Well, for a while it looked as though the preservation community might manage to save the two lovely apartment buildings on Norton Avenue that were slated for demolition. But the developers have some sharp lawyers on their side, and now it appears that Norton Court (424-430 N. Norton Avenue) and Norton Flats (412-420 N. Norton Avenue) will soon be gone.
Members of the community have been working for months to save these beautiful examples of courtyard apartments. Both buildings were constructed in the 20s, and according to Survey LA, they are among the “few remaining examples in the area that [retain their] original site plan, landscape and hardscape elements, and architectural features.”
Councilmember David Ryu came to the rescue recently with an emergency nomination of the buildings as Historical-Cultural Monuments (HCMs). But the developers’ lawyers found a way to block the nomination on a technicality. It seems they’re determined to destroy these buildings at all costs.
This is not the first time the Cohanzads have knocked down a building that could have been protected as an HCM. Whether they’re operating as Wiseman Residential, or one of the numerous LLCs they’ve created to protect themselves from liability, the Cohanzads have made a practice of knocking down older buildings to put up new ones. They don’t seem to care how much of LA’s history they’re destroying, or how their projects affect LA’s communities. They argue that by levelling small buildings and putting up big ones they’re doing us a favor by increasing the supply of housing. But many of the units they’ve demolished were rent controlled, and the new units they’re creating are way too expensive for someone earning LA’s median income. Doesn’t sound like a very good deal to me.
And then there’s the loss of treasures like the Norton courtyard apartments. The number of structures like this is shrinking, and there are few left that are still substantially intact. But the Cohanzads don’t seem to care. I guess it’s all about profit for them.
It may be too late to save the Norton apartments, but we can try. Please e-mail Councilmember David Ryu to thank him for his efforts so far, and to encourage him to maintain his support for preservation of these buildings.
David E. Ryu firstname.lastname@example.org
Use the subject line, “Demolition of Norton Apartments”.
While you’re at it, copy your own Councilmember on the message. Or better yet, copy them all. And don’t forget the Mayor.
Gilbert Cedillo email@example.com
Paul Krekorian firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Blumenfield email@example.com
Paul Koretz firstname.lastname@example.org
Nury Martinez email@example.com
Felipe Fuentes firstname.lastname@example.org
Marqueece Harris-Dawson email@example.com
Curren D. Price, Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org
Herb J. Wesson, Jr. email@example.com
Mike Bonin firstname.lastname@example.org
Mitchell Englander email@example.com
Mitch O’Farrell firstname.lastname@example.org
Jose Huizar email@example.com
Joe Buscaino firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Garcetti email@example.com
We may not win this fight, but we can go down swinging.