The goals of the Los Angeles Historic Resource Survey (LAHRS) Project are to research the objectives, methods, funding, and incentives employed in a comprehensive citywide survey in Los Angeles and to work with city decision-makers and stakeholders to implement a survey program.

These goals were achieved through the following components:

In 2000, the Getty Conservation Institute undertook an assessment of the potential for a comprehensive, citywide historic resource survey in the City of Los Angeles. Published in 2001, the Los Angeles Historic Resource Survey Assessment Project: Summary Report revealed that only 15 percent of the city had previously been surveyed: that there was support from city government, neighborhoods, the business community and preservationists for having reliable information on the city's historic resources: and that there was strong momentum for adaptive reuse, neighborhood conservation, and cultural tourism throughout the city.

In 2002, GCI began working in a cooperative relationship with the City of Los Angeles and civic stakeholders to develop research on historic resource survey methods and on the use of a survey as part of the city's cultural heritage and community development efforts. Concurrently the city government addressed with municipal departments, the value of a historic resource survey and the issues of how a survey could be integrated in city goals and programs.

The LAHRS Project sought:

  • to document the community, cultural, and economic benefits of a comprehensive, citywide historic resource survey
  • to develop a professional survey methodology through research of key survey methods and management issues (survey data will be used for multiple purposes including historic preservation, education, community and economic development)
  • to collaborate with the city and stakeholders in testing survey methods
  • to publish information regarding survey practice and incentives for historic preservation
  • to serve as an information resource regarding historic resource survey methods and management issues for city government and the private sector
  • to share information on best practices associated with citywide surveys with the conservation community and interested stakeholders

In 2006, the Office of Historic Resources (OHR) was created within the Los Angeles Department of City Planning to manage and develop the municipal historic preservation program. The OHR is directing the survey, which it has named SurveyLA. The Getty Foundation is providing funding to underwrite a portion of survey costs and the GCI is providing technical assistance and advisory support.