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Residents Ask City to Preserve Vintage Bungalows

The West Hollywood Historic Preservation Commission delays a vote on the status of three early 1900s homes that face demolition.

Weho residents on Monday made a presentation to the Historic Preservation Commission requesting three Palm Avenue bungalows be designated historic resources.

Though the city's planning staff recommended the properties not recieve historic resource status, commissioners delayed voting on the nominations until next month for more time to consider the issue and allow additional public input.

The property owner seeks to demolish the homes and replace them with condominium buildings.

"The three homes individually and especially together present a cultural and historic integrity that is unique and powerful for West Hollywood, California, and the nation," said Katherine Eggert, who submitted the request with fellow Weho resident Kristin Gosney. "A really important point is that 927 and 931 Palm Avenue are eligible for the National Register according to the state of California."

The planning staff's analysis determined that alterations to some of the homes over the years and the lack of enough similar Craftsman style bungalows in the area to create a viable grouping negate historic status.

The Historic Preservation Commission is expected to vote on Eggert and Gosney's request at its Feb. 25 meeting.

Click here for the city's report and the cultural resource application. Eggert and Gosney's analysis is posted above.

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Roy Rogers Oldenkamp February 01, 2013 at 06:25 PM
The only alterations to the bungalows are on the rear facade and can be altered back, even though those additions may well be one hundred years old themselves! "the lack of enough similar Craftsman style bungalows in the area to create a viable grouping negate historic status."- well, that's inane logic. Tear down the Taj 'cause they never made the black one to match! The reason there are so few is the problem of overdevelopment! Their rarity is an asset to their value!
Kate Eggert February 01, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Just to clarify, this link - http://www.weho.org/ftp/packets/hpc/10A.pdf - will take you to the staff report and our application which is 89 pages. The PDF attached here is what we had to quickly write up because of misleading and incorrect statements made in the staff report.
lala in la February 01, 2013 at 10:41 PM
I live at 939 Palm with a balcony that over looks the entire street. Besides the fact that I believe that the bungalows should be saved for their historical value, the last thing this street needs is another huge apartment building. This street is extremely dirty, filled with extremely drunk people at night that urinate in public and leave trash and food all over the streets, couples that relentlessly fight as if no one else is listening and cars that speed through this street as if it was a highway and not a residential area. Last year, 2012, I witnessed (just to name a few) from my balcony two people who were hit by cars and at least one of those situations were due to excessive drinking. I saw an extremely drunk man hit a woman's car, putting it on the curb. He then walked two blocks down the street with his shirt off, only to turn around, walk back up the street to get in his car and drive away. When he hit the other person's car, he severely damaged his car and his right wheel was completely turned into his car. As he drove away, he hit at least three other cars as sparks flew from his car and the rubber on his tire burned. It is almost impossible to find parking during the evening and I am sure with the addition of yet another building, tis situation will only get worse. This street needs some TLC and perhaps some attention from the police. If another apartment building goes up, I am out of here. I have had it as it is.
Brian Hamilton February 01, 2013 at 11:33 PM
That's the perfect rebuttal to their argument, Roy. I hope that you, or someone else, will be presenting those points at the hearing?
Kate Eggert February 02, 2013 at 02:56 AM
Exactly Roy! If we go by the L.A. County Assessor - 927 Palm Ave's addition was made in 1910; 931 Palm Ave's addition was made in 1906 - obviously all within the old Sherman construction dates.
Wesley McDowell February 02, 2013 at 04:16 AM
I hope all of you who are making comments will be at the Feb 25 hearing. It's only by a stroke of luck that the hearing was continued. Had the commission had all the materials on time they would have closed the hearing on Jan 30. Also, keep in mind that the Historic Heritage Commission is focused on that. While most of us are very much against what could be built this issue is for the Planning Commission, not the Historic Heritage Commission. We need to make the case as to why some or all of these houses should be saved. If we're successful on that then the development likely becomes moot. Don't think that the developer will go quietly away. If we are successful I surely don't see him coming in with a crew to bring the houses back, even if it's just to paint them. The animosity he has shown to those of us who went to the hearings in November and this week show he cares nothing about preservation or even reasonable development which could include these houses.
michael February 02, 2013 at 07:06 PM
We must remember that a property owner has a right to do what he wishes with his property as long as it's within local zoning laws. Bullying does not change the fact.
Kate Eggert February 02, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Wesley, the Historic Preservation Commission is the place where we start to save the houses. Then, if HPC recommends their designation, then it comes in front of the City Council. About the application - it was turned in on time (in December 2012), however, the CDD omitted the 89-page application in the Agenda Packet. The commission did not receive the complete CRD application until 2pm on the day of the meeting, clearly not enough time for the commissioners to look through the 89-page application. The next meeting is February 25th - we really hope you can make it!
Kate Eggert February 02, 2013 at 09:16 PM
One of the biggest finds was that 927 and 931 Palm Ave have a status code of 3S - making them eligible for National Register. The only other "Old Sherman" cultural resource structure to have this 3S code is the address 873 San Vicente Blvd (moved to 850 San Vicente) and is currently designated as a historic resource in the City of West Hollywood. The 3S status code was made in a West Hollywood-funded 1987 Historic Resources Group Survey. This is a process we have to go through so that potentially National Registered landmarks do not get destroyed.
Rudolf Martin February 03, 2013 at 09:17 AM
Hmmm. Since the alterations in the back were made before Heilman's first term they are basically prehistoric by local measure. But in 1999 our honorable City Council refused to give the designation and determined that (because of alterations done during Sherman days over 100 years ago) the properties had "lost their ability to evoke their association with the past". harsh! and rather absurd when you think about it. And I don't mean to get into semantics but more than 2 of anything can technically be viewed as a group(ing). I suspect that the HPC will stop squirming and give the recommendation since they are good people and have no good reason not to. Sadly, we all know what this City Council will end up doing with such a recommendation, as they've done twice before. you can't teach an old dog new tricks. it seems that certain Council members themselves have "lost their ability to evoke their association with the past".
Cathy February 03, 2013 at 04:06 PM
There are many reasons to save these historic homes. First and foremost is the fact that they should be prized, especially based on the following (taken directly from our weho.org site): In 2007, the City of West Hollywood was named one of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the country's largest private, nonprofit historic preservation organization. "The City of West Hollywood is honored to be selected as one of the 2007 Dozen Distinctive Destinations," said West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman..... We have a strong commitment to protecting the City's character and historic buildings, and will continue to work hard to preserve the historic and scenic assets of West Hollywood,"....... Well, then there you have it. I suggest that this City Council live up to their own commitment and designate these bungalows.....or is it, "do as we say.....not as we do" once again?
Profes Shivers February 03, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Exactly!!! "Lack of enough similar . . . " is just stupid logic. Save THESE so there will be some left for the FUTURE! Names of the people on the planning staff please?
Profes Shivers February 03, 2013 at 07:28 PM
The staff works for US! And if the council members allow their incorrect and misleading statements to stand, then they need to be voted out ASAP!
Profes Shivers February 03, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Yet another powerful reason to not allow more people and cars on our severely overcrowded roads. And yet the council allows more density all over WEHO when our driving nerves are already on edge.
Profes Shivers February 03, 2013 at 07:33 PM
He needs to sell the houses to people who will rehab them and he will STILL make a heady profit. Greed is too entrenched by these "investors" and by our councilors who are indebted to the developers in the first place.
Stephanie February 03, 2013 at 10:41 PM
I am not sure, but since the Plummer House was moved to Calabasas and restored beautifully, these three early bungalows might be the oldest or close to the oldest houses in West Hollywood. Certainly seems historic and worthy of preservation. Speak up people!
Kate Eggert February 05, 2013 at 08:20 PM
These houses are architecturally significant because they each represent different architectural styles. 927 and 931 Palm Avenue are ornate and stately, while 923 Palm Avenue is a simple and humble structure. 927 and 931 Palm Avenue definitely compete in stateliness – Just in 927 Palm Avenue alone you can see Victorian elements like the overhanging bay window (does another one exist in “Old Sherman”?), decorative wood molding on the window casings, the continuous horizontal wood trim around the house and in the asymmetrical porch and along the low wall of the porch, and on and on. 931 Palm Avenue has the long, narrow windows which are Victorian-era inspired, the combination of using vertical and horizontal siding to make the house appear taller, the steep, hipped roof. And, the interior! In the parlor alone, you can see the decorative door and window moldings, the chair rails/picture rails that line the walls. 927 and 931 certainly exude details like this; walking along the along the street and into the houses, you are automatically taken to 1902 and what it would have been like in a white-collar house of a growing, railroad town. And, 923, although simple, it is outfitted with a grand porch and decorative muntin pattern glass pane in its dormer. It too represents the types of families who started the community of Sherman that became West Hollywood.
Krisy G February 05, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Here are some quotes from the 1999 staff report when the HPC (then CHC) last recommended 927 and 931 Palm Ave as cultural resources - "In 1986, the City of West Hollywood commissioned a survey of historic buildings within the city. The survey, adopted by the City Council, included 22 properties in what the survey termed the Old Sherman grouping, described as 'a major discovery'." (927 and 931 Palm Ave were included in those 22 properties.) "There are numerous examples of the beneficial economic impact of historic preservation, especially in the context of a historic district. Several of the properties listed are already used as a successful business (the San Vicente Inn), due, in large part, to their charm as historic buildings. Maps of historic properties in West Hollywood are already distributed by the hundreds and thousands annually, and a well preserved historic district located near other existing visitor attractions could have a significant synergistic economic and fiscal effect."
me February 06, 2013 at 02:01 AM
and you must remember that we have a right to voice our opinion and fight this issue, so don't bully back
Krisy G February 06, 2013 at 02:24 AM
'Bullying' is a loaded word most likely meant to incite. Please, let's not take the bait.

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