The City Council earlier this month declared Heritage Square, the open-air Montecito Heights museum dotted with fanciful Victorian-era homes and buildings, a city historic cultural monument. While many of the buildings visible from the 110 Freeway are landmarks in their own right, the City Council’s action designates the entire museum grounds, a narrow strip of land leased from the city, a historic landmark. The museum applied for landmark status earlier this year in part to get around building and safety codes that would have required it to construct a parking lot in the middle of museum grounds as part of a new drug store exhibit.
The museum, which is dedicated to telling the story of Los Angeles’ early development, explained the importance of being designated a historic landmark:
As an important cultural resource for the community, the designation as a Historic Cultural Landmark will protect the museum and secure the integrity of the site that will ensure the museum’s ability to protect its architectural and historical accuracy.