Adapting an historic 1927 building for residential use was a major feat, but Los Angeles‘ Downtown Women’s Center–dedicated to helping and housing very low income women–has a new, LEED registered home, thanks in part to Pica + Sullivan Architects.
The 67,000 square-foot, six-story building, originally designed by a woman–Florence C. Casler, working with architect William Douglas Lee–was sold to the Downtown Womens Center by the City of Los Angeles for a dollar after the renowned non-profit effectively lost its old facility. While lovely, the structure–which features Gothic Revival details, and was once known as the Renaissance Building–required quite a rehaul, from major plumbing and seismic work to state-of-the-art accessibility, fire and life safety, and other systems.
Seventy-one residential units in the building now feature private baths and kitchenettes, high ceilings, and large windows. An integrated day center provides a nurturing environment for meals, personalized case management, health services, job counseling, support groups, art workshops, and more.