Historic Building “Renovation”
Now a Shadow of its Former Self
The new owner-developer of 1349-53 Abbot Kinney finished neutering one of the street’s most historic and interesting buildings. Shopping center storefront windows and doors replace the original fenestration which was formerly framed with vintage classic wood details. Its one-of-a kind leaded glass clerestory windows were ripped out. Since this developer did not employ an architect skilled in vintage property restoration he got what he knows. The building is now a bastardized version of its former self complete with mis-matched bricks. But don’t despair — this developer is meeting his goals — old tenants were pushed out and the new tenants will be paying upwards of $16/foot!
Alas, it is always about $$$. Rare is there a mix of principle and money. Fortunate for Venice and Abbot Kinney, we got lucky when we got that kind of buyer with investment firm Blatteis & Schnur who bought five properties on the street last year. They knew what they bought and knew it was essential to protect and preserve their new historic buildings purchase. They set about first restoring the former Equator space paying real attention to details and authenticity. The new Junk Food now calls this space home. The rest of the space is carefully being prepared for the new Blue Bottle coffee shop. Replacing their roll-up garage door with glass even looks good the way this developer did it. Another fine quality restoration by Blatteis & Schnur is nearing completion just across the street. It is almost ready for the imminent opening of Rag & Bone.
We would love to see the Venice Historical Society step up to the plate and help identify, preserve and protect Venice’s historic architectural buildings. We hope they noticed the loss of 1345-53 Abbot Kinney and are motivated to take on this challenge.
Life continues on the “coolest street in America.”
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