1887 Fund's Plan for 5 Historic Buildings
The Wadsworth Chapel, built in 1900 in the heart of the Pacific Branch as its spiritual core, remains one of the regions most important and iconic landmarks to this day. Named after the National Home’s first Chief Medical Officer, Major James Wadsworth, this classic example of Victorian architecture is the oldest building on Wilshire Boulevard. It has historically been a place of solace for veterans.
The Wadsworth Chapel will be restored to honor the legacy of existing veterans while also utilizing these restored facilities for the health and well-being of current and future veterans. By creating this Center for Moral Injury, the Wadsworth Chapel will serve as a source of hope and healing for generations of veterans to come regardless of their beliefs or traditions.
The Trolley Depot (Building 66) is a 600 sq.ft. wood-frame structure built in 1890. It is a designated landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. There are some references to an Historic Structures Report (HSR) prepared at the same time as the HSR for the Chapel, but to date we have not been able to locate a copy of it and anecdotal evidence suggests that it does not exist. We have therefore assumed that the first task for this project will be to prepare a Historic Structures Report, including documenting the existing building with measured drawings. If a previously prepared Draft HSR can be located, then we would do a peer review of that work.
The Trolley Depot, while small, is not well documented. Like the Chapel, its programmed use is expected to remain relatively unchanged, serving as a transit shelter and, possibly, as a newsstand or small exhibit space, and therefore it can be restored without further consideration of possible adaptive reuse.
The Hoover Barracks (Building199) is a two-story, wood-frame building of 3,600 sq.ft. built in 1932. It is identified as a Contributor to the West Los Angeles VA Historic District, and has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, but it has not been listed and no Historic Structures Report has been prepared for it.
The Master Plan Framework calls for relocation of the building and adaptive reuse as a café and social center. Relocation depends on the availability of the proposed site, in the Town Square. The proposed site is currently a parking lot, covered with PVC solar collector canopies. If the site cannot be secured, canopies relocated, etc., then it could be restored in place, with some adjustments to the Master Plan to rearrange the other proposed buildings and uses around the Town Square.
The Small (Superintendent’s) House (Building 33) is a two-story (plus partial basement) wood-frame building of 1,200 sq.ft. built in 1893 and renovated in 1995. It is identified as a Contributor to the West Los Angeles VA Historic District, and has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, but it has not been listed and no Historic Structures Report has been prepared for it.
The Draft Master Plan Framework calls for adaptive reuse of the Victorian style building as a visitors and information center, which will likely require modifications for ADA compliance, some orientation signage, and a plan for visitor parking near to it.
The Governor’s Mansion (Building 23) is a two-story (plus basement and finished attic) wood-frame single-family residence of 3,448 sq.ft. built in 1900. Substantial interior renovations were done within the last 10 years and in that process much of the interior historic fabric was compromised. It is identified as a Contributor to the West Los Angeles VA Historic District, and has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, but it has not been listed and no Historic Structures Report has been prepared for it.
Reuse plans for the building are currently unclear; use as a restaurant is being considered. This implies the need for a supportive program that could engage Veterans in the operation of a restaurant and a farm-to-table supply chain that could also be sited on the VA campus. Another use that has been considered is a child care facility for children of Veterans. Similar to a restaurant use, this would require plans for operating it and engaging Veterans in its operations. These “public” uses will require modifications for ADA compliance, a parking strategy and, in the case of child care, provision of outdoor play space.