Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation

Historic preservation’s goal is to protect our past while building our future.

In Los Angeles, the historic structures and historic neighborhood character can be protected through the City’s  “Historic Preservation Overlay Zones”, or HPOZs. HPOZs are areas of the city designated as containing structures, landscaping, natural features or sites having historic, architectural, cultural or aesthetic significance. To receive such designation, areas must be adopted as an HPOZ by the City Planning Commission and the City Council through a zone change procedure that includes notification of all affected and nearby property owners and public hearings. Once designated, areas have an HPOZ overlay added to their zoning, and are subject to special regulations under Section 12.20.3 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. Each HPOZ area has a five member HPOZ Board to review and make recommendations on projects and promote historic preservation within the designated area. Most types of exterior changes or improvements to properties in an HPOZ area require written approval from the Planning Department.

Highlighted Project: Maltman Bungalows

The historic rehab of a 1926-vintage 17-unit bungalow court in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood won the 2008 Architectural Record Magazine “Record Houses” prize, L.A. Conservancy Preservation Award, and was published in 2009 Urban Land Institute’s “Awards for Excellence” book. The Maltman Bungalows project, developed by Civic Enterprise, utilized the City of L.A.’s innovative “Small Lot Ordinance” to subdivide the property into 17 fee-simple lots. The buildings are classic 1920s L.A.—compact, efficient, moderate density —and a great model for the future. The homes are approximately 700 SF apiece, designed to maximize comfort, storage, and charm. Similar properties have often been demolished, but creative planning and financing can save historic structures and preserve the City’s existing affordable housing stock.

Fun Facts About Historic Preservation Overlay Zones In LA:

  • 80% of LA Buildings more than 50 years old
  • Not everything over 50 years old is “historic”
  • 1,180 Historic-Cultural Monuments
  • 35 Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZ)
  • 26 National Register Historic Districts
  • 195 Individual National Register Properties
  • 3.1% of Population lives in HPOZs
  • 1.8% of Jobs are in HPOZs


Highlighted Reading:

Through Preservation Positive Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Conservancy has released a groundbreaking new study showing how preservation positively affects livability. Document links here.


  • The California Preservation Foundation Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Department of Neighborhood Empowerment Housing Innovation Collaborative

Home Tours

Coming Soon


LACDA led an RFP for a 3D printed house.

LACDA led an RFP for a 3D printed house.

The 3D printing process is starting to evolve – using photosensitive resin and light.

Earlier this year, Icon printed a welcome center for a master-planned community in Austin, Texas, designed for people who have been chronically homeless, and the company is beginning to print 400-square-foot homes in the community that will be completed in early 2020.