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Lowered Van Nuys Veil Reveals Building's Historic Detail

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, October 08, 2008, at 10:34AM
Van Nuys Rehab Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Clean terra cotta shines on the top floors of the Van Nuys building at 7th and Spring.

For years, the Van Nuys building at 7th and Spring has been one that passersby hardly noticed. Faded ground floor retail led into a dingy exterior.

In July, work began on a $42 million renovation and the building was shrouded in scaffolding and a black veil. Taking a look at the floors that have been completed, it's clear that the finished building will garner a little more attention.

The building cost $1,250,000 when it opened in 1912. It was designed by Morgan, Walls & Morgan, who also built the Hellman Building and the Farmers & Merchants Bank.

During restoration, facade work has taken place from the top down. The building's 9th and 10th floors are grouped, with intricate terra cotta detailing running vertically between window bays. The work by firm CK Preservation Arts has brought a luster back to the material, and has involved molding replacement details to restore elements that had been damaged.

Once renovated, the building will continue to serve as 299 units of affordable senior housing. The building is owned by AIMCO, a national REIT. The $42 million rehab is being done with $25 million in tax-free senior housing bonds and $17 million in private funding.

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