Firm: Johnson Fain

Urban Design Award: Merit

West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Master Plan Framework

Johnson Fain

Adopted by VA in January 2016, the Master Plan Framework is the first comprehensive master plan for the site since the land was donated in 1888 and is a step toward repositioning the property as originally intended, as a home for Veterans. The plan re-focuses the site as a “Veterans’ community” with housing, services and amenities, restores its historic resources, conserves and repairs its natural setting, and facilitates reintegration of Veterans into civilian life.

The Master Plan Framework is one of a series of steps toward revitalization of the West Los Angeles Campus for Veterans’ use, and represents a commitment to restore and reactivate the site to play the role for which it was historically established. In March 1888, the United States received a donation of the land now comprising the West Los Angeles Campus from John P. Jones, Arcadia Bandini de Baker, and John Wolfskill, with the understanding and intent that the site be used to establish a Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. Shortly after the Korean War, nearly 5,000 Veterans called the campus home. In fact, the federal government maintained this purpose for the property with fidelity until the 1970s, but over years it transitioned into a condensed healthcare and research campus leaving land, housing and amenities unused and in disrepair.

This Master Plan Framework is based on Veteran and community feedback during the Preliminary Draft Master Plan Public Comment period. This is the culmination of a process that began in June 2015, and represents unprecedented input and response to VA and the Secretary’s team with over 100 meetings and over 1,000 responses in the Federal Register. The comments and data collected during this period were carefully reviewed and incorporated to reflect and address Veteran and stakeholder interests in the planning process. The Draft Master Plan for the West Los Angeles VA Campus is a framework that will guide VA in determining and implementing the most effective use of the campus for Veterans, particularly for homeless Veterans, including underserved populations such as female Veterans, aging Veterans, and those who are severely physically or mentally disabled. The primary considerations include:

  • Provision of appropriate levels of supportive housing on the campus, in renovated existing buildings or newly constructed facilities;
  • Need for appropriate levels of bridge and emergency housing along with short-term treatment services on campus, to provide state-of-the-art primary care, mental health, and addiction services to Veterans, particularly those that are chronically homeless;
  • Respect for individual Veteran choices on whether to seek housing at the West LA Campus or in their local community; and
  • Development of a collection of services, educational and cultural facilities, and amenities to form a complete and well-rounded community for Veteran residents as well as visiting non-resident Veterans in support of their transition to civilian life.
AIA California
AIA California
AIA California is dedicated to serving its members, and uniting all architecture professionals in the design of a more just, equitable and resilient future through advocacy, education and political action. It celebrates more than 75 years of service and, today, is composed of more than 11,000 members across the state.

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