HRG Projects Win Five 2016 California Preservation Foundation Design Awards

We are pleased to announce that the California Preservation Foundation has recognized five HRG projects for 2016 Preservation Design Awards. HRG worked closely with the project architects and clients to oversee the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of each of these important resources.

CBS-Columbia-Square-view-from-Sunset-Boulevard.jpgCBS Columbia Square opened in 1937 as the West Coast headquarters of Columbia Broadcasting. The complex’s striking International Style design symbolized the technical innovation and modernity of the broadcast industry during radio’s golden age. The recent rehabilitation removed a series of inappropriate alterations and returned the only West Coast design of pioneering modernist architect William Lescaze to its original state, while making a major contribution to the ongoing revitalization of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

Image: CBS Columbia Square, the iconic former West Coast headquarters of the Columbia Broadcasting System. Photo credit: Kilroy Realty.

DMAC-exterior-by-AC-Martin.jpgThe Digital Media Arts Center on the Chapman University campus, formerly the California Wire & Cable Company building, has been adapted to serve the needs of the university’s film school. The result is a tangible memory of the City of Orange’s industrial heritage in a district that is being reimagined for new academic and community uses.

Image: Chapman University’s Digital Media Arts Center. Photo credit: AC Martin.

GCAT-by-JL.jpgGrand Central Air Terminal, in Glendale, was Los Angeles’ official commercial air terminal when it was completed in 1929. Designed by Henry Gogerty in the Spanish Colonial Revival style with Zig-Zag Moderne influences, this dramatic building was a center of early aviation development in Southern California and served as the western terminus of the first regular transcontinental passenger service. This meticulous rehabilitation has adapted the building for new use as a corporate event space and offices.

Image: Grand Central Air Terminal. Photo credit: Historic Resources Group.

Shotgun-House-by-Stephen-Schafer.jpgA rare remaining Shotgun House has been reborn as the Santa Monica Conservancy’s Preservation Resource Center. Owned by the City of Santa Monica and funded and operated by the Santa Monica Conservancy, this modest wood-frame building is believed to be one of the last intact shotgun houses in Santa Monica. So named to reflect the “shotgun” linear arrangement of connecting rooms that characterize the building type, shotgun houses were once ubiquitous in Santa Monica, and representative of the city’s early development as a beach-side resort. Rescued from impending demolition and relocated twice, the preservation of this valuable resource has been a long-term labor of love for the community. The Shotgun House will wander no more, having found a permanent foundation very near its original site.

Image: The Santa Monica Conservancy’s Preservation Resource Center. Photo credit: Stephen Schafer,

Closeup-of-restored-fenestration-by-Paul-Turang.jpgThe Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building was designed by pioneering African-American architect Paul R. Williams, FAIA, in 1949 as the headquarters for the largest African-American-owned insurance company in the western United States. For much of the 20th century, Golden State Mutual was a pillar of the African-American community in Los Angeles. Successfully rehabilitated, the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building now houses the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center, providing much-needed services for the developmentally disabled and their families.

Image: Close-up of restored fenestration, which had been covered for most of the last 60 years. Photo credit: Paul Turang.



Looking Great at 100! Happy Birthday, National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) marked its centennial in August, celebrating 100 years of managing some of America’s most important and inspirational sites and providing recreation, conservation, and historic preservation services to the nation. Created by Congress on August 25, 1916, the NPS manages over 400 properties as diverse as Yellowstone National Park, Alcatraz Island, and the Tuskegee Institute, with over 20,000 employees serving more than 275 million visitors each year.

The NPS manages the National Parks, but did you know that they are also tasked with administering National Historical Parks, National Historic Sites, National Memorials, National Monuments, National Preserves, National Recreation Areas, National Seashores, National Historic Trails, and the HABS, HAER, and HALS programs? They also oversee programs initiated by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (celebrating its 50th Anniversary!), including the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic Tax Credit Program.

Image: John LoCascio, AIA, of HRG takes a paint sample at the NPS Painted Desert Community Complex in the Petrified Forest National Park. 


John LoCascio, AIA, Promoted to Principal

John LoCascio, AIA, has been promoted to Principal, having previously served as Senior Architect. John joined the firm in 2011 while completing his Master of Heritage Conservation degree at USC. A practicing architect for more than 20 years, John brings together technical skills and expertise in historic preservation. John will provide leadership on issues related to preservation architecture, technology, and building conservation. He provides design and construction monitoring services, and manages historic structure reports, federal historic rehabilitation tax credit projects, and paint and materials sampling and analysis. Congratulations, John! 


Modern Masters Recognized

This spring, Historic Resources Group successfully nominated works by two pioneers of Modern architecture in Los Angeles – Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra – for designation as Historic-Cultural Monuments: Schindler’s Sachs Apartments (1927-1939) in Silver Lake, and Neutra’s Samuel Miller House (1951) in Beverly Grove. Schindler designed the Sachs Apartments over a period of twelve years for artist and color consultant Herman Sachs. The complex, with its clusters of cubical masses stepping up the steeply sloping hillside lot, flat roofs, unadorned plaster wall surfaces, and large expanses of glass, is an exceptional example of Schindler’s early adaptation of International Style architecture for residential structures in Los Angeles, and exhibits many of the features that Schindler pioneered and developed throughout his career. The Samuel Miller House is an excellent example of Neutra’s post-World War II residential work, reflecting the regional variation on Modernism that characterized domestic architecture in Southern California from that period, and of which Neutra was an influential proponent. Both nominations were enthusiastically approved by unanimous vote by the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission.

Image left: Samuel Miller House, Richard Neutra, 1951.
Image right: Sachs Apartments, Rudolph Schindler, 1927-1939.


National Register Listing for Lautner Residences

In May 2016, eight residences designed by architect John Lautner were listed in the National Register of Historic Places. During his 60-year career, Lautner designed some of the most noteworthy and iconic residences in Southern California, boldly experimenting with form, materials, and construction techniques. Trained by Frank Lloyd Wright, Lautner maintained throughout his career an interest in Organic architecture and a connection to nature, balanced with the specific needs of the site and the client. At the time of his death in 1994, Lautner was widely recognized as a master architect who made important contributions to the Southern California architectural landscape. The nomination of these eight properties is part of a larger effort to recognize Lautner’s work, which included the preparation of a Multiple Property Documentation Form that outlines his influence and significance in Southern California, and will allow for the designation of additional properties designed by the architect in the future. The nominations were developed by students at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona under the guidance of Professors Lauren Weiss Bricker and Luis Hoyos, and finalized and submitted by HRG. The Lautner Foundation, and in particular Karol Lautner Peterson, provided guidance and support throughout the project. 

Image: Pearlman Mountain Cabin (1957), one of eight residences designed by John Lautner, recently listed in the National Register.
Photo credit: Cal Poly Pomona.