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LA Conservancy's Efforts to preserve Wallace Neff Singleton Estate

LA Conservancy's Efforts to preserve Wallace Neff Singleton Estate
by: icaa-socal on: Fri, 03/18/2016 - 1:40pm

On January 7, 2016 the Cultural Heritage Commission voted in unanimous support on the designation of as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). Next it goes to City Council before becoming final.

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Good news! On January 7, 2016 the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) voted in unanimous support for the landmark designation of the Singleton Estate as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). The final staff report recommended that the CHC vote in favor of designation.

This action is in follow-up to the Commission’s November 5, 2015 meeting where it voted to take the property under resubmission by the Conservancy. Thank you to all of the residents of Holmby Hills who have come out in support and to Councilmember Paul Koretz for his strong support and leadership on this matter.

The next steps before the nomination can become final involves a review by the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee (to be scheduled) and then onto the full City Council for a final vote. Until a final decision is made and while the nomination moves through the final process the property has interim protection from demolition or alteration. 

The Conservancy first initiated the HCM designation process when, in the spring of 2014, the 1970 Wallace Neff-designed Singleton Estate was listed on the market without any safeguards to ensure its protection or preservation. The Los Angeles Times reported that the property had sold in April 2015. At times of transition and a change of a longtime owner, large, multi-acre properties are often threatened with demolition, land subdivision, and unsympathetic alterations. 

Believing that the New Traditional French-style residence could be at risk, the Conservancy originally nominated the Singleton Estate for HCM designation in April 2015. 

During its July 16th meeting, the CHC voted not to recommend designation to City Council, citing a lack of information due to their inability to tour and have access to the Singleton House property before considering the Conservancy's nomination. The recommendation from staff supported the HCM nomination, citing the property met three out of the four required criteria for local landmark designation.

The Conservancy disagreed with statements made that contradict the record and research regarding the significance of the Singleton House, Wallace Neff, and landscape architects and designers Thomas Church and Phillip Shipley.

With additional research and findings supporting the property's eligibility for designation, the Conservancy resubmitted a revised HCM nomination in September 2015.