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The California Historical Building Code: Learning from the Los Angeles Broadway Corridor Reuse Guidelines

The “Broadway Theatre and Entertainment District” in downtown Los Angeles is a National Register Historic District.  Today, it has the nation’s largest underutilized inventory of historic buildings. In a joint effort with LA City Councilmember José Huizar’s office, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS), the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), the City Attorney’s office, and a committee of private sector architects and code experts, new Historic Commercial Reuse Guidelines were developed over a five-year period. As a pilot program in the Bringing Back Broadway initiative, these guidelines are being used to activate dormant historic buildings on Broadway and fill more than one million square feet of empty upper-floor space. They will encourage millions of dollars of investment on Broadway and an increase in historic preservation. The guidelines provide solutions that are reasonably equivalent to regular codes when dealing with Qualified Historical Buildings or Properties, and can be used to provide flexibility in addressing the challenges faced when historic buildings are undergoing change of use and/or commercial reuse. They offer a clear roadmap for developers, property owners, design professionals and preservation consultants who may each have their own specific interpretations of the California Historical Building Code

Learning Objectives

  1. Have a general overview of the California Historical Building Code process and its application using real-world examples.
  2. Identify innovative guidelines which allow for alternatives to the regular code, using the CHBC as a guide.
  3. Find creative solutions to structural, accessibility, and/or life-safety challenges, which can inform the design of a building or site.
  4. Balance your approach to come to a solution that involves the confluence of design, historic preservation, economics and public safety.

Handout and Speaker Bios

Speaker Bios and Handout

Learning Objectives

  • Building Science and Performance
  • Design and Design Services
  • Legal
  • Materials and Methods
  • Project Management
  • Project Types
  • Economic Development
  • Hazards
  • History
  • Law
  • Revitalization
  • Urban Design