Robert Chattel was honored to be one of several former California Historical Society board of trustee members to attend the Gala event on January 11, 2018 honoring statesman George P. Shultz. A tireless public servant, Dr. Shultz served two different Republican presidents of the United States: as Secretary of Labor, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Secretary of the Treasury under Richard Nixon, and then as Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan. In 1972, while serving as Secretary of the Treasury in the Nixon Administration, Dr. Shultz helped save the Old U.S. Mint from demolition, preserving one of the most important historic buildings in the western United States. In 2016, the City and County of San Francisco selected CHS, the State’s official historical society, as its partner on the Old U.S. Mint Restoration Project. Together CHS and San Francisco are exploring the 1874 National Historic Landmark as CHS' future headquarters and a center for history and learning. Images below are from 2016 when CHS and San Francisco announced a $1 million State grant to fund additional work to further the project.
Chattel did a hard hat tour of the new Academy Museum in the former May Co department store at Wilshire and Fairfax. Our tour guide was Andrew Werner, facilities director for the new Museum. It was great to see how the Renzo Piano-designed addition will connect to the Albert C Martin, Sr-designed Art Deco/Streamline Moderne 1939 department store.
Following the hard hat tour, we gathered at Tom Bergin's on Fairfax for dinner and drinks with pub owner Derek Schreck. In 1936, the pub opened as Tom Bergin's Old Horseshoe Tavern & Troroughbred Club on Wilshire. The Vestry whiskey lounge on the newly rehabilitated and expanded second floor was especially fun! Check out Vestry on LA Eater.
Our last event of the year was our annual holiday staff party. And this year, it was MAGIC! It helped that we were welcomed to The Academy of Magical Arts at Magic Castle. We thoroughly enjoyed a great meal and entertainment in the Lane Mansion in Hollywood, as re- imagined by impresario Milt Larson. The Lane Mansion is a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and has a Mills Act historical property contract. It's always good to see the properties we inspect after hours.
Have happy holidays and a great new year!
Over a century old, the Ernst Mueller House sits proudly on a piece of what was once a 30-acre ranch of citrus groves and magnolia trees. Today, the rehabilitated Ernst Mueller House is preserved amidst the rapidly developing Etiwanda neighborhood of the City of Rancho Cucamonga. Chattel worked closely with GFR Homes as they developed Mueller's Grove, a subdivision of 10 newly constructed single family homes. The goal was to ensure the ranch house's historic rural setting was preserved.
Built in 1914, the Ernst Mueller House is a Craftsman ranch house once surrounded by citrus groves of lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. Today, it is a rare example of a property that still retains its integrity and feel as an early citrus ranch.
Ernst Mueller was a German immigrant and early settler of Etiwanda, California, who gained prominence as a citrus grower and active promoter of the citrus industry. Sources cite Ernst as being proactive in picking his lemon crops prior to the "freeze of 1913," which devastated much of the region's crops and in turn Southern California's citrus industry (Historic American Buildings Survey, National Park Service, 2000). It was his success as a grower that enabled Ernst to construct the two-story, eight-room Craftsman ranch house.
In 1994, the Ernst Mueller House property was designated a local City of Rancho Cucamonga Historic Landmark. This designation included the house, what was remaining of the surrounding citrus grove, Eucalyptus wind-rows, and a bordering row of magnolia trees planted by Ernst himself in the early 20th century.
Twenty years after it was determined National Register eligible in a Section 106 survey for the Route 30 (now I-210) freeway, Chattel collaborated with developer GFR Homes to ensure the setting of the Ernst Mueller House was retained as proposed subdivision plans were drafted. Chattel's report sought retention in two notable ways:
First, a portion of the historic agricultural setting was retained by incorporating a buffer of space around the house. A reverse frontage and step-in retaining walls provided the house with "breathing room" amid the adjacent properties of Mueller's Grove.
Second, a new garage was constructed and made accessible from the rear, where a new street servicing the Mueller's Grove development was constructed.
Today, the Ernst Mueller House evokes the memory of an early citrus ranch celebrating the legacy of agriculture in a rapidly urbanizing community.
Preservation and adaptive reuse of the
1925 Maxfield Building in Downtown Los Angeles
Located at 819 Santee Street, the Maxfield Building was once a prominent high-rise in the early twentieth century Garment District. Today, it stands as an excellent example of a historic industrial daylight factory and is locally significant for its association with the development of Los Angeles's garment industry.
The Maxfield Building was designated a City of Los Angeles's Historic-Cultural Monument #1092 in August of 2015, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in September of 2017. We worked closely with property owner Urban Foresight, LLC and the project has been certified for Investment Tax Credits. Our favorite contributions to the Maxfield Building were advising on approaches to the rooftop sign, interior doors, and steel sash windows.
Rehabilitation of the historic rooftop sign. Historically, the Maxfield Building's rooftop sign was a multi-story open panel rooftop sign that read "Maxfield Building" and "819 Santee". Each letter electrified by dozens of individual incandescent light bulbs, the historic sign faced east toward the Southern Pacific Railway station where lone travelers and passersby exiting the train at Alameda Street could easily identify it. Decades of neglect later, however, the historic sign was left nearly crumbling, deteriorated, and unidentifiable. Today, the rooftop sign stands proud and visible, with individual LED light bulbs to match the historic sign's light bulbs. Now, the rehabilitated rooftop sign pays homage to its past.
Rehabilitation of historic interior wood doors. When working with the National Park Service, we were asked to recreate wood interior doors inspired in form by the historic doors simply because there were not enough original doors left to salvage. The result? All residential unit doors are compatible interpretations of originals, complete with transoms and side lights. Through trial-and-error, we selected a skilled painter to faux paint the metal door frames to match the new wood doors.
Rehabilitation of historic daylight windows. One of the most rewarding elements of this project was rehabilitation of the huge daylight windows. As a daylight factory, the industrial steel sash windows allowed as much light into the interior as possible. This natural light and ventilation maximized efficiency of the workers. While all the frames and sash are original, the glazing was replaced to reduce heat gain and provide a pleasant environment for today's residents.
Late Spring 2017 issue. Mob Museum on a visual spread featured on 'The Source,' a selective list of insider recommendations on where to eat, drink, and play in Las Vegas:
Spring 2017 issue. Neon Museum recommended by a Vegas local, featured on 'The Source':
Since a few Vegas insiders thought it worthwhile to highlight two of our favorite Vegas projects, we wanted to share some of Chattel's own insider shots of the Mob Museum and Neon Museum—in all their glowing, night-time glory:
Chattel recently received national attention for our consulting work in historic preservation and expertise in restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings. Check out the resources below provided by the National Park Service (NPS) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)!
Update to Preservation Brief 41:
The Seismic Retrofit of Historic Buildings
Chattel's photo (pictured above) was cited by the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior in a 2016 update to Preservation Brief 41: The Seismic Retrofit of Historic Buildings. A Preservation Brief provides guidance to property owners, contractors, and consultants for preserving, rehabilitating, and restoring historic buildings. Chattel's work on the Maxfield Building was used as an example of responsible design utilizing steel-frame reinforcement specific to seismic deficiency remediation for a concrete-frame building.
You can download the Brief here.
Section 106 Success Story:
West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs
(West LA VA) Medical Center
Chattel's work on the rehabilitation and seismic retrofit of Building 209 at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center (West LA VA) Campus was featured as one of a few select Section 106 Success Stories listed by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). Section 106 is a federal process under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended (NHPA) that protects historic resources by "requiring federal agencies to consider the effects on historic properties of any project they carry out or which receives federal financial assistance, permits or approvals, and provide the ACHP an opportunity to comment on these projects prior to making a final decision." (ACHP, 2016).
The Success Story--which can be downloaded here--describes the Section 106 review process and the unique story behind Building 209's rehabilitation. You can read more about the West LA VA project here, as well as the many awards it has garnered.
Keep up with Chattel by following our blog and the links below!
Last month’s LA Conservancy Awards Luncheon wasn’t the only fun we had while on the job. We also attended the California Preservation Foundation (CPF) Conference in Pasadena, and spent some QT (quality time) team building at BLVD Kitchen!
CALIFORNIA PRESERVATION FOUNDATION CONFERENCE
From May 10th through 13th, we participated in the CPF Conference: Preservation at the Forefront. While there, we hosted and presented at a workshop, went on a historic walking tour, and sponsored the much anticipated Three-Minute Success Stories event.
On the 10th, Senior Associate Nels Youngborg was a panelist at the workshop “Incentives for Historic Properties: A Training for REALTORS,” providing information on how to gain access to financial incentives for historic preservation. Events were held at the Gamble House and the 1910 Hindry House in Pasadena. Chattel sponsored and presented at the much-anticipated Three-Minute Success Stories event, which included various performances. This event took place within the historic Stuart Pharmaceutical Building, a rehabilitation and adaptive reuse project in which we served as historic preservation-consultants. Read more about our involvement with the Stuart Building here.
As a well-deserved break earlier in the month, the Chattel team got our hands dirty with some good ol’ fashioned homecooking at BLVD Kitchen in Sherman Oaks. We are quite the multi-talented crew!
....And we're back. So much has happened during our short blogging hiatus, but we first want to highlight some of our recent recognition for some of our beloved past projects.
Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Awards
This year’s Chairman’s Award of the 2017 Preservation Awards hosted by the Los Angeles Conservancy was presented to the project team behind SurveyLA: The Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey. Led by the City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning, and the J. Paul Getty Trust, SurveyLA consisted of a wholesome effort between public and private entities toward what’s been recognized as the “largest and most comprehensive survey ever completed by an American city.” The award was presented at the LA Conservancy’s 36th Annual Preservation Awards Luncheon earlier this month on May 3rd at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. At the luncheon, our team was recognized for our contribution in this 10-year effort which included a mix of survey work and preparing historical context statements. We wrote the Chinese American Historical Context statement, as well as the Industrial Context statement in collaboration with LSA Associates. Additionally, we participated in survey efforts for the South Los Angeles Community Plan Area. We are proud to have been involved in such a momentous endeavor!
Dorothy Wright Brick and Mortar Award
All of our hard work at the Historic Westside School in Las Vegas has finally paid off. On May 17, 2017, the City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission recognized the rehabilitation of the Historic Westside School Campus with the Dorothy Wright Brick and Mortar Award. The project was further recognized for its rehabilitation efforts in the “Proclamation from the office of the Mayor” declaring the month of May as “National Preservation Month” for the City of Las Vegas. Read more about our involvement with the Historic Westside School Campus rehabilitation project here.
Chattel is proud to announce that we were recently awarded two Preservation Design Awards by the California Preservation Foundation for our work on Mission Santa Barbara and Building 209 at the VA West LA. Mission Santa Barbara was selected for an award in the Preservation category. Building 209 was selected for an award in the Rehabilitation category.
The Awards ceremony was held at the Arboretum at Christ Cathedral (formerly Crystal Cathedral) in Garden Grove.
We can't believe it's already August! We are especially excited about the grand opening on the 27th of the recently rehabilitated Historic Westside School in Las Vegas. The Mission Revival school was constructed in 1923 and a Ranch style annex was added in 1948. The school served predominantly Native American and African American residents of Old Town, which later became known as the Westside. Although the 1954 decision in the U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education declared that laws establishing separate schools for black and white students were unconstitutional, public education in Las Vegas remained segregated. The school closed in 1967 and was underused until now. Check out the video below to get a sneak peek of the work!
The dramatic transformation of the Historic Westside School is shown below.
We’re also proud to announce that Chattel is now on Facebook and Instagram. We recently hit 50 followers! Be sure to like/follow us to stay up to date on all of our projects and for the latest news on historic preservation work in not only Los Angeles, but all over California and the West! Follow us at the links below.