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Historic Downtown Los Angeles
Design Guidelines

  • Southern California

Los Angeles’ historic commercial downtown district, the City’s original entertainment, commerce, and retail hub, had become one of the City’s underutilized treasures by the late 1990s. Decades of sprawl and high-density development to the west resulted in a less relevant historic downtown. Today, this rare and intact concentration of historic resources holds promise for urban revitalization through adaptive reuse. In 2003 the LA Conservancy and three Downtown Improvement Districts selected ARG to prepare Design Guidelines to assist property owners and tenants in preserving historic authenticity while encouraging commercial activity. ARG analyzed over 200 historic office buildings and theaters in downtown Los Angeles and developed award-winning Design Guidelines including recommendations for exterior conservation, interior lobby modifications, signage and store front improvements.