Los Angeles, CA, May 21, 2015 â€“ AE3 is proud to announce the completion of the Legacy Plaza project for the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center (SCLARC).  This multi-million dollar project involved the construction of a new 6-level, 165,000 square foot office building and the renovation of the adjacent 55,000 square foot Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building. The project is the largest ground-up construction in the West Adams and South Central districts in decades.

SCLARC (www.sclarc.org) is a private, non-profit, community-based organization that provides essential services to persons with developmental disabilities and their families.  Founded in 1974, SCLARC is one of 21 regional centers that serve communities throughout California. Legacy Plaza creates an office campus that will enhance SCLARC’s ability to address program needs, provide room to grow their 350 person employee base, and will become an invaluable and much needed community resource.

The Golden State Mutual Building was originally built in 1949 and designed by the famed architect Paul Revere Williams. Williams was the first African American certified architect in California and a prolific “architect to the stars” with numerous commissions between 1920 and 1960. The building was the headquarters for the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, at one time the largest African American owned insurance company in the Western United States, and the first in the Los Angeles region to write insurance policies to all people regardless of color. 

The restoration of the building presented many challenges including preserving the historic exterior and interior spaces, while completely replacing all of the building systems. The 300-person auditorium and lobby contain famed murals depicting African American history in California. These murals have been fully restored, sunshades added to the building have been removed, all exterior glazing has been restored, and the exterior has been restored to its original 1949 appearance. The building interior has been upgraded to a modern office environment.

The new Legacy Building was constructed adjacent to the Golden State Mutual building. It provides clinical and psychological assessment space, educational and training areas, a family resource center, and office space. Within the building is a state-of-the-art video conferencing center. The building also includes a 4-level, 300-space, semi-subterranean parking structure that serves the entire campus. Outdoor features include generous landscaped terraces, large public entry plaza, linear park feature, and a plaza honoring Paul Revere Williams. This plaza includes a bronze Bas Relief by West Adams artist Georgia Tolivier.

The project exceeds the 2010 CALGreen standard for sustainable design. Energy efficient systems and fixtures include water conserving plumbing fixtures and zero to low VOC building materials. In addition, the rectangular building footprint, combined with regular punched windows, help manage cost while meeting programmatic requirements.  

This project demonstrates how thoughtful design can support a complex institutional program and successfully serve the needs of the surrounding community, while preserving its heritage and adhering to stringent budget constraints.  AE3 Architects + Project Managers is the Prime Architect (Design and Architect of Record) that led a team including Steinberg Architects (Associate/Historic Architect), Nabih Youssef & Associates (Structural) and SY Lee (MEP).  The project was built by a joint venture of KSJ Builders and VCC Builders. Primestor International served as the development/construction manager.

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