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Saving Manhattan Beach’s Historical Heritage

Manhattan Beach has a 102-year architectural history and some of the cutest pre-WWII beach cottages in California. However, recently, with real estate being so in-demand here, many of these quaint and beautiful bungalows are being torn down in favor of towering 5,000 square foot mansions.

Many of my clients want to live in Manhattan Beach because of the wonderful weather and schools; many of them would also love to have a sizable backyard, but with many of the new constructions, that isn’t a possibility.  The Manhattan Beach Cultural Heritage Conservancy, helmed by Jan Dennis, is attempting to preserve Manhattan Beach’s historical homes. Through something called the Mills Act, owners of Manhattan Beach historical homes have a tax-incentive to preserve their historic properties.

The Conservancy has self-guided walking tour pamphlets that can take you through the 70 historical properties in the city, all at least 50 years old. My favorite example is Ercole’s Bar in downtown Manhattan Beach. It’s 92 years old!  It’s important to achieve a balance between what new developers want, and preserving the history and charm of our city. I’m glad the Conservancy has taken steps to help keep these buildings around for years to come. Ultimately, I think having a rich cultural heritage will make homes in Manhattan Beach worth more as a whole than if we build brand-new homes all the time.