On any given night, nearly 14,000 women without permanent homes sleep on the streets of Los Angeles County. Since 1978, the Downtown Women’s Center and its 700-plus volunteers have been serving that population by providing housing and a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect and personal stability.
The original DWC building was on a city block slated for development. In order to accommodate the development and the DWC program, the city arranged for the center to take ownership of a dilapidated structure at 442 South San Pedro Street for $1. Once known as the Renaissance Building and originally housing the Elias Katz Shoe Company, the 1926 structure was one of a number of collaborations between pioneering female builder/developer Florence C. Casler and architect William Douglas Lee.
Construction began in August 2009 for a retrofit of the six-story, 67,000 square foot building to include 71 residential units plus a day center, clinic, cafeteria and store/café where clients and residents can work. Aside from the historic restoration of the building and the adaptive re-use, the newly completed facility is in line for a LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Spectra Company, of Pomona, Calif., helped by using Sherwin-Williams Solo 100% Acrylic Interior/Exterior Latex on the project. With less than 50 g/L VOCs, this interior/exterior product complies with California’s stringent VOC regulations, while providing excellent adhesion and good durability.