boyle heights, Los Angeles, California
The Boyle Hotel/Cummings Block is the last remaining commercial building from the early development of Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in the 1880s. When the Boyle Hotel was constructed in 1889, it reflected expansion and growth outside the commercial core in Los Angeles and represents the end of the nineteenth century transition from a bucolic town to a burgeoning city center surrounded by suburban neighborhoods.
Over the years, the Boyle Hotel became home to mariachi musicians who congregated daily in nearby Mariachi Plaza waiting to be hired. It became an important gathering place in Boyle Heights for these musicians, as well as for other social and civic events. Once the grandest building in the neighborhood, by 2006 the hotel had fallen into disrepair after years of neglect and was at risk of being demolished.
In 2012, the Boyle Hotel was rehabilitated and expanded to include a new residential addition at the west side of the historic building on the site of a former surface parking lot. The project proposed has kitchens and bathrooms in each historic hotel room, while historic fabric was preserved. The building was also upgraded to current safety codes and seismic retrofits were implemented. On the exterior, historic photographs were used as a guide to restore and reconstruct the building’s iconic corner cupola with conical cap, brick façade, and storefronts.
As historic preservation consultant, Chattel collaborated with non-profit developer East Los Angeles Community Corporation and architect Richard Barron to ensure rehabilitation plans conformed with the Secretary Standards for Rehabilitation. Chattel prepared a successful Historic Preservation Certification Application and a National Register nomination, and the Boyle Hotel was listed on the National Register in 2013. Rehabilitation costs of $7.6 million and new construction costs of $13.3 million were subsidized by a combination of historic and low-income housing tax credits.
The Boyle Hotel received a National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2013.