Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Last Beach Cottage

In a recent article titled "Saving Ocean Park's history," the SMDP reported that some residents of Santa Monica organized a petition for the preservation of the city's last historic beach cottage on 2219 Ocean Ave. Though placed on the city's historic registry by the Landmarks Commission, the cottage is in danger of demolition by its current owner, the University of Illinois Foundation.
"The building is considered to be the oldest one on a block that has constantly evolved over the past 50 years," writes the SMDP. Though of no extraordinary architectural value, it is part of the city's history, and the design of its time. "When you look at that block, you really can see the stages of development of the whole neighborhood, from the turn of the century through the 1980s," says the Landmarks Commission. "It represents each big phase of development."
The cottage looks almost incongruous today, squeezed between structures that are nondescript at best. Yet, at a time when Santa Monica is furiously McDeveloping itself, a little effort to preserve the beachfront's architectural timeline, or just its character, is welcome.
Even if it means using pastiche, like in some recent developments on the same Ocean Ave block [above].
UPDATE 06/28/07: Landmarks prove a source of drama in SMDP p. 8/9
UPDATE 02/28/08: Ocean Park cottage lives on in SMDP
UPDATE 11/19/09: The Saved Cottage in SMMirror
photos LA Frog