What keeps Los Angeles interesting and vital is its mix of architecture. While we see an ongoing city wide building boom, it’s important to keep in mind the city’s historic fabric and help preserve culturally significant buildings via restoration, landmark designation or adaptive reuse. Here are two recent successes that as a member of the Los Angeles Conservancy and lifelong historic preservationist I’m pleased to highlight.
The Miracle Mile Residential Association along with the Los Angeles Conservancy and other interested parties nominated La Brea Avenue’s Tom Bergin’s for designation as a city Historic-Cultural Monument. In June, the beloved Irish pub was awarded that key landmark status, one that will help preserve it for future generations. The Tudor-style1920s-era roadhouse tavern was the watering hole for generations of Hollywood luminaries from Cary Grant to Ronald Reagan. The iconic Irish bar held the city’s second liquor license and was in operation for 82 years until its closing in 2018.
There was a fear in the community that Tom Bergin’s would be demolished; the Historic-Cultural Monument status means demolition is unlikely. A new owner purchased the property recently and there are signs it may reopen soon.
Beverly Fairfax Historic District
I enjoy representing homes in Hancock Park and adjacent areas. Recently, several blocks of Art Deco and moderne multi-family buildings were added to the National Register of Historic Places. The mid-city enclave, between Beverly Boulevard to the south and Melrose Avenue to the north and Fairfax Avenue to the west and Gardner Street to the east, was added to the U.S.’s official register of historic and culturally significant buildings.
Per Survey LA, the land was once part of the massive Rancho La Brea, and the single family and multi-family homes were the first to be developed from the 1920s through 1940s. Today, the various period revival styles are in evidence. Also significant: the area’s long history as a Jewish enclave and one of the few L.A. neighborhoods where Jews could own property. After World War II, there was an influx of Holocaust survivors, adding a further layer of historic significance to the district.
Local residents formed “Save Beverly Fairfax,” first to chronicle the area’s cultural significance and then to slow down housing stock demolition and displacement of longtime residents. The federal protections supersede any state or city rules, so the area should retain its diverse character.
Need more information on either of these recently saved places? The Los Angeles Conservancy website is a good resource and of course, I am available to discuss historic buildings and property values in Los Angeles’ mid-city neighborhoods.