Santa Anita Park | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo from L.A. Conservancy archives

Santa Anita Park

In 2013 the historic Chandelier Room was remodeled, resulting in a loss of some of the room’s character-defining features, despite some concerns voiced by the Conservancy and other members of the community. However despite some changes, overall the feel and look of the space is very much in keeping with the history and function of this important room.   

The Conservancy has worked to preserve the historic Santa Anita Park since 1999. That was when owner Frank Stronach erected large elevator towers that dramatically altered the racetrack’s façade, as well as a new restaurant in the historic grandstand, without submitting the project for appropriate public review.

In April 2007, the Arcadia City Council approved a plan to develop a 830,000-square-foot commercial, retail, and office project on the south parking lot of the racetrack proposed by developer Rick Caruso. The Conservancy is particularly concerned about the potential demolition of the property’s 1938 Saddling Barn and South Ticket Gate.

The Conservancy responded to a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on the proposed retail/entertainment project and asked developer Caruso to examine alternatives to this plan, as well as ways to reverse the inappropriate 1999 elevator tower additions.

Given the long-standing threat to Santa Anita Park and the Chandelier Room’s significance, the Conservancy was concerned about any significant alterations to this historic space. The Conservancy understood design review is required through the City of Arcadia prior to project approval and permitting.

The Conservancy submitted a letter to Arcadia planning staff in April 2013 outlining the historical significance of the Chandelier Room and strongly encouraging a project that meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and one that is in full compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).