Residents of Windsor Square are more than delighted to see their prized architectural centerpiece, the Dorothy Chandler Mansion, is looking a bit more like her old self again. The white paint that had recently coated the once stone-colored Beaux Arts style building, has been removed and the facade has been returned to its original color. The home is located at 455 S. Lorraine in Windsor Square.
Nigerian businessman Robert Oshodin and his wife Mimi purchased the Chandler manse “Los Tiempos” in the summer of 2014 for $9.5 million, and chose to have the mansion painted bright white, while also adding non-historic fences and light fixtures.
Local residents were not so happy with the new look, finding it not in keeping with the building’s Beaux Arts style of architecture. They formed the Windsor Square Concerned Citizens League and brought the renovations to the attention of the Office of Historic Resources (OHR) and the Cultural Heritage Commission. At the same time they gathered more than a 100 signatures on a public petition and set up an online website DorothyChandlerMansion.com to draw attention to the alterations being done to the historic structure.
Randy Esada, a member and founder of the league told the Larchmont Buzz that they felt the website made all the difference.
“This proves that when an obviously flawed city infrastructure fails, there’s still hope when concerned citizens are willing to take action and unite for the greater good of the community,” he said. “We thank the Oshodin family for restoring architectural integrity to this wonderful masterpiece, the crown jewel of Windsor Square.” He wrote to community members thanking them for attending the various hearings, signing petitions and calling the city – declaring it a “victory!” for the community.
The city was in contact with representatives for the new buyer from early on to discuss paint and renovations, Ken Bernstein of OHR told the Larchmont Buzz in a phone interview earlier this year. Bernstein said he was also pleased that the new owner had agreed to rebuild the pool house in the tradition of the original structure which had been lost during a previous owner’s renovations.
“Los Tiempos” is a historic-cultural monument and technically falls under the watchful eyes of the Cultural Heritage Commission and not the city’s Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) though the Office of Historic Resources became actively involved in communicating the neighborhood’s, and City’s, concerns about the renovations to the new owners.
It’s nice to see the old dame looking so good again.
Larchmont Buzz: Windsor Square Residents Riled over Renovations