Marla Felber is a native of Los Angeles and has lived in the San Gabriel Valley since 1994. Since 1995, Marla has been the principal of FK Design Group and has proven experience solving real-world problems that impact the restoration and reuse of historic buildings. She manages the permitting process to restore buildings and takes a collaborative approach to projects balancing local regulations with the need for creative solutions that serve current clients, the community, and future users.

Marla’s uses the Secretary of Interior’s Standards as the framework for all work performed so a property can be enhanced while retaining, preserving and protecting its historic features. The first step is to determine if a project meets the Standards for Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration or Reconstruction. Most residences fall under a Restoration or Rehabilitation definition.

Restoration focuses on the retention of materials from the most significant time in the property’s history, while permitting the removal of materials from other periods. Rehabilitation emphasizes the retention and repair of historic materials but gives more latitude in a property having alterations and additions.

Restoration Projects

  • Lucy E. Wheeler Residence, 1905
    The last remaining Greene & Greene house in the City of Los Angeles.

  • Sears & Roebuck House, 1918
    Colonial Craftsman Transitional Home heavily damaged by fire in 2001.

  • Mitchell Residence, 1923
    English Country Manor designed by Hunt & Burns, of La Canada Flintridge.

  • Blumer Ranch, Sierra Madre, 1887
    Historic farmhouse restoration, working through four different periods of renovations since the original construction.

Rehabilitation Projects

  • Lido Isle Residence, Newport Beach, 1938
    Monterey Colonial Revival House ~ 5,000 sq. ft.

  • California Rambler, 1948
    Postwar Ranch-style home adapted to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards while retaining original character and charm of the home.

  • G.M.B. Residences,1953
    Edward H. Fickett, FAIA housing development in Bel Air

  • Villa Capri, 1963
    Mid-century apartment building replicating historic/original finishes, colors, landscaping and plant selection

Marla joined the Board of the Ennis House Foundation in 2004, when the house was in disrepair from years of neglect and in need of extensive repair after structural damage caused by the Northridge Earthquake. Her involvement with the $6.5M renovation stabilized and preserved the building for the enjoyment of future generations. Marla became Chairman in 2009 and remained so until the dissolution of the Ennis House Foundation in 2012 with the sale to Ron Burkle in 2011. She was instrumental in ensuring that Ennis House has 12 days of public access per year for perpetuity.

Similarly, Marla was a founding board member of the Michael White Adobe in 2009 which saved the historic structure after it was slated for demolition. She received grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Los Angeles County Preservation Fund, and in 2014 received the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District Grant.

Marla continues to lend her experience to the renovation and restoration of numerous historically significant buildings. She is a member of several local and national historic preservation organizations including Los Angeles Conservancy, Pasadena Heritage, California Preservation Foundation, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.