Historic Westside SchooL
Las Vegas, Nevada

The Westside School campus was an important educational institution in the predominantly African American Westside neighborhood in Las Vegas. The two buildings on campus, a 1923 school designed by Los Angeles-based Allison & Allison and a 1948 annex designed by a local architect served as a both community center for the neighborhood until the school’s closure in 1967 and contributor to the property’s historical significance. The campus was listed in the National Register in 1979 and Chattel amended the National Register listing to include the 1948 annex in 2015.

Working with KME Architects, Chattel implemented the Historic Westside School Master Plan for the five-acre site, developed in collaboration with community stakeholders. Chattel and KME Architects designed a rehabilitation program in conformance with the Secretary’s Standards for Rehabilitation that incorporated retail spaces, non-profit offices, the KCEP local radio station, and community meeting space. Chattel prepared a Historic Tax Credit application and Parts 1 and 2 of the application were approved by the National Park Service in September 2013. The project used New Markets Tax Credits and was completed in 2016.

The Historic Westside School received one of the American Public Works Association’s Public Works Projects of the Year for 2018 in the category of Historical Restoration/Preservation, $5 million but less than $25 million.

Far East Cafe Building
Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California

Working with the non-profit developer Little Tokyo Service Center Development Corporation, Chattel prepared the Historic Preservation Certification Application for the Far East Cafe building, a contributor to the First Street North National Historic Landmark District in Little Tokyo. The rehabilitation project involved conversion of a three-story mixed-use hotel, a single-story connector and a rear building into food service, institutional, and senior housing uses. The $3.7 million project used Historic and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

The unreinforced masonry building was constructed in 1894 and had been vacant since the 1994 Northridge earthquake. To reuse the residential portion of the building, necessary modifications included the addition of seismic upgrades to the structure, and a new elevator and stair tower to provide a means of egress. The residential component was limited to upper floors, with units and corridors facing a monumental, Eastlake-influenced stairwell and large skylight. Over five years, Chattel provided design review and construction monitoring.

The completed project includes a new “Chop Suey” restaurant, neon blade sign, community senior computer center, and 16 apartments for low-income senior housing use. The project received design and reuse awards and was featured on Home & Gardens Television’s (HGTV) “Restore America.”

Boyle Hotel
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.