Last month, Chattel received the John Wesley Powell Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government for its work on Building 209 at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center (West LA VA) Campus. The building was rehabilitated and now serves as transitional housing for 65 homeless Veterans. The project is one of only two award winners that were honored by the Society for History in the Federal Government in Baltimore, Maryland on March 17, 2016, during the Joint Annual Meeting of the National Council on Public History and the Society for History in the Federal Government. The award recognizes exceptional achievement in the field of historic preservation projects. The committee judged the project “to be an outstanding contribution to furthering the understanding of the history of the Federal Government on the basis of significance of subject matter, depth of research, rigor of methodology, clarity of presentation, and quality of style.”
Building 209 is Mission Revival in style and was constructed in 1945 as a hospital and canteen; it is a contributing resource to National Register-listed West LA VA Historic District. As historic preservation consultant, Chattel worked with architect Leo Daly to fully rehabilitate and seismically retrofit the building. Through research, rehabilitation, and evidence-based design, Building 209 was transformed and is now home to male and female Veterans who were formerly homeless. Comprising 51,500 square feet of space, the three-level building supports a functional program of specialized accommodations and provides residents with stable housing as well as the services necessary to aid in their recovery.
The John Wesley Powell Prize is the latest honor for the West LA VA Hospital Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing project. The project will also receive a Los Angeles Conservancy award at the Annual Preservation Awards Luncheon on May 5, 2016.