Windsor Village is located near the center of the City of Los Angeles, about five miles west of downtown, and is primarily made up of single-family residences, multi-family residences and institutional (religious and social) buildings. The Windsor Village survey area, which comprises 309 properties, is roughly bounded by Wilshire Boulevard to the north, Crenshaw Boulevard to the east, Olympic Boulevard to the south, and Lucerne Boulevard to the west. The neighborhood has a 28 year-old community association, the Windsor Village Association (WVA), which has been open to all residents, including renters and owners, since 1981.
In early 2006 a group of volunteers gathered almost 900 signatures from residents of Windsor Village in support of seeking historic designation for the neighborhood. Their efforts were fully supported by Councilman Herb Wesson (CD10) and his staff who introduced a motion to the City Council in support of an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) for Windsor Village. The motion was approved by City Council in August of 2007, followed by the establishment of an Interim Control Ordinance (ICO) in October 2007.
Windsor Village residents then began in earnest to educate the neighborhood, raise money and recruit volunteers to undertake the historic resources survey. They began by selling “Save Windsor Village” lawn signs which were purchased by residents in an education/outreach program and which subsequently appeared on the front lawn of almost every property in the area, including apartments, condominiums and homes. Many of these signs are still standing today on front lawns, some two years later. Several neighborhood-wide fundraising events were also staged, including a theatrical production of “The Odyssey” and the “Village Coffee House” which featured a singer/songwriter and provided ample opportunity to inform and involve neighborhood residents in the historic designation process.
In March of 2009, the WVA contracted with Architectural Resources Group, Inc. (ARG) to assist with the completion of a Historic Resources Survey of Windsor Village. This report reflects the results of the Historic Resources Survey for the proposed Windsor Village Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ). Historic Resources Surveys are under the jurisdiction of the City Planning and Cultural Heritage Commissions. The survey was completed between October 2008 and July 2009 by a team that included volunteers from the Windsor Village community and qualified architectural historians at ARG.
Upon completion of the Historic Resources Survey, ARG and WVA have concluded that Windsor Village meets the criteria for HPOZ designation due to its association with continuing patterns of residential development in Los Angeles as well as for its architectural distinction, representing a wide range of architectural styles popular during the first half of the twentieth century. The majority of individual properties retains high levels of integrity of design, materials and workmanship, and meets the threshold of “Contributing” structure.
The period of significance has been defined as 1910 to 1962 to capture the resources relating to the period of development which has been identified as significant in the historic context statement; after 1962, construction generally entailed demolition and infill incongruous in scale with existing building stock.
Most buildings in the proposed HPOZ were constructed in styles associated with the Period Revival modes of architecture, with significant concentrations of Spanish Colonial, English, French, Mediterranean and Colonial Revival style buildings. There are some Modern styles represented, such as Streamline Moderne, Hollywood Regency and Dingbat apartment buildings. The district is characterized not only by its buildings, but also by spatial and landscape features such as asphalt streets, consistent lot sizes (slightly larger at the eastern half of the district), concrete sidewalks, broad lawns and landscaped parking strips, abundant street trees, and a gently sloping topography.
The purpose of a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone is described in §12.20.3.A of the LAMC as follows:
- Protect and enhance the use of buildings, structures, natural features, and areas, which are reminders of the City’s history, or which are unique and irreplaceable assets to the City and its neighborhoods, or which are worthy examples of past architectural styles;
- Develop and maintain the appropriate settings and environment to preserve these buildings, structures, Landscaping, natural features, and areas;
- Enhance property values, stabilize neighborhoods and/or communities, render property eligible for financial benefits, and promote tourist trade and interest;
- Foster public appreciation of the beauty of the City, of the accomplishments of its past as reflected through its buildings, structures, landscaping, natural features, and areas;
- Promote education by preserving and encouraging interest in cultural, social, economic, political and architectural phases of its history;
- Promote the involvement of all aspects of the City’s diverse neighborhoods in the historic preservation process; and
- To ensure that all procedures comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
You may download the Windsor Village Preservation Plan and read the Context Statement to learn more fascinating details about the history of Windsor Village.