Episode #122: Bunker Hill & The French Village: Two Lost Los Angeles Neighborhoods Taken By Eminent Domain

6655 Alta Loma Terrace. 1923. Ray G. Smith, architect.

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Join us this month as we talk with Gordon Pattison, Bunker Hill native son, about the reopening of Angels Flight Railway and other ways in which his lost Victorian neighborhood survives.  We’ll also visit with Elona Anthony, to hear about how her late husband Steven took on the Los Angeles establishment in a one-man battle against the eminent domain seizure that threatened his beloved storybook cottage.  Hollywood museums, land grabs, ideological zealots, police surveillance, historic preservation: The Siege of Fort Anthony is a complex and powerful story that is as relevant today as it was in 1964.

We’ll also talk about the L.A. Weekly’s 2017 Best of L.A. selection of this show as “Best Podcast About L.A. History” (yay!), concerns raised about the proposed Crossroads of the World mega-project, tenants complain of alterations to Rudolph Schindler’s landmarked Sachs Apartments, Craig Sauer’s new 3-D scan of Lloyd Wright’s Sowden House, how the interior of John C. Austin’s 1902 Hiram Higgins house was ruined, Ports O’ Call shopkeepers suing over redevelopment evictions, public outcry against rezoning threat in Burbank’s sleepy Rancho District, a modest proposal to do something more public with the 1870 Merced Theater, CBS Television City is the newest Pereira in peril and the historic 1920s El Cid facade is partially demolished. Plus two exciting new videos from The Cranky Preservationist, who is cranky about Parker Center’s pending demolition, and the loss of public access to Kay Martin’s Bunker Hill paintings.

Closely watched trains:

L.A. Weekly 2017 Best of L.A. – Best Podcast About L.A. History is our own You Can’t Eat the Sunshine

Preservationists and Cultural Heritage Commission express concerns about proposed Crossroads of the World mega-project.

Tenants raise the alarm over alterations to Rudolph Schindler’s Sachs Apartments, a city landmark. 

Explore an L.A. landmark in 3-D #6: Lloyd Wright’s Sowden House, Mayan Art Deco marvel or Black Dahlia crime scene? 

If you ever wondered why Los Angeles needs an interior landmarking ordinance, the ruin of John C. Austin’s 1902 Hiram Higgins house tells the tale.  

In the face of redevelopment, the historic Ports O’ Call shopkeepers are fighting, and suing, to protect their livelihoods. The Port of L.A. can afford to help these little fish.

Burbank’s sleepy Rancho District under rezoning threat as longtime Pickwick Bowl / Viva Cantina owners seek to cash out. Petition link.

Since funding has stalled for the plan to turn the 1870 Merced Theater into a modern TV studio, why not aim for a more public use. Restaurant? Hostel? More on the theater here.

File under: (yet another) Pereira in Peril. CBS Television City to be redeveloped?

Eater LA picked up on our scoop on the demolition of a third of El Cid’s historic facade, got a quote. 

The Cranky Preservationist, who loves Los Angeles and HATES what you’re doing to it, returns! Episode 10: Have You Hugged Your Parker Center Today Blues (on Facebook or YouTube). Episode 11: Kay Martin’s Lost Bunker Hill Paintings Blues (Facebook, YouTube).

Upcoming Events:

We Celebrate Our Tenth Anniversary

From The SLA to DNA–November 5th Forensic Science Serminar

Wrongful Conviction Workshop–March 4th Forensic Science Seminar

October LAVA Sunday Salon–Public Art In The Civic Center

Richard’s Birthday Bus–November 25th

Episode #121: Once Upon A Time in French-Speaking Los Angeles & Early Days of Angels Flight on Old Bunker Hill

Shows El Aliso (and by extension the Vignes property). Attributed to Henri Penelon

Shows El Aliso (and by extension the Vignes property). Attributed to Henri Penelon

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Once Upon A Time in French-Speaking Los Angeles & Early Days of Angels Flight on Old Bunker Hill

Join us this month as we talk with C.C. de Vere, creator of the Frenchtown Confidential blog, who pulls back the velvet curtain to reveal the deep yet forgotten Gallic roots of the city of Los Angeles, the subject of her free LAVA Sunday Salon and walking tour on September 24. We’ll also visit with Nathan Marsak, star of the viral video series The Cranky Preservationist, about the re-opening of Angels Flight Railway and the lost landscape of old Bunker Hill, the funicular’s original home.

We’ll also discuss:

Angels Flight Railway’s starts and stops. Our preservation petition helped get it going again.

Family bankruptcy puts Richard Neutra’s lyrical post-and-beam Chuey House (1956) at risk of demolition.

Concerned Palisades neighbors hope to landmark John L. Kennedy House, the 1930 Spanish gem bought by notorious landlord Jerome Nash. (PDF link)

Hollywood Heritage files landmark application for (Chaplin-owned?) Formosa storybook cottages Casler Village Court, whose pretty neighbor was just demolished. (PDF link)

Daffy midcentury charm alert: the world’s first Cinderella Home is on the market in Downey.

The Cranky Preservationist Episode 8: Los Angeles Times Parking Garage Historic Bas Relief Blues Blues (Facebook, YouTube).

EVENTS

LAVA Sunday Salon (September 24)

LAVA Sunday Salon (October 29)

The 1910 Bombing of the Los Angeles Times with Detective Mike Digby

Forensic Science Seminar: From the SLA to DNA

Richard’s 49th Birthday Bus Tour – In Search of Imperial California

Episode #120: Boyle Heights Blossoming: Everything’s Different at Ray & Roy’s Market


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Join us this month for an episode dedicated to the vibrant, historic and soulful neighborhood of Boyle Heights, centered on the southeast corner of 4th Street and Camulos. We’ll talk with Yolanda Diaz, who recently purchased Ray & Roy’s Market, which was founded by a Japanese father and son after internment. Yolanda has a fresh new vision for this community hub, which includes inviting 15-year-old Isabel Peinado to create an ambitious, hand-painted mural about female empowerment on the market’s long west wall. What won’t change? The vintage walk-in freezer, which famously serves the coldest beer in Boyle Heights!

We’ll also discuss: the pending revival of Angels Flight Railway, East L.A. roadside attraction The Tamale back on the market, Downey’s neglected band-owned Rives Mansion to be sold, the rededication of Victory Memorial Grove in Elysian Park, concerns about Onni Group’s out-of-scale Afton & Vine project, another suspicious fire on the historic southern campus of Rancho Los Amigos, the awful new Bringing Back Broadway-funded LED lighting scheme on the Bradbury Building and Los Angeles Magazine only tells part of the story about the troubled Gage Mansion in Bell Gardens.

Introducing The Cranky Preservationist, who loves Los Angeles and HATES what you’re doing to it. Catch all the rants on Facebook or YouTube and RSVP to attend his LAVA Sunday Salon in search of lost Art Deco.

Angels Flight is coming back, and soon will have a tall, shiny neighbor. But how will the new tower treat the past?

Back on the market: the world’s biggest tamale, delighting travelers along East L.A.’s Whittier Boulevard for nearly a century.

Victory Memorial Grove: after a lot of elbow grease, a neglected corner of Elysian Park is once more a place of honor and reflection.

Afton & Vine: Hollywood development aims to move historic bungalows around like pawns on a chessboard, demolish 1930 Deco market.

Downey finally does something to protect its National Register Rives Mansion, which badly needs an owner who cares. It will be listed for sale shortly.

More suspicious fires at Rancho Los Amigos. We’re as sad to lose historic buildings as we are that our homeless neighbors aren’t housed in them.

Los Angeles Magazine takes a look at the Gage Mansion preservation problem, but fails to cover all the drama of our ongoing public access battle. We have been visiting, and more recently being denied access to visit, the Gage Mansion for the past decade on our twice-yearly South Los Angeles Road Trip tour. The preservation and public access problems are even more dramatic than this piece suggests, and it’s important to note that, while surrounded by private property, the historic house is held in the public trust. To get the scoop, join us on the bus in February

The awful new Bringing Back Broadway-funded LED lighting scheme on the Bradbury Building facade. (Corner view. Third Street view.)

Episode #119: Secrets of Llano del Rio and Utopian Los Angeles

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Join us this month for an episode dedicated to Llano del Rio, the socialist cooperative experiment that hosted its final May Day celebrations in the Antelope Valley one hundred years ago this month. Our guests are historian Paul Greenstein & artist-archivist Karyl Newman, who co-host a special Esotouric bus adventure, Desert Visionaries, on Saturday, June 17.

We’ll also talk about the judge’s decision that may save Kurt Meyer’s ladmark Lytton Savings from being demolished, a status report on attempts to reactivate the city’s neglected Lummis House and the latest from the Sinatra Bungalow preservation efforts.

OUR GUESTS

Karyl Newman’s website.

SELECT UPCOMING EVENTS

Subject: Los Angeles Lovers at Bob Baker Marionette Theater (5/12)

LAVA Sunday Salon: S.A. Griffin on Charles Bukowski (5/28)

Siege at Fort Anthony at Central Library (6/8)

Esotouric’s Tenth Anniversary calendar

Episode #118: Adventures in the Hollywood Preservation Trenches: Lytton Savings & Frank Sinatra’s Bungalow

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Join us this month as we talk with preservationist Steve Luftman about his efforts to save Kurt Meyer’s Lytton Savings, a mid-century landmark threatened with demolition because it sits on the land where Frank Gehry hopes to build a huge mixed use development. We’ll also visit with filmmaker Douglas Quill to learn about his last-ditch campaign to preserve Frank Sinatra’s motion picture bungalow on the old Goldwyn Studios lot in Hollywood.

We’ll also discuss the City of Los Angeles’ plans to demolish Welton Becket’s Parker Center and how Peter Zumthor’s updated proposal for LACMA continues to threaten William Pereira’s 1965 museum campus.

Our guests:
Friends of Lytton Savings campaign (Facebook, Twitter)

Frank Sinatra bungalow petition

Closely watched trains:

Parker Center: Los Angeles Conservancy action alert webpage, LAVA Sunday Salon walking tour video, vintage photos from LAPL’s collection

LACMA: newest redesign renderings, Pereira in Peril webpage featuring video from our LACMA walking tour

Upcoming events:

LAVA Sunday Salon – April 2017 (Fort Moore Hill Pioneer Memorial)

LAVA Sunday Salon – May 2017 (S.A. Griffin on Charles Bukowski)

Esotouric’s Tenth Anniversary special event calendar

Episode #117: SeaView, a Mid-Century Time Modern Capsule on the Palos Verdes Penninsula

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Join us as we go deep inside master architect Paul R. Williams’ SeaView tract home development in Rancho Palos Verdes, as architect and historian Alan Hess and resident-historians Price Morgan & Larry Paul share insights into the tract’s development and style, topographical quirks and how preservationists are taking a stand to maintain this mid-century modern time capsule.

We’ll also discuss the restoration and rededication of the historic Hotel Californian neon roof sign and the big news about the future of Angels Flight railway.

Upcoming events

Upcoming events

Closely Watched Trains

 

Episode #116: Miracle Mile and a Mid-Century Master

Aaron Green's Anderson Residence in Palos Verdes

Aaron Green’s Anderson Residence in Palos Verdes

Listen to Episode #116!

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And we’re back from hiatus! Join us this month as Alan Hess, architect and architectural historian, walks us through his Palos Verdes Art Center exhibition on Aaron G. Green’s mid-century modern organic architecture.  We’ll also visit with land use consultant Bill Christopher, Principal at Urban Concepts, for a deep pe into Wilshire Boulevard development history.

We’ll also discuss Onni Group’s plan to demolish William L. Pereira’s  1973 addition to Times Mirror Square, the disappearance of the Calvin Hamilton plaque from the Bunker Hill pedway, Los Angeles Magazine’s list of essential Twitter accounts and our ongoing Tenth Anniversary celebrations.

Closely Watched Trains & Our Guests

Onni Group’s plans to demolish a Pereira in Peril. See also, our Pereira preservation campaign.

Calvin Hamilton plaque shenanigans.

Los Angeles Magazine: 50 Twitter Accounts Everyone in L.A. Should Follow.

Esotouric’s Tenth Anniversary Schedule

Our guests

Alan Hess’ website & his Aaron G. Green exhibition

Bill Christopher’s website

Upcoming events

Poem Noir LAVA Sunday Salon (2/26)

Making Sense of Parker Center LAVA Sunday Salon (3/26)

Special Event: Esotouric at Los Angeles Breakfast Club (3/29)

Special Event: Palos Verdes Ancient & Modern (4/8)

Forensic Science Seminar: From The Crime Lab To The Coroner’s Office (4/23)

Special Event: Crawling Down Cahuenga: Tom Waits’ L.A. (6/3)