Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
San Clemente, California
Situated on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Spanish Colonial Revival style Casa Romantica was constructed in 1928 for City of San Clemente founder Ole Hanson. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Chattel participated in a project to reuse Casa Romantica as a cultural facility from conception in 2000 through completion in 2004.
Chattel collaborated with cultural planners WolfBrown to prepare a building reuse feasibility study, assess community needs for a cultural facility, map significant spaces, evaluate reuse opportunities and constraints, and prepare conceptual facility layouts. The scope of services included participation in stakeholder interviews, community workshops and public hearings. Chattel then worked with City staff to complete project environmental review and California Coastal Commission clearance, prepare scopes of work for and participate in selection of design and landscape architects, as well as exhibit designer. Design collaboration with the project team of architect Tony Stark, landscape architects Isabelle Greene and Lauren Melendrez, and exhibit designer Robert Checci ensured reuse plans were in conformance with the Secretary’s Standards.
The resulting Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is operated by a non-profit organization established as an implementation measure of the reuse feasibility study. Incorporating grounds landscaped with native plant species, a wet art workroom in a new subterranean addition, and an amphitheater, it is home to the local history collection of the nearby public library and a wide array of events, ranging from poetry readings to Flamenco dancing.
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Los Angeles, California
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is a Mexican-American museum and cultural center housed in two adjacent historic buildings at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic District, near downtown Los Angeles. Both buildings, the 1883 Plaza House and the 1888 Vickrey-Brunswig Building, were purchased by the County of Los Angeles in 1948 and rehabilitated together in 2011 to house LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.
Chattel provided expert witness consulting services to the Los Angeles County Office of the County Counsel relating to the case of Accent Builders, Inc. v. County of Los Angeles and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. The case involved the rehabilitation and seismic retrofit of both the Plaza House and the Vickrey-Brunswig buildings during the 2011 rehabilitation. Chattel reviewed the case documents, project drawings and photographic documentation, and conducted a site inspection in order to provide expert witness testimony in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Extension of staff
west hollywood, California
Chattel serves as extension of staff for the City of West Hollywood in support of the historic preservation program. Services have been diverse and included assisting with Mills Act periodic and pre-approval inspections, review and comment on pending Historic Resource Assessments and Certificates of Appropriateness. The firm has also prepared inspection reports, advised on appropriate treatments, and presented at public hearings. Chattel is currently drafting revisions to the historic preservation ordinance to update best practices and provide greater clarity and consistency.
For the building at 9091 Santa Monica Boulevard at the corner of Doheny Drive at the City’s western boundary with Beverly Hills, Chattel participated in Cultural Resource designation, Mills Act contract scope of work, and Certificate of Appropriateness project review. This work involved collaboration with staff and the applicant team including historic preservation consultant Architectural Resources Group and Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects. The long vacant building is proposed to be reused as a very small, six-guestroom boutique hotel with rooftop amenity and ground floor retail. The historic building was identified as eligible in a recent commercial historic resource survey by GPA Consulting. It was designated in part for its rooftop billboard as it reflects historic off-site advertising traditions in West Hollywood.