Starting on Monday, September 27, the venerable American Legion Hall on La Cruz Drive will undergo a six-month renovation.
Anyone needing to reach someone at Post 283 can still call (310) 454-0527. The three officers — Kevin Niles (adjutant), Larry Kirven and Deloris Artis (assistants) — will relocate to a small temporary office in the Chase Building (Suite 219).
The Legion building, at the corner of Swarthmore, was completed in 1965. Minor cosmetics were done to the building in the early 2000s, but this renovation will be major and will give the mostly underground building a much-needed facelift and upgrade.
“Our Post has evolved as a pillar of our Palisades community, and our building will finally reflect our great history and position in Pacific Palisades,” Commander Jim Cragg told CTN. “For years, our members have given time and money to our community, and now is a good time to direct some of that towards our own members and fund a building upgrade that will make them proud of our Post.”
The Legion has selected Wolcott Architecture to work on the design and reconfiguration of the space.
First up will be the remediation of lead paint on some walls and the replacement of the doors, which have asbestos.
The entryway will be built out closer to the sidewalk to allow a ramp and wheelchair access from the front door. Currently, the front entryway is not ADA compliant and those using mobility transport must access the building from the rear parking lot off the alleyway.
Lighting will be replaced with LED, making the building more environmentally friendly. New restrooms will be configured, also addressing ADA-compliant issues.
The large meeting and dining hall will be expanded to include a lounge area — and the bar will be reconfigured.
The exterior will be cleaned up and simplified. The air conditioning unit, which is in the CVS parking lot, will be hidden under a parapet. The new exterior design will also come before the Palisades Design Review Board.
Monthly meetings for the Legion, the Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion will be held in alternate locations, which are still under consideration.
“Ronald Reagan Palisades Post 283 looks forward to serving veterans and the community for many years to come in the improved space,” said Adjutant Niles.
This Legion Post was founded in July 1928 through the efforts of future commanders C.D. Clearwater and F. J. Sauer. The founders were also key in the in the founding and development of Pacific Palisades, beginning in January 1922.