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Conservancy Hails Move to Prepare Home for Shotgun House

By Lookout Staff

July 5 -- City officials and preservation activists are preparing what they hope will be the final move for a century-old shotgun house saved from the wrecking ball only to go without a permanent home for five years.

Last week, the City Council took initial steps to move the house -- which is currently being stored at the old Fisher Lumber site -- to a parking lot across for the Ocean Park Library.

As part of the motion, the council authorized the issuance of a Request for Proposals to select a non-profit organization to relocate the house, rehabilitate it and lease it from the City for public benefit. In addition, the council approved $85,000 to ready the site and make the necessary improvements.

Shotgun house at original site at 2712 Second Street (Photos courtesy of the Santa Monica Conservancy)

The Santa Monica Conservancy, which plans to respond to the City’s request and begin raising the estimated $250,000 to restore the dilapidated structure, hailed the council’s June 26 decision.

“This house is a survivor,” said Sherrill Kushner, who chairs the conservancy’s shotgun house committee. “It’s been saved twice from demolition, been moved twice to different storage sites, and now it will return to Second Street, the same street and same orientation as its original location, among other historic landmarks.”

If the conservancy, or another group, is able to raise the necessary funds, Santa Monica’s last shotgun house will be permanently located at the public parking lot at Second Street at Norman Place, just a few blocks from where it was originally built.

The relocation of the house, conservancy officials said, will help improve the existing parking lot, which they say has long been an eyesore and a source of complaints from nearby retail stores and residents.

“The trash bins will be enclosed, and new lighting and landscaping will be installed,” Kushner said.

Although current plans call for eliminating a parking space, architect Mario Fonda-Bonardi, who urged the council to preserve the landmark structure, has proposed a way to retain the current number of spaces, Kushner said.

The council’s decision to save the house, which is little more than 400 square feet, comes nearly ten years after the structure was designated a City Landmark in 1998.

The house was moved to an airport hangar in July 2002, then moved in November 2005 to its current storage location, after some 50 gardeners converged on a meeting of the City’s Recreation and Parks Commission to oppose a proposed move to the Community Gardens in Ocean Park

The proposed permanent site one of 17 potential locations conservancy leaders visited with City officials.


“This house is a survivor.”
Sherrill Kushner






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