DOWNTOWN — The house finally has a home.
City Hall and the Santa Monica Conservancy on Tuesday agreed to a 20-year, renewable lease for the historic, turn-of-the-century “shotgun” house that was saved from demolition.
The shotgun house — so named because a blast fired through the front door would travel through each of its three rooms and directly out the back door — was the last remaining structure of its kind in Santa Monica, officials with the conservancy said. Quickly constructed shotgun houses once lined the shores of Ocean Park in the late 1880s and early 1990s, providing visitors with another option aside from sleeping in tents or expensive hotels.
The 468-square-foot cottage, which originally sat on private property at 2712 Second St., was moved to the old Fisher Lumber site on Colorado Avenue at Memorial Park roughly five years ago. It previously was sitting on blocks at the Santa Monica Airport, but had to be moved to make way for construction of Airport Park. Preservationists moved the home to the airport in July of 2002 to save it. It cost an estimated $7,000 to move the house to the Fisher Lumber site, according to previous reports.
Its new home will be on city-owned land at Second Street and Norman Place adjacent to the Ocean Park Library where it will eventually become a preservation resources center staffed by the conservancy, offering visitors information on other historic structures throughout the city, conservancy officials said.
“Since the time this house was saved from demolition and designated as a landmark in 1999, members of the Santa Monica Conservancy have worked tenaciously to become the steward of this special property,” said conservancy board president Carol Lemlein. “We’re ‘walking the talk’ by rehabilitating it and putting it back into service as our headquarters and a center for teaching about Ocean Park’s early history as well as historic preservation.”
Most shotgun houses are one story high, one room wide and two or three rooms deep, one behind the other, and connected by doorways that line up.
“We commend City Council and city staff, especially Barbara Stinchfield and Karen Ginsburg, who have diligently worked with us to make our dream a reality,” said Sherrill Kushner, chair of the conservancy’s Shotgun House Committee. “And we couldn’t have done it without the untold hours put in by Ken Kutcher of the law firm Harding Larmore Kutcher and Kozal to negotiate the lease.”
The conservancy will be responsible for raising funds to rehabilitate and maintain the shotgun house. Renovation was estimated to cost $450,000, according to previous reports.
Members of the community interested in assisting with the shotgun house rehabilitation should contact the conservancy at (310) 496-3146.