The USC University Park Campus is now the home of 12 historical monuments.
On Dec. 11, the Los Angeles City Council officially named 12 of USC’s buildings Historical Cultural Monuments.
The newly distinguished buildings include the Dosan Ahn Chang Ho Family Home, Bovard Administration Building, 3440 Hope Street warehouse, Gwynn Wilson Student Union, Mudd Hall of Philosophy, the Physical Education Building, Doheny Memorial Library, Allan Hancock Foundation Building, Olin Hall of Engineering, University Religious Center, Von KleinSmid Center and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
These buildings join USC’s Widney Alumni House, which was built in 1880.
Each of these buildings contains significant historical and cultural components within their architecture that granted them the appropriate designation.
Mudd Hall is a Romanesque Revival building with decorative gargoyles and a three-winged courtyard that surrounds the building. The Von KleinSmid Center was designed in the New Formalism style. The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the newest building on the list to be given the designation, embodies the Late Modern style.
Brian League, executive director of real estate development for USC, explained that the recent environmental impact report for the university’s master plan identified these 12 buildings to be eligible as Historical Cultural Monuments.
“The city required that we list them for the listing,” League said.
This requirement was the condition the city gave in order to approve the new developments on campus.
These buildings never made it to historical status in the past.
“Having the designation doesn’t give us any financial advantage,” League said.
Having such a namesake would allow the real estate’s owners to receive tax credits, but there are no tax advantages from the designation because USC is a non-profit school.
According to the Los Angeles Department of City Planning website, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Ordinance is responsible for recognizing and protecting these Historical National Monuments.
There are currently more than 1,000 Historical-Cultural Monuments in the City of Los Angeles, and permits for any alterations to or potential demolition of the buildings containing this designation must be presented to the Heritage Commission before they can be accepted. The Commission also reserves the right to delay any alteration.
According to League, the historical community wanted to see these buildings become historically recognized.
“[Having the formal designation] tells the world, the city [and] the community, that we are recognizing these monuments,” League said.