SCLARC Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building Los Angeles, California

Restoring a historic landmark designed by Paul Revere Williams to its original beauty as a celebration of the past.

  • Location

    Los Angeles, California

  • Sector

    Commercial

  • Service

    Architecture

  • Client

    South Central Los Angeles Regional Center (SCLARC)

  • Size

    55,000 SF

Steinberg Hart, in association with AE3 Partners, Inc., restored the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center (SCLARC) Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building, an extremely important structure to both Los Angeles and African American history. Originally built in 1949 and designed by the first African American certified architect in California, Paul Revere Williams, it was the home of Golden State Mutual Insurance for over 60 years before closing in 2009. In 2011, Golden State Mutual closed in 2009 and its remaining assets — including two significant lobby murals — were prepared for sale by the State’s Conservation and Liquidation Office, leaving the building and its future in question. This became a major preservation issue for the LA Conservancy, and by 2011, although the Los Angeles City Council named the building an official historic monument, the building had fallen into disrepair after years of vacancy and lack of maintenance.

The building includes a 400-seat auditorium, cafeteria for 150, medical department with examination and recuperation rooms, and an employee lounge. Working with original drawings and photos, Steinberg Hart and AE3 restored the building exterior, main lobby, auditorium, and executive office suite were restored to their original 1949 appearance, removing decades’ worth of incompatible alterations, rehabilitating original doors and windows, and reopening key window spaces that had been covered for years.  The team also restored the interior spaces to their original look, including the main lobby with the original murals depicting African American history in California. The restoration provided this important historic monument with new life and purpose. Today, it continues to serve the community, all the while celebrating its past.

Steinberg Hart and AE3 also completed the new Legacy Building on the SCLARC campus.

Awards

Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Award, 2016
Docomomo US, Modernism in America Award, 2016
California Preservation Foundation, Preservation Design Award, 2016