The Landmarks Commission is poised to designate a two-story Craftsman with a unique Swiss Chalet look.

Last week, the commission delayed a decision to officially protect the Georgina Avenue home as they are waiting for some documents to get straightened out.

In December, after it was noticed that the home, built in 1910, was listed for sale, the commission nominated it for Landmark designation.

The label would make it harder for owners to change or demolish the building on the 500 block of Georgina Avenue.

In February, the commission considered designation but asked for more information about the original owner, Maurice Hellman, and the architecture firm Sumner P. Hunt and Silas R. Burns.

Hellman was a significant Los Angeles banker in the early part of the 1900s. The Hellmans lived in the home until the 1960s.

Hunt and Burns constructed several well-known buildings in Los Angeles, city officials told the commission in a report.

They designed The Children’s Hospital, Southwestern Museum, and the Automobile Club of Southern California among many others.

“The residence is defined by its wood shingle cladding and its front-facing gable roof with stepped support beams,” city officials said of the Hellman house. “Vertical vents, accented by battens, fill the front-facing gable end. Stepped brackets, echoing the roof detail, carry a window box that runs beneath a band of five casement windows on the second floor. Narrower, single casements are set on either side. A recessed porch, defined by a brick porch wall and piers, occupies the east half of the lower story fa√ßade.”

Few changes have been made to the home over the years and it represents two increasingly rare architectural styles in the area: Swiss Chalet and Craftsman.

“While there are a handful of other Craftsman style residences within the Palisades Tract, it appears the M.S. Hellman house is the only residence with Swiss Chalet inspired architectural details and the once ubiquitous style has declined in numbers in recent years,” city officials said. “The architectural style also appears rare within the City.”

The structure, city officials said, is also a significant work of builder G.D. Snyder, who constructed more than 500 buildings citywide.

“Not only was G.D. Snyder a contractor who shaped the built landscape of Santa Monica, he was also a leader in the community,” historical consultants said in a report. “In 1907, He was made a candidate for the office of Trustee of Santa Monica city and nominated for councilman of First Ward under the new Freeholder’s Charter. In 1911, he ran for the seat of mayor in Santa Monica, however, he was not elected.”

City officials recommend the building’s designation as a landmark. The commission will consider this again at a later date.

At least 114 structures have been designated as City Landmarks since landmarking began in 1975. At least three of those were demolished. Another seven building have been designated as Structures of Merit, with one designation nullified months later.

dave@www.smdp.com

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