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1912 apartment building on Venice Boardwalk up for landmark status

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It’s one of the oldest complexes in Venice

Potter building
The Potter building (on the right) seen in the early 1920s.
Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library

Among the souvenir shops, cannabis “clinics,” and tech startups that line the Venice Beach Boardwalk are a handful of century-old structures dating back to the neighborhood’s beginnings as a resort community dubbed Venice of America by entrepreneurial developer Abbot Kinney.

One of those buildings may now be on its way to landmark status.

A four-story apartment complex-turned-hotel, the Potter building (now doing business as Venice Beach Suites & Hotel) is up for review next week by Los Angeles’s Cultural Heritage Commission.

Built in 1912, the structure is one of the oldest remaining apartment buildings in Venice, according to a staff report on the nomination.

Constructed in a Neoclassical style, with a brick exterior covered over with stucco siding, it’s also one of a small number of buildings remaining from the neighborhood’s early days as a popular tourist destination. (The report notes that many of these structures were demolished during the redevelopment efforts of the 1960s.)

potter building exterior
The building seen in 2017.
Via Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission

The complex was renovated in 2014, but it retains many vintage details, such as brick walls, original moldings, and hardwood floors. The building’s original elevator is also still intact, complete with a birdcage-style sliding metal gate and planked flooring.

According to the landmark application, submitted by the building’s owner, the Los Angeles Times described the structure upon its completion as “modern and substantial,” further declaring it a “substantial improvement for the Venice shorefront.”

The Cultural Heritage Commission will decide whether to recommend the property for landmark status at its January 18 meeting.

Potter elevator
Original Otis elevator.
Via Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission