City Council Moves to Initiate Cultural Designation for Great Hall/Long Hall and Fiesta Hall

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Great Hall/Long Hall - Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

At a regular city council meeting on Monday, May 2, 2022, the West Hollywood City Council moved to consent agenda item 5.B. recommending adopting a resolution to initiate local cultural resource designation proceedings for Great Hall/Long Hall and Fiesta Hall in Plummer Park. City Staff will go through the City’s cultural resource designation process, which includes staff reviewing the nomination – with the assistance of a historic preservation consultant if needed – and bringing the nomination to the Historic Preservation Commission for review and consideration. Staff will return to City Council with staff’s findings and the Historic Preservation Commission’s decision for final consideration.

The Staff report in 5.B states the Community Clubhouse of Plummer Park, now currently known as Great Hall/Long Hall, is a modest Spanish Colonial Revival recreational facility constructed in 1937 through a partnership between Los Angeles County and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The building – located at 1200 N Vista Street – was built as a social clubhouse by architect Edward C.N. Brett. Centrally located within the small, four-acre Plummer Park, the Clubhouse is a single story stucco and wood courtyard building with a low-pitched terra-cotta tile roof.

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The building is roughly U-shaped and comprised of three distinct, pitched roofed sections surrounding a central courtyard that is oriented to the north. The U-shape is formed by a wide west wing (known as Great Hall) and a small east wing (utilities and restrooms) extending perpendicularly from the south section of the building (known as Long Hall). The main entry, along the south side of the building, joins the west and south wings and provides a covered exterior passage to the interior courtyard.

Great Hall/Long Hall has been listed in the National Register under Criterion A for its association with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Los Angeles County. It is an excellent example of the County’s efforts to expand and improve recreational facilities. It was also listed for meeting Criterion C as an excellent example of a Spanish Colonial Revival public building. The style of the building emphasized the public’s romantic perception of the surrounding park and celebrated the cherished history of the area.

Eligibility for Designation of Great Hall/Long Hall as a Local Cultural Resource

The property was surveyed in the City’s 2016 Historic Resources Survey. The California Historical Resource Status Codes are codes that were created by the California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) to classify historic resources in the state’s inventory. The first digit indicates the general category of evaluation. The letter code indicates whether the resource is separately eligible (S), eligible as part of a district (D), or both (B). The third digit is a code that describes some of the circumstances or conditions of the evaluation. As part of the City’s 2016 Historic Resources Survey, all properties identified as potential historic resources were assigned a California Historical Resource Status Code. Great Hall/Long Hall was assigned the following applicable codes for historic designation:

  • –  1S: Individual property listed in the National Register by the National Park Service. Listed in the California Register.
  • –  6L: Determined ineligible for local listing or designation through local government review process; may warrant special consideration in local planning.

Based upon historic maps and visual observation, the property retains all aspects of integrity from the period of significance; however, the integrity of design, materials, and workmanship have been diminished by alterations such as the infill of the courtyard with tile, damaged brickwork on the fireplace openings, the replacement of the original casement windows with aluminum windows, and the addition of two arched openings on the east-facing elevation. However, these can be reversed to comply with the Secretary of Interior Standards if required.

Fiesta Hall – located at 1150 N. Vista Street – is a 1.5-story multipurpose public building in the Spanish Colonial Revival style built in 1949. The exterior walls are stucco. The building has a multiplane/complex roof clad in replacement terra-cotta tiles with box cornice and one gabled dormer. There is one center, front slope, brick chimney. The primary elevation facing Vista Street has a set of multi-paned steel windows centered on the front gabled portion of the building on the south end. There are three entries, each consisting of a set of multi-paned double doors set back beneath an extension of the side gable roof portion of the building, which is supported by square columns and accessed by a terra cotta tiled plaza.

This property was constructed in 1949 as an auditorium by architect H.L. Gogerty for Los Angeles County. Since its grand opening in 1950, Fiesta Hall has been a venue for performing arts and awards ceremonies in Plummer Park. It was an especially popular venue during the 1950s for the group Hollywood Community Sing, which met there on a weekly basis. This group was founded in 1917 with the objective of “enrichment of community life”. The Spanish Colonial Revival style was part of a more general trend of Period Revivalism in the first decades of the twentieth century. As architects searched for a style appropriate for the region, Spanish Colonial Revival became popular because it was drawn from the area’s past, as opposed to earlier styles such as Queen Anne, which were brought from the East Coast. Characteristics of Spanish Colonial Revival design in this building include the asymmetrical primary elevation, multi-gabled roof form, red clay tile roof, smooth stucco exterior cladding, and wrought ironwork. Based upon historic maps, visual observation, and building permits, the property retains all aspects of integrity from the period of significance.

Eligibility for Designation of Fiesta Hall as a Local Cultural Resource

This property was also surveyed in the City’s 2016 Historic Resources Survey. As part of the City’s 2016 Historic Resources Survey, all properties identified as potential historic resources were assigned a California Historical Resource Status Code. Fiesta Hall was assigned the following applicable codes for historic designation:

– 5S3: Appears eligible for local listing or designation as an individual property through survey evaluation.

It is significant in the context of Postwar West Hollywood 1946-1965 and is an excellent example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style.

5.B intiates the nomination process to potentially designate Fiesta Hall and Great Hall/Long Hall as local cultural resources. Approval of this item does not constitute support for the local cultural resource designation, but rather support to initiate the designation proceedings.

Staff will evaluate the information provided in this report, as well as the information in the City’s historic preservation surveys and other records to determine if the evidence supports designation. Staff will bring this information to the Historic Preservation Commission where a public hearing will be held to consider the designation. The results of staff’s evaluation and the Historic Preservation Commission’s determination will be brought back to City Council for final consideration.

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