A Forgotten Insurance Building Finds New Life as a Humming High School

A Forgotten Insurance Building Finds New Life as a Humming High School

By Kelly Vencill Sanchez
Following a sensitive renovation at the hands of DSH // architecture, the Larchmont Charter High School in Los Angeles settles into a midcentury gem originally designed by Welton Becket.

Architect Welton Becket left an indelible mark on postwar Los Angeles, designing spaces like the Capitol Records Building, in 1956, and the Music Center, in 1964. While those structures remain beloved parts of the cityscape, time wasn’t as kind to his 1955 New York Life Insurance Company Building, which saw years of alterations and less-than-faithful additions. Charged with transforming it into a campus for Larchmont Charter High School, architects Chava Danielson and Eric Haas of DSH // architecture looked beyond later renovations to embrace the structure’s key features: a courtyard, a curtain wall with operable windows, and a louvered brise-soleil. 

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