News & Advocacy

Civic Auditorium Update: Conservancy Articulates Views on School District’s Feasibility Study

September 19, 2023

Photo of the Civic Auditorium by Julius Shulman in 1958. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

Since making their Civic Auditorium Feasibility Study public in August (click here to access the Study), the School District has been meeting with City Council members in small groups to discuss and answer questions, as well as scheduling outreach presentations with local stakeholder groups. Under the Surplus Land Act (click here to read the City’s FAQS for Designation of the Civic Auditorium as Surplus Land), the City Council will discuss any proposal from the School District in closed session, tentatively at their Oct. 10th meeting. The public could be expected to know more about the District’s proposal after that.

Last week the Conservancy submitted a letter to the School District to articulate our views on their current Feasibility Study. As part of the letter, the Conservancy has identified the following critical priorities for any proposal for the rehabilitation and revitalization of the Civic Auditorium:

  • All of the work must be completed in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.
  • The landmark must remain under the purview of the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission for design review, following the procedures in the Landmarks Ordinance.
  • The property should not be fenced or screened, limiting physical or visual access to the parcel or views toward the Civic Auditorium.
  • The building’s cultural and architectural history should be shared through historic programming, school curricula, cultural memory projects and/or interpretive displays at the site.

The Conservancy now adds to that list of priorities that:

  • The property should be revitalized consistent with the original public uses of the building – or any compatible community-serving use which can be implemented consistently with the Secretary of the Interior Standards.

Click here to read the Conservancy’s letter in full.

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