Thursday, April 05 2012

New Life for 1925 Building


The Ford Hotel was built in 1925, but it looks much different today after a complete renovation transformed what had been known by the LAPD as a crime magnet and one of the worst buildings on Skid Row into new housing for formerly homeless low-income residents suffering from mental illness.

Developed by SRO Housing Corporation, the $28 million renovation created 151 light-housekeeping units with kitchenettes and full bathrooms from what had been 295 vermin and rat infested units with common bathrooms and showers.  New common areas include community and mail rooms on the ground floor and laundry and lounge areas on the upper floors.

A major design decision was to remove the roof over the former dingy indoor lobby to make an open air courtyard, now surrounded by units and common areas with landscaping and a bubbling water fountain, a safe outdoor gathering space for residents.

A LEED-equivalent project, the existing board-formed concrete building required the reinforcing of all of its interior columns along with new shear walls and steel stud interior framing.

The ground floor façade was faced in black marble tile and a rebuilt Ford blade sign over the main entry announces a safe, clean and friendly place to live.