Building could have historical significance

The building at 3901 San Fernando Rd. in Glendale houses several businesses, including 20-plus year tenant Solar Studios. The Glendale Historical Society has bolstered its efforts to prevent the demolition the building with a report about its historic qualities, but a report commissioned by the property owner contests the society┬┐s findings. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / May 27, 2013)

The Glendale Historical Society has bolstered its efforts to prevent the demolition of a commercial building on San Fernando Road with a report about its historic qualities, but a report commissioned by the property owner contests the society’s findings.

The society previously raised concerns about the demolition of the building at 3901 San Fernando Road, which would be torn down to make room for a new five-story apartment project called The Link. The project is currently undergoing the environmental review process with the city.

The historical society’s report, prepared recently by Pasadena-based historic preservation consulting firm Historic Resources Group, emphasizes the connection of the building, its location and the history of the area.

Greg Grammer, the society’s president, said the report had been submitted to the city. He said he hoped it would help with efforts to save the building.

“We look forward to sitting down with [the developer] to discuss project alternatives that do not result in the demolition of this historic building, but instead rehabilitate and incorporate this historic building,” he said.

The report cites the building’s connection with its builder in 1930, Lloyd H. Wilson, who was credited with bringing many industrial businesses to Glendale in the 1920s and who maintained his real estate offices in the building until 1938.

Wilson purchased the property where the building stands in the early 1920s from John A. Logan, one of the original civic leaders of the Tropico community that was later annexed by Glendale.

The report also cites the building as a “good and relatively rare extant example of Mediterranean Revival architecture applied to commercial building in Glendale.”

The report lists the building’s textured stucco veneer, distinctive arches and decorative brickwork as notable historic features.

Based on these qualities and the building’s connection to Glendale history, including that of the founding of Tropico — the report states that it could be included in the California Register of Historic Resources and Glendale’s own Register of Historic Resources, but falls short of requirements for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

However, a report commissioned by developer George Garikian and prepared by architectural firm Kaplan Chen Kaplan states that significant alterations to the building, such as removal of the original windows and doors on the first floor and changes to the roofline disqualify the building from being listed on the California register.

Garikian said that with his project’s draft environmental report heading toward completion in the next week or so, he would be happy to listen to the society’s concerns, even if he doesn’t share them.

“The historical society can think it’s a historic structure, but I don’t think so,” he said. “I guess there’s a difference of opinion between the experts in this, that’s all I can say right now.”

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Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.

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