the L.A. Conservancy's Modern Committee)
There has been a tremendous resurgence of interest in the Modern era: buildings, furniture, decor, fashion and music. By recognizing this renewed interest, you can take advantage of your modern property in highly profitable ways. All types of Modern buildings are popular again: motels, hotels, restaurants, cocktail lounges, offices, retail stores, banks, supermarkets, bowling alleys, theaters and many others.
Usually built between 1940 and 1965, Modern buildings tend to have clean, simple lines, a minimum of applied decoration, lots of glass, a flat or angled roofline and use materials such as formica, aluminum, stainless steel, flagstone or terrazzo. Often, signage will be neon, metal or plastic, with unique typefaces.
There's more money to be made in restoring Modern buildings than in converting them to an inappropriate style. Customers want an authentic experience; reproductions are never a substitute for the original. It's often easier and less expensive to clean and restore original features than to cover-up, remove or demolish them.
Original Modern interiors, furnishings, lighting, flooring, walls and surfaces are just as important as the exterior facade. Original landscaping also adds to your builiding's value. Updating a Modern building with a different style (Spanish, Art Deco, Colonial, Southwestern) typically ruins its appearance and destroys its character. Respect the original period or "retro" look of your Modern building... Your customers will.
The poodle skirt, rock and roll '50s of Elvis and TV's Happy Days" is passť. The cool, sleek, high-end sophistication of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack is what's hot. OUT: juke boxes, fake diners, glass blocks, chrome. IN: plate glass walls, terrazzo floors, Eames furniture, mood lighting.
It's not necessary to apply for historic designation for your property, but it can often help. There are several types of formal designation: local, state and federal. Benefits can include: Property tax reductions up to 50% (via the Mills Act,) and a Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit of 20%.
These modern buildings have been formally recognized for their historic significance. Historic designation has led to solid commercial success.
To learn more about taking advantage of your historic Modern property, please contact the Los Angeles Conservancy's Modern Committee at 213-623-CITY or online at www.modcom.org.
The text on this
page comes from materials
provided by the Los Angeles Conservancy's Modern Committee, written by Pete