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VIII Design Standards

  • Main Street District - (300-400 Blocks Main Street)

    1. Architecture – The Walls of the Public Room –
      1. Architecture: In lieu of endowing Downtown with a specific design theme such as the Spanish Revival look of Santa Barbara, the Scandinavian feel of Solvang, or the archetypes found at Disneyland, these architectural standards reflect the very character of Downtown El Segundo. That character is most manifest in the storefronts and sidewalks, the interaction of neighbors on the sidewalks, and the human scale of the architecture. There is a wide variety of architectural styles within the Downtown, with development spanning the entire 20th century. It is a goal of the Plan to maintain and enhance this eclectic architectural diversity. The core of the Downtown could be characterized as having a "Midwest" feel and the historic 100 and 200 blocks of Richmond Street have some of the characteristics found in "Gaslamp" type districts. These standards capitalize on the best physical, spatial, and social elements and are organized to reinforce the storefront character of Downtown. For these standards to be cohesive, all of the elements must relate to the existing scale and character of Downtown. In these standards, the broad scale of Downtown remains the same while the pedestrian-oriented character is enhanced. Pedestrian-oriented enhancements include new standards for signage, sidewalks, landscaping, façade treatments and other physical elements. Specific actions seek to improve the pedestrian-oriented scale by reducing the widths of streets, increasing sidewalk widths, creating new gathering spaces, enhancing connectivity, and strengthening the integrity of the storefront facades. The Downtown will still retain its charm and other-century feel. Those feelings will been enhanced by recognizing what is good and building upon those values. The following photos are positive examples of the variety of architectural styles found within the Downtown. New construction and renovations should be compatible and contextual with these types of architectural features, including scale, rhythm and design.


        Two examples of traditional storefronts establishing a clear allusion to the "Midwest" ethic prevail in Downtown.

        Three buildings which couldn’t be more different in architectural style and overall scale attest to the eclectic character of Downtown. These buildings nonetheless make a positive contribution to the streetscape. The two story Spanish/Moorish building makes a strong statement at a key gateway to Downtown, while the low slung, dormered "residence" set back from the street provides a refreshing break in the Main Street façade and the 2 story modern "Mediterranean" style building provides classic features, a courtyard and residential above.


        Numerous recent façade remodels have blended contemporary forms and materials with the traditional older Downtown buildings. While architectural styles range from nearly Colonial to almost post-modern, the unifying element that all share is their pedestrian scale and general "openness" to the street as illustrated in the photos above, as well as the following page. Although a number of the uses within these buildings are offices, with their large windows fronting the street they could easily accommodate retail and pedestrian oriented uses.

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