566-CE CHC-2017-1565-HCM

PROJECT LOCATION

416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014 DESCRIPTION OF NATURE, PURPOSE, AND BENEFICIARIES OF PROJECT:

Designation of the Commercial Exchange Building as an Historic-Cultural Monument. NAME OF PERSON OR AGENCY CARRYING OUT PROJECT, IF OTHER THAN LEAD CITY AGENCY: CONTACT PERSON

AREA CODE 213

Melissa Jones

| TELEPHONE NUMBER

|

EXT.

978-1192

EXEMPT STATUS: (Check One) STATE CEQA GUIDELINES MINISTERIAL

×

CITY CEQA GUIDELINES

Sec. 15268

Art. II, Sec. 2b

DECLARED EMERGENCY

Sec. 15269

Art. II, Sec. 2a (1)

EMERGENCY PROJECT

Sec. 15269 (b) & (c)

Art. II, Sec. 2a (2) & (3)

CATEGORICAL EXEMPTION

Sec. 15300 et seq.

Art. III, Sec. 1

Class _____ 8 & 31_______ Category OTHER

(City CEQA Guidelines)

(See Public Resources Code Sec. 21080 (b) and set forth state and City guideline provision.

JUSTIFICATION FOR PROJECT EXEMPTION: Article 19, Section 15308, Class 8 of the State’s Guidelines applies to where project’s consists of “actions taken by regulatory agencies, as authorized by state or local ordinance, to assure the maintenance, restoration, enhancement, or protection of the environment where the regulatory process involves procedures for protection of the environment.” Class 31 applies “to maintenance, repair, stabilization, rehabilitation, restoration, preservation, or reconstruction of historical resources in a manner consistent with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Buildings.” Designation of the Commercial Exchange Building as an Historic-Cultural Monument will assure the protection of the environment by the enactment of project review regulations based on the Secretary of Interior’s Standards to maintain and preserve the historic site. IF FILED BY APPLICANT, ATTACH CERTIFIED DOCUMENT ISSUED BY THE CITY PLANNING DEPARTMENT STATING THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS FOUND THE PROJECT TO BE EXEMPT. SIGNATURE

TITLE

[SIGNED COPY IN FILE]

Planning Assistant

FEE:

RECEIPT NO.

DATE REC’D. BY

DISTRIBUTION: (1) County Clerk, (2) City Clerk, (3) Agency Record IF FILED BY THE APPLICANT: NAME (PRINTED)

DATE

SIGNATURE

May 31, 2017 DATE

Los Angeles Department of City Planning RECOMMENDATION REPORT CULTURAL HERITAGE COMMISSION

CASE NO.: CHC-2017-1565-HCM ENV-2017-1566-CE

HEARING DATE: TIME: PLACE:

Location: 416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street Council District: 14 - Huizar Community Plan Area: Central City Area Planning Commission: Central Neighborhood Council: Downtown Los Angeles Legal Description: Portion of Block 53 Huber Tract, Lot FR LT 20

May 4, 2017 10:00 AM City Hall, Room 1010 200 N. Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012

PROJECT:

Historic-Cultural Monument Application for the COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE BUILDING

REQUEST:

Declare the property a Historic-Cultural Monument

OWNER/ APPLICANT:

YSHRE LA LLC c/o Jeremy Selman 30 West 26th Street, 12th Floor New York, NY 10010

PREPARER:

Tara Hamacher and Roger Brevoort Historic Consultants 256 South Robertson Boulevard, #2401 Beverly Hills, CA 90211

RECOMMENDATION

That the Cultural Heritage Commission:

1. Take the property under consideration as a Historic-Cultural Monument per Los Angeles Administrative Code Chapter 9, Division 22, Article 1, Section 22.171.10 because the application and accompanying photo documentation suggest the submittal warrants further investigation. 2. Adopt the report findings. VINCENT P. BERTONI, AICP Director of PlanningN1907 [SIGNED ORIGINAL IN FILE]

[SIGNED ORIGINAL IN FILE]

Ken Bernstein, AICP, Manager Office of Historic Resources

Lambert M. Giessinger, Preservation Architect Office of Historic Resources

[SIGNED ORIGINAL IN FILE] Melissa Jones, Planning Assistant Office of Historic Resources

Attachment:

Historic-Cultural Monument Application

CHC-2017-1565-HCM 416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street Page 2 of 3

SUMMARY The Commercial Exchange Building, constructed in 1924, is a 13-story Renaissance Revivalstyle commercial building located in downtown Los Angeles at the southeast corner of West 8th Street and South Olive Street. It was designed by prominent Los Angeles architects Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen, and was built by the William Simpson Construction Company for Rudolph Rosenberg of the Eighth and Olive Holding Company. The building was constructed to be an office building in a period of major skyscraper development in the city’s central business district. Characterized by two primary elevations—Olive Street on the west and 8th Street on the north— the subject property has a rectangular plan with a classical, tripartite composition conveyed by a horizontal division of base, shaft, and cornice. The main entry is at the northeast corner and is recessed and framed by terra cotta. The building is clad in red brick with contrasting terra cotta window sills. Windows at the street facing facades are one-over-one, wood sash units grouped in sets of two. The first floor is capped with a metal cornice that spans across the storefronts on both facades and at the base there are inlaid terra cotta bands and a terra cotta stringcourse above the second story. The top two floors feature a decorative floral treatment, engaged pilasters, Corinthian capitals, and a terra cotta cornice. An original fire escape is at the center of the west façade that spans between floors two through thirteen and a neon blade sign is located at the southwest corner. On the interior, the ground floor features an elevator lobby sheathed with buff-colored marble, a barrel-vaulted, coffered ceiling over the lobby area, and a marble staircase. Floors 2 through 12 feature a T-shaped, stacked plan comprised of an elevator lobby at the east side of each floor with a central corridor spanning east to west. The corridors have marble baseboards and wood-frame doors, with sidelights and transoms. Both Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen were native Californians. Walker was born in Sonoma, California in 1881. He attended a special study at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island in 1902. Following apprenticeships with firms that included Hebbard and Gill, Parkinson and Bergstrum, A.E. Rosenheim, and Hunt and Grey, Walker established his own practice in 1909. In 1919, Walker partnered with Percy A. Eisen to form Walker & Eisen Architects and Engineers. Eisen was born in San Francisco in 1885 and was trained alongside his architect father, Theodore Eisen. As early as 1908, Percy was in architectural practice with his father as Eisen and Son, Architects. Together, Walker & Eisen designed over 200 buildings and are responsible for such prominent landmarks as the Fine Arts Building (1927, HistoricCultural Monument #125); the Texaco/United Artists Building (1927, Historic-Cultural Monument #523); the Oviatt Building (1928, Historic Cultural-Monument #195); the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (1928); and the Normandie Hotel (1926, Historic-Cultural Monument #1013). Over the years, the subject property has experienced several alterations, the most significant of which were the removal of a five-foot section of the building and the resulting modifications to the storefronts, to accommodate a City of Los Angeles sidewalk widening project in 1935. Other alterations include the installation of awnings in 1936, the addition of two doors and transoms over the basement entrance on the Olive Street façade in 1947, modifications to the lobby in 1955, and the removal of the overhanging projection of the cornice in 1965. The citywide historic resources survey, SurveyLA, identified the Commercial Exchange Building as individually eligible for listing or designation at the national, state and local levels as an excellent example of Beaux Arts commercial architecture in Downtown Los Angeles and a work of noted Los Angeles architects Walker and Eisen.

CHC-2017-1565-HCM 416-436 West 8th Street and 800 South Olive Street Page 3 of 3

CRITERIA The criterion is the Cultural Heritage Ordinance which defines a historical or cultural monument as any site (including significant trees or other plant life located thereon) building or structure of particular historic or cultural significance to the City of Los Angeles, such as historic structures or sites in which the broad cultural, economic, or social history of the nation, State or community is reflected or exemplified, or which are identified with historic personages or with important events in the main currents of national, State or local history or which embody the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type specimen, inherently valuable for a study of a period style or method of construction, or a notable work of a master builder, designer or architect whose individual genius influenced his age.

FINDINGS Based on the facts set forth in the summary and application, the Commission determines that the application is complete and that the property may be significant enough to warrant further investigation as a potential Historic-Cultural Monument.