1012 second street
santa monica, California

1012 2nd Street a used historic preservation incentive program embodied in the Santa Monica Municipal Code that is a critical and important part of the City’s historic preservation program. Initially adopted by City Council in 2006 as a Zoning Variance process, the program is now implemented through review of Major Modifications to allow some flexibility in development standards and implementation of incentives for projects that include the retention and preservation of a designated Landmark building or Contributing Structure to an adopted Historic District. The 1895 Landmark turn-of-the-20th cottage was once owned by Glendale and San Fernando developer Leslie Brand and used as a weekend retreat. Designated in 2005, the property was initially identified in the City Historic Resource Inventory. When demolition was proposed, the Landmarks Commission took action to preserve the Landmark cottage but allow demolition of a 1924 multi-family unit building at the rear of the property.

Rehabilitation and expansion of 1012 2nd Street yielded a four-unit condominium with subterranean parking. The Landmark cottage is part of the unit that extends into the new construction via a glass enclosed bridge. Chattel collaborated with archtiect Howard Laks on the design, which integrates new and old quite skillfully with the bridge connection serving as a hyphen. Among the incentives used to allow the project was the ability to add additional floor area to the new construction, essentially acting as a on-site transfer of development rights. The top level unit is a flat configuration that is set back from all elevations to reduce its apparent mass and read as a penthouse.

The Cities of West Hollywood (rehabilitation incentives) and Beverly Hills (historic incentives permit) have both adopted similar programs that allow for flexibility in addressing conditions unique to designated historic resources. These conditions severely restrict allowable development and constrain feasible reuse, rehabilitation and expansion. By providing reasonable accommodation and ensuring conformance with the Secretary’s Standards, these projects have been exemplary, award-winning good neighbors. 1012 2nd Street, completed in 2016 and recipient of a Santa Monica Conservancy Rehabilitation Award, and 954 5th Street, completed in 2018, are two such projects worthy of note. The former San Vicente Inn (now San Vicente Bungalows and No. 850) completed in 2018, is a comparable example in West Hollywood.