California Historical Building Code


Ford Factory
arts district, Los Angeles, California

Chattel prepared a Historic Resource Assessment for the 1914 Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant in downtown Los Angeles, finding it eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, California Register of Historic Places, and for designation as a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument for its association with the Ford Motor Company, and as a Beaux-Arts styled daylight automobile assembly plant. Under the California Environmental Quality Act, when a project is expected to cause substantial adverse change to a historical resource, environmental clearance for the project would require mitigation measures to reduce impacts.

As the qualified historic architect, Chattel produced a CEQA Impacts Analysis and ensured the Ford Factory's continued conformance with the Secretary's Standards through design collaboration and construction monitoring with owner Shorenstein and project architect Rockefeller Kempel Architects. Thus, environmental impacts were reduced to a less than significant impact, and the Ford Factory came back to life with new creative office and retail space for tenant Warner Music Group.


Maxfield Building
garment district, Los Angeles, California

Chattel was engaged as historic preservation consultant for the 1924 Maxfield Building, a 12-story Art Deco building notable as an early high-rise daylight garment factory and for the garment industry influence of its original main tenant, Maxfield & Co. The scope of services included designation of the building as a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in August 2015, and listing in the National Register of Historic Places in September 2017. Notably, building housed a branch of Los Angeles-based Seaboard National Bank, opened in 1934. Seaboard was a pioneer in factoring for garment industry clients, which led to its acquisition by Bank of America in 1936.

During the building’s adaptation into residential lofts, Chattel performed a conformance review report to evaluate consistency of the proposed project with the Secretary’s Standards and address any environmental impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act. The Maxfield Building has a Mills Act historical property contract and received Historic Tax Credits. Chattel worked closely with property owner Urban Foresight, LLC to rehabilitate a remnant of a historic rooftop sign using the California Historical Building Code, and advised on appropriate treatments to interior corridors including reconstructing doors with glass transoms and sidelights, steel sash window rehabilitation using replacement glass, and a building signage program.

Adaptive reuse under the City ordinance requires seismic retrofit and the project was featured page 16 in National Park Service Preservation Brief 41: The Seismic Retrofit of Historic Buildings, see: https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/preservedocs/preservation-briefs/41Preserve-Brief_SeismicRetrofit.pdf.