California Historical Building Code

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: https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/preservedocs/preservation-briefs/41Preserve-Brief_SeismicRetrofit.pdf.