In August 2005, the Los Angeles City Council authorized the first comprehensive citywide historic resources survey of Los Angeles and authorized the city to negotiate and enter into an agreement with the J. Paul Getty Trust for grant support and professional assistance for the survey. The Getty Foundation will provide a matching grant of up to $2.5 million over five years to the City of Los Angeles to underwrite a portion of the operating and development expenses and field survey costs. The Getty Conservation Institute will provide consulting, research, and publication assistance for the survey.
This authorization and agreement are the culmination of two years of research and collaboration between the City of Los Angeles and the GCI's Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey project (LAHRS).
The city's Office of Historic Resources, in the Department of City Planning, will be responsible for directing the citywide survey. The survey data can be used to guide future preservation efforts, including neighborhood conservation, the adaptive reuse and rehabilitation of historic buildings, and new-project planning. Importantly, historic resource information will be integrated with other municipally maintained property information and can be publicly accessed through the city's powerful geographic information system (GIS)–based Zoning Information and Map Access System (ZIMAS), located on the Web at zimas.lacity.org/.
The GCI will assist the city with the preparation of a citywide historic context statement, survey standards and practices, and enhancements to historic resource data and communication systems. The first two years of the project will be focused on developing survey systems and protocols, testing survey methods, and evaluating the process through pilot surveys, while the final three years will be devoted to the collection and organization of information. Cornerstones of the survey will include clear standards and criteria for the evaluation of historic resources and significant involvement from property owners and community groups.
The work of the LAHRS project has included assessment of the purpose and value of a citywide historic resource survey and publication of the guidebook Incentives for the Preservation and Rehabilitation of Historic Homes in the City of Los Angeles, to assist homeowners and prospective owners of older properties in Los Angeles to identify financial, tax, and regulatory incentives of benefit to them. The assessment report and guidebook are available in PDF format on the Getty's Web site.
For additional information on survey research and findings, visit the LAHRS project page.