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Windsor Square Designated a Historic District

The area of stately mansions near Hancock Park contains 1,200 homes.

September 30, 2004|Jessica Garrison | Times Staff Writer

Over the objections of some residents, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to create a historic district in Windsor Square, an area of stately mansions near Hancock Park.

The designation lays out rules for how residents can remodel their homes or alter the outside appearance within a 68-block area from Arden Boulevard on the west to Van Ness Avenue on the east between Beverly and Wilshire boulevards.

The so-called historic preservation overlay zone, the city's 20th, comprises 1,200 homes, nearly 90% of which are considered to be of historical or architectural significance. Among them are Getty House, the official residence of the city's mayor, and homes built by such founding Los Angeles families as Van Nuys and Chandler.

"The history of Los Angeles is in these homes. That's why we want to preserve it," said Carolyn Ramsey, president of the Windsor Square homeowners group. But some residents were not happy. They said they favor preservation but fear the new zone would create overly restrictive and potentially arbitrary standards.

"People want objective rules," said Laura K. Christa, adding that those against the preservation zone are "against teardowns." Some of those opposed said they are considering filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the city's historic zones.

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