Alpine Village | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Marcello Vavalà/L.A. Conservancy

Alpine Village

UPDATE: Historic Alpine Village near Torrance appears to be headed toward closure as longtime businesses have received notices to vacate by the end of the month. This follows a recent end to the swap meet and the sale of the property to an LLC entity that reportedly plans to use portions of the site for shipping container storage. Not only is this a loss for so many who love Alpine Village, it is also a lost opportunity. We press upon the new owner to work with the community and to find a way to maintain the existing use to the greatest extent possible.

In 2020 the Conservancy and Friends of Alpine Village successfully pressed for Alpine Village to be designated a County historic landmark by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. While this status protects the buildings, signage and general layout of Alpine Village, it does not cover the overall use. Should the new owner propose any changes to the buildings, a review process will be required and the full consideration of alternatives.

On September 29, 2020, Alpine Village was designated a County historic landmark by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. 

Thanks to the Friends of Alpine Village and everyone who voiced support for landmarking this site throughout the nomination process. 

The Landmark Evaluation Report, prepared by the County’s preservation consultant, found Alpine Village historically significant for its association with commercial development and the automobile, as a center of European American social and cultural activity, and as a rare example of a Bavarian-themed shopping court in Los Angeles County. Department of Regional Planning staff recommended that the Commission adopt a resolution nominating Alpine Village. To learn more, read the Landmark Evaluation Report with staff recommendation.

Opened in 1968, Alpine Village is historically significant for its role in the celebration and promotion of German cultural heritage in Los Angeles County and as an excellent example of the themed shopping court property type. While the property bears a Torrance address, it is located a few blocks east of Torrance in a section of unincorporated Los Angeles County. 

The Los Angeles County Historical Landmarks and Records Commission voted 4-0 on August 2, 2019 to initiate the preparation of a historic resource evaluation on Alpine Village after receiving more than a dozen advocacy letters from members of the community who were concerned that the property might be sold and substantially demolished.  The Conservancy testified at the meeting, providing some background on the historical significance of the unique property and urging the Commission to initiate the landmark nomination process through the preparation of a historic resource evaluation.

Regional Planning staff confirmed at the August 2nd meeting that a potential buyer for the property had discussed a contemplated development project that would demolish most of Alpine Village. The department received a request for a zoning verification letter, which is a typical first step a developer makes to inquire about a property to learn about its current land use and zoning, including information on any applicable variances, ordinances or conditions.

The contemplated project, which had not been formally submitted to the County and is no longer being considered, called for the demolition of nearly all structures on the site to make way for truck storage and cargo container storage.

Local residents created the Friends of Alpine Village facebook page and a petition to raise awareness about the site’s history and advocate for its landmark designation.

On September 29, 2020, Alpine Village was designated a County historic landmark by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.