California Historical Building Code

Ford Factory
arts district, Los Angeles, California

Chattel prepared a Historic Resource Assessment (HRA) for environmental clearance of the 1914 Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant (Ford Factory) 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 (CEQA), 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. Mitigation measures for the Ford Factory included design collaboration and construction monitoring, which resulted in application of the California Historical Building Code.

Chattel produced a CEQA Impacts Analysis as the qualified historic architect, including mitigation measures which 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. Chattel provided guidance on appropriate treatments using the Secretary’s Standards, as well as as application of the California Historical Building Code throughout design collaboration and construction monitoring. Thus, environmental impacts of the Ford Factory were reduced to a less than significant impact, and new creative office and retail spaces were enabled for tenant Warner Music Group.

Maxfield Building
garment district, Los Angeles, California

Chattel consulted on adaptive reuse of the 1924 Maxfield Building in downtown Los Angeles, applying the California Historical Building Code toward its adaptive reuse into residential lofts. The Maxfield Building is 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. As historic preservation consultant, Chattel’s scope of services included designation of the building as a City of Los Angeles (City) Historic-Cultural Monument in August 2015, and listing in the National Register of Historic Places in September 2017. Notably, the Maxfield Building housed a branch of Los Angeles-based Seaboard National Bank, which opened in 1934 and was a pioneer in factoring for garment industry clients, leading to its acquisition by Bank of America in 1936.

Chattel completed a conformance review report to evaluate conformance 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 Maxfield Building project was featured in National Park Service Preservation Brief 41: The Seismic Retrofit of Historic Buildings, published by the National Park Service, see page 16: