Do It Yourself
So you want to try to declare your own
property a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument.
Here is the procedure, step by step:
Obtain a Chain of Title. Go downtown to
the Tax Assessor's Office for these records.
Obtain records of any permits on the
property from Building & Safety's Historic Records Department. You'll
need to know what your street was named at the time the permit was taken
out, if that has changed. Charlie usually knows this, or has historic maps
that he can refer to in order to be sure.
Go to Norwalk and get the Grant Deeds.
This is in the basement of the Records building. There is no one there to
help you. You have to figure it out yourself.
Get building permit dates from various
publications such as the LA Builder & Contractor and the Los Angeles
Daily Journal. The downtown Law Library has these on microfilm. These should
show the architect.
Review historical surveys. These
surveys often have a wealth of information, but are not always publicly
available (Charlie has these resources).
Often, it is the wives that took out
building permits. Who is the husband, and, more importantly, is he historic?
Check the Los Angeles Public Library for telephone listings to find out who
the husband is, and determine if the husband is a historic figure in Los
Angeles. Here is another place it's handy to have a Historian 4 Hire.
Charlie might recognize a name that you would dismiss.
Now comes the hard part. Does your
property qualify? Is it better to present your home as an architectural
heritage landmark or a historic landmark? You will need to make this
determination when you make out your application.
Fill out your Application.
Appear before the Historic Cultural
Commission at a hearing and present your case. Do you like talking in front
of people you don't know? Charlie has been working with many of these people for years. They know him and like him.
If they ask you questions about architecture or Los Angeles
history, will you be able to answer them? Charlie can.
The Historic Cultural Commission visits
your site. Charlie can help you prepare for this.
Attend another hearing where the final
determination is made. Be prepared to answer additional questions.
Now, if you are successful, you have a
Historic Cultural Landmark and can file for property tax relief via the Mills
If you're declined, you've just wasted a
lot of money for parking, money for gas, time filling out paperwork, hours
figuring out how to look up records, hours spent trying to figure out how to use
the microfilm viewers, and on and on. And you've made it harder for anyone to
ever get a Monument on your building.
Don't do it to yourself! Just go with Charlie, the Historian
4 Hire. It's not as expensive as you might think. Call Charlie and talk to him: 323-256-3593. He just told you how to do it yourself. He can tell you much more on the phone. Give him a call!