Ridgewood Place, St. Andrew’s Square were just designated

| November 30, 2023 | 0 Comments

It is my distinct honor to announce that Greater Wilshire has two new official historic districts to add to its collection.

The California State Historic Resources Commission on Nov. 3 approved for inclusion on the California Register of Historical Resources the St. Andrew’s Square Historic District and the Ridgewood Place Residential Historic District. This is the first step on the neighborhoods’ paths to listing on the National Register of Historic Places — which advocates hope will take place by the end of January next year. This will mark the first time in more than a decade that our community has welcomed new historic districts and is cause to celebrate!

From 2007 to 2010, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Country Club Heights, Windsor Village and Wilshire Park all became official City of Los Angeles Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs), preserving a vast area of Greater Wilshire. However, efforts to preserve more neighborhoods with the HPOZ mechanism stalled due to politics, associated costs and time. Up to 10 new districts were identified in 2014 by Survey LA, the eight-year survey of Los Angeles’ historic resources by the city and the J. Paul Getty Trust. Unfortunately, with the 2019 passage of the state housing law Senate Bill 330 (SB 330), further HPOZ endeavors were put on hold. But just as the state took one tool away, preservationists saw that the state offered another; one with less ironclad protections, but with more gravitas — a National Register Historic District.

The applications to designate Ridgewood Place and St. Andrew’s Square National Register Historic Districts were authored and shepherded through the review process by James Dastoli, a rising star in Los Angeles preservation who has also championed the successful nominations of several Historic Cultural Monuments. Organizing and working with teams of local residents and homeowners from the Ridgewood-Wilton and St. Andrew’s Square neighborhoods, Dastoli and the teams gathered survey data, architectural descriptions, photos and historical documentation on more than 200 properties. The result of this incredible community-driven effort, which can cost upwards of $30,000 when working with professional firms, is the creation of the two new districts flanking the community’s original designated area, the Wilton Historic District, which was added to the National Register in 1979.

During the Nov. 3 state commission meeting, it was noted that both the Ridgewood Place and St. Andrew’s Place / Gramercy Place districts (combined into the new St. Andrew’s Square district) were identified by Survey LA as retaining sufficient integrity to convey significance. During commission member comments, Commissioner Janet Hansen commented about how important a role surveys play in identifying properties for the National Register.

Commissioner Luis Hoyos, an eminent preservation architect and professor at Cal Poly Pomona, stated how good it was to see Los Angeles communities getting organized for these preservation efforts. Both his and Hansen’s observations are significant statements from our state decision makers because they point to an important truth about preservation. While our city, state and federal governments do a heroic job of trying to manage their vast and growing collection of historic resources, it is up to us individuals to keep a watchful eye and to put in the effort to ensure the preservation of our historic neighborhoods, houses and resources.

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Category: Real Estate

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