Barlow Respiratory Hospital | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

Barlow Respiratory Hospital

The Conservancy submitted comments in June 2012 on the draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the Barlow Respiratory Hospital Replacement and Master Plan project. Since that time, the Department of City Planning has not received any documents or written communication regarding the project from the applicant, and the project remains dormant.

Despite its designation as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM #504) and being identified as a National Register-eligible historic district, the century-old former tuberculosis sanatorium has been at risk for years.

Spurred by state requirements following the 1994 Northridge earthquake that acute care hospital facilities meet stringent seismic safety standards by 2013, Barlow Hospital proposed a project in 2008 to rezone its hillside campus for primarily residential use.

The current project anticipates that the sale of the proposed 888 new residential units would help fund the construction of a new three-story hospital. As proposed, the project calls for the demolition of twenty-one of the thirty-two contributing historic structures located throughout the twenty-five acre site.

The Conservancy has met with Barlow Hospital’s development team to seek alternatives that save a greater number of historic buildings to protect the site’s landmark status.

While the draft EIR evaluated several alternatives that would retain more contributing structures, they either fail to meet project objectives aimed at keeping the hospital operational or they propose an overwhelming amount of new construction that would radically alter the village-like setting and jeopardize the site’s status as an HCM.

The Conservancy urges refinements or the development of new alternatives within the final EIR. New alternatives could reduce the number of proposed residential units and locate them in a manner more compatible with the massing, scale, and setting of the existing buildings and cultural landscape.