Episode #130: Once Upon A Time At Times Mirror Square

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Join us this month as we talk with Harry Chandler about his family’s newspaper empire and our upcoming Historic Cultural Monument hearing seeking to landmark the Los Angeles Times compound. We also visit with Carolyn Strickler, who was company historian and manager of the Los Angeles Times History Center from 1979-1990, for a crash course in the personalities and powers of the postwar L.A. newspaper world.

We’ll also discuss the Tower Theatre’s new chapter as an Apple store, possible redevelopment of Langer’s Deli, a partner files suit to force a sale of the L.A. Weekly, new life for Chinatown’s Golden Pagoda / Hop Louie, a shakeup at the Gamble House, memorializing Parker Center on the eve of its likely demolition, City Controller observes L.A. has little to show for $1 Billion in developer tax incentives since 2005, In Skid Row SRO news The Baltimore Hotel is purchased and the King Edward’s stained glass is being restored, Tail o’ the Pup isn’t a museum piece after all, Los Angeles Times Globe Lobby emptied of historic resources ahead of landmark hearing, PLUM Committee rejects four recognized landmarks clearing the way for a huge Hollywood redevelopment project, renovation work visible at West Adams’ Fitzgerald House, ASU leases Julia Morgan’s Herald-Examiner Building, and “True Love / True Crime on an American Bus” receives the Special Jury Prize at the Sidewalk Film Festival.

So Stay Tuned!

Upcoming Events

Chester Turner Forensic Science Seminar

Closely Watched Trains

Derelict Tower Theatre on Broadway leased as an Apple store.

Troubling rumblings from Langer’s Square suggest the historic deli may not be around much longer, despite the owner’s attempt at positive spin.

Those of us who have been boycotting the L.A. Weekly suspected much of this, but this week’s lawsuit by one of the previously anonymous owners lifts a rock concealing a whole lot of sleaze. Legalized weed attracts such lovely people.

The spirits of old Chinatown are smiling: the Golden Pagoda / Hop Louie, closed since 2016, is coming back to life!

After 28 years, Gamble House director departs over unspecified “differences of approach” with USC.

Controller: L.A. has OK’d $1 Billion in tax incentives to developers since 2005. That assistance needs more scrutiny.

As demolition began pending a judge’s determination on preserving the building, our Richard Schave went on Take Two to talk about what made Welton Becket’s 1955 Parker Center such a progressive LAPD HQ. (interview starts at 40:00). See also, this history lesson.

As the half-empty Skid Row landmark Baltimore Hotel is purchased by the Healthy Housing Foundation and reactivated, come take a time travel trip through a site packed with weird history. The L.A. Times Bomber, Tiger Woman and Rolling Stones were here! (Across the street at the King Edward, the stained glass is being restored.)

When Tail o’ the Pup was donated to Valley Relics—a San Fernando Valley museum with no connection to the Hollywood landmark—we felt blue. Now 1933 Group has acquired the iconic storefront, and is looking for a place to install it. A little confused how it went to a non-profit, then to a business, but happy the Pup is coming back to town.

Los Angeles Times Globe Lobby emptied of historic resources ahead of landmark hearing.

The Cultural Heritage Commission determines which Los Angeles buildings merit preservation designation. City Council’s PLUM Committee (somewhat mysteriously) makes land use decisions. But last week, PLUM played judge, jury & executioner for four recognized landmarks, clearing the way for a huge Hollywood redevelopment project.

The Cranky Preservationist, who loves Los Angeles and HATES what you’re doing to it, returns! Episode 16: Fitzgerald House Blues, in which a wrecked West Adams landmark finally get shown a little love! (On YouTube and Facebook)

The short documentary about our L.A. history tours and preservation activism, “True Love / True Crime on an American Bus” (directed by Nicholas Coles) received the Special Jury Prize at the Sidewalk Film Festival! We hope to be able to invite folks to an L.A. screening soon.

 
 

Episode #129: Preserving Dynastic Los Angeles County Landmarks in the 21st Century: The Chandlers’ Times Mirror Square & The Bixbys’ Rancho Los Cerritos

Atrium Pereira Times-Mirror HQ

Atrium Pereira Times-Mirror HQ

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Join us this month as we talk with architect and historian Alan Hess about the ongoing Pereira in Peril campaign and our work together seeking to landmark Times Mirror Square, which from 1935 until just last month was headquarters of the Los Angeles Times. We’ll also talk with Alison Bruesehoff, director of Rancho Los Cerritos in Bixby Knolls, Long Beach, joined by her colleagues Tessa Cavenah (Annual Fund Manager) and Sarah Fitzgerald (Historical Curator), to learn about their recently launched “Open Doors” campaign. This campaign aims to raise six million dollars over the next three years to increase public access to the historic 1844 adobe home and gardens; present new exhibits; preserve archives; and raise additional support for educational programs that weave history, social sciences, arts, and STEM-focused initiatives for the 6000+ students it serves every year.

We’ll also discuss how Times Mirror Square landmarking nomination clears first hurdle, new plans for Downtown streetcar see costs rise to $300 Million, the ugly forced closure of historic Ports O’ Call Restaurant has taken a tragic turn, proposal for West Hollywood hotel project would obliterate Route 66 roadhouse Barney’s Beanery, the “preservation settlement” with The Committee to Defend Roosevelt High and Councilman Gil Cedillo is a demolition, Hollywood’s Silent Movie Theater gets a remodel, “Peace on Earth” sculpture is moved as part of Music Center Plaza remodel, the City of Los Angeles wants to hire a Tourism Czar, Cerro Gordo, the ghost town in eastern Sierras is sold, LACMA’s Michael Govan update on progress for fundraising on Peter Zumthor’s proposed museum redesign.

So Stay Tuned!

URLS for episode

Alan Hess’ website

Pereira In Peril

City commission will consider bid to declare Los Angeles Times buildings historic-cultural monuments

HCM application Times Mirror Square

Rancho Los Cerritos

The Virtual Tour of the Children’s Room at Rancho Los Cerritos

Rancho Los Cerritos Kicks Off “Open Doors” Fundraising Campaign

Upcoming Events

Chester Turner Forensic Science Seminar

Closely Watched Trains

Pereira in Peril status report: Times Mirror Square landmarking nomination clears first hurdle, as historic resources are removed from the Globe Lobby. Also, Curbed L.A. published a list of the most endangered buildings in L.A. which included several of our Pereira causes and stated “Led by groups like the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, and Esotouric, LA has a strong community dedicated to historic preservation.”

New plans for Downtown streetcar see costs rise to $300 Million

The ugly forced closure of historic Ports O’ Call Restaurant has taken a tragic turn, as the general manager takes his own life. Shame on the Port of L.A. for treating the legacy tenants so shabbily. Peace to Jim Ryan and those who loved him.

Proposal for West Hollywood hotel project would obliterate Route 66 roadhouse Barney’s Beanery

The “preservation settlement” with The Committee to Defend Roosevelt and Councilman Gil Cedillo is a demolition, which is why no legit preservation group seeking to save Roosevelt High School’s landmark Building R has signed off on it

Hollywood’s Silent Movie Theater gutted as owners attempt to rebrand the venue, which became toxic after Cinefamily staff spoke out about abuse. It’s not a protected landmark, so there’s no requirement to preserve historic resources

Jacques Lipchitz sculpture “Peace on Earth” is moved as part of Music Center Plaza remodel

CIty of Los Angeles wants to hire a Tourism Czar

Cerro Gordo, the ghost town in eastern Sierras which funded Los Angeles’ growth in the late 19th century is sold

The Department of Public Works envisions the Los Angeles River in 20 years

LACMA’s Michael Govan weighs in on progress for fundraising for Peter Zumthor’s proposed museum redesign

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Episode #128: Chronicling Mid-Century Modern Long Beach and Lomaland’s Lovely Relics

The Prodigal
(‘The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You’)
Reginald Machell (1854-1927)
Oil on two separate canvases, c. 1895
Hand-carved frame by the artist
Reginald Machell placed the Hermetic axiom “The knowledge of IT is a divine silence, and the rest of ^ all the senses” centrally in his painting, “The Prodigal.”

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Join us this month as we talk with Dr. Louise Ivers, architectural historian and preservationist, about her new book, The Remaking of a Seaside City: Mid-Century Modern Architecture in Long Beach, California. We also visit with Kenneth Small and Robert Ray, Head of Special Collections and University Archives at San Diego State University, to hear about their exhibition, “Revisiting Visionary Utopia: Katherine Tingley’s Lomaland – Theosophy in Contemplative Community, Education and the Arts.”

We’ll also discuss the return of the Los Angeles Times to local, private ownership, Hollywood’s Villa Carlotta reopens for short-term tourist rentals as evicted tenants protest, the city reveals the much higher true costs for the Parker Center demolition project, a nice piece in Los Angeles Magazine about our forensic science seminars, West Hollywood approves the enormous Robertson Lane project (which moves and carves up the National Register landmark Factory building) and the developer launches a misleading website using the name of the Save the Factory preservation campaign, your chance to be the owner of the legendary Cerro Gordo silver mining ghost town, we’re not pleased by Frank Gehry’s relentless attempts to demolish Kurt Meyer’s lyrical, landmarked Lytton Savings Bank, the Wiggins Settlement ensures that half the Hotel Cecil remains low-income housing, CBS Television City moves off the Pereira in Peril list and is now a protected city landmark and Thomas Mann’s house was saved from demolition and now it has a library once again.

URLs for podcast

Revisiting Visionary Utopia exhibit

Revisiting Visionary Utopia exhibit press release

Enso Meditation

Robert Ray contact page

Ken Small’s email fohatdharma [AT] gmail.com

Dr. Louise Ivers’ new book The Remaking of a Seaside City: Mid-Century Modern Architecture in Long Beach, California is available from The Historical Society of Long Beach.

UPCOMING EVENTS

September 23 forensic science seminar on the Chester Turner cold case investigation.

Closely Watched Trains

The Los Angeles Times returns to local, private ownership. The future of the paper’s unlandmarked historic Downtown campus remains uncertain.

Villa Carlotta was a special Hollywood community, its tenants protected by rent control. This week, the building reopened as a transient joint. Evicted residents protested the ribbon cutting. Our podcast about Villa Carlotta, when tenants were being made miserable in their homes is here.

The enormous, true costs are revealed for the proposed replacement tower on the Parker Center site as the city fast-tracks removal of the protected artwork, including Joseph Young’s great “Theme Mural of Los Angeles,” ahead of proposed demolition (video). Our Save Parker Center campaign is here.

Some nice press for our grimmest events: Los Angeles Magazine: Inside the Forensics Seminars Where Laypeople Learn About L.A.’s Most Gruesome Crimes – Esotouric’s Forensic Science Seminars are not for the faint of heart.

West Hollywood approves the enormous Robertson Lane project, which moves and carves the National Register landmark Factory building into a meaningless morsel. The developer also registered a website using the name of the preservation group the fought to “Save the Factory” from such insensitive development.

Cerro Gordo silver shaped the west. Now you can shape the ghost town’s next century—if you’ve got $925,000 and a dream. We hope this unique time capsule finds another great steward to follow in the Patterson family’s footsteps.

Shame on Frank Gehry, who has gone to the courts to secure permission to demolish Kurt Meyer’s lyrical, landmarked Lytton Savings Bank. Meyer put his architecture career on hold to save Central Library; this fine architect and Angeleno deserves better. Our podcast interview about Meyer and Lytton is here.

Thanks to the Wiggins Settlement and the efforts of LA CAN, the Hotel Cecil will remain a schizophrenic building, with just over half the rooms dedicated as SRO low-income units and the remainder renovated hotel rooms. Elisa Lam sleuths will meet some interesting people. (PDF link.)

File under Pereira in Peril, and otherwise: CBS Television City is now a protected city landmark. Cheers to our pal Alan Hess, who wrote the LA Conservancy’s landmarking nomination, and to CBS for coming to the table to craft a preservation solution for the future of its historic broadcast production campus. And the citizens of Fullerton aren’t taking the risk to their Hunt Branch library lightly. Can this gorgeous gift from Norton Simon be saved?

Thomas Mann’s house was saved from demolition, and now it has a library once again.

 

 

Episode #127: Fighting For the Soul of Los Angeles

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Join us this month as we talk with preservationist John Girodo about his struggles to preserve Hollywood’s historic built environment as that small neighborhood experiences hyper-gentrification. We’ll also visit with social justice advocate Adrian Riskin of MichaelKohlhaas dot org, to discuss his satirical exploration of the shadowy world of Business Improvement Districts and how BIDs influenced the controversial recent defeat of a Skid Row Neighborhood Council.

We’ll also discuss the fate of the Peabody-Werden house, Richard Neutra’s Chuey House, a proposed aerial tram for Dodger Stadium, the Healthy Housing Foundation’s purchase of the nearly empty King Edward Hotel, Jill Stewart of the Coalition to Preserve L.A. on the challenges facing Los Angeles, L.A. Times art critic Christopher Knight laments Brookfield’s selling off public art on Bunker Hill, the L.A. Times’ dedicated historian Darrell Kunitomi’s long goodbye to the newspaper’s historic downtown home, a set of newly digitized photo albums from the Cuffe movie ranch in Lone Pine, Burbank’s Book Castle – Movie World bookstore closes its doors after 51 years, peril for Arts District landmark the Pickle Works Building, and the developer who plans to demolish the exquisite streamline moderne Dr. Jones Dog and Cat Hospital in West Hollywood is arrested on Federal bribery and public corruption charges. So stay tuned. . .

URLs for Interviews

Michael Kohlhaas dot org

Los Angeles Poverty Department exhibition: Zillionaires Against Humanity: Sabotaging the Skid Row Neighborhood Council

Hollywood Heritage

Upcoming Events

September LAVA Forensic Science Seminar

Closely Watched Trains

Fate of the Peabody-Werden house, moved to make way for a Boyle Heights housing development, remains uncertain.

Richard Neutra’s Chuey House, which was mysteriously pulled from landmark consideration by the Los Angeles Conservancy, is back on the market–but not as a teardown this time.

Aerial tram proposed for Dodger Stadium.

The Healthy Housing Foundation purchased the nearly empty King Edward Hotel with the aim to renovate rooms and fill it by mid-summer.

Curbed interviewed Jill Stewart of the Coalition to Preserve LA on the challenges facing Los Angeles. We like her idea of turning Parker Center into homeless housing rather than tearing it down.

L.A. Times art critic Christopher Knight laments Brookfield’s selling off public art on Bunker Hill: “This Miró masterpiece will be sold to the highest bidder. It belongs in a museum instead.” (The price realised at the May 15 auction was $9,425,000). We’re broken up about Brookfield’s demolition of the Halprin atrium, too.

The L.A. Times’ dedicated historian Darrell Kunitomi is on Facebook saying a long goodbye to the newspaper’s historic downtown home, and offering guided tours of the building until the threatened move to El Segundo.

A set of newly digitized photo albums from the Cuffe movie ranch in Lone Pine contains amazing snapshots of C.B. DeMille’s 10 Commandments ancient Egyptian film set in the Guadalupe dunes.

In vanishing independent bookstore news, Burbank’s Book Castle – Movie World closed its doors after 51 years.

The Pickle Works Building, an Arts District cultural landmark, is in peril from an expanding MTA project. The public Comments for DEIR for the Division 20 Portal Widening and Turnback Facility project just closed. (PDF link.)

The developer who plans to demolish the exquisite streamline moderne Dr. Jones Dog and Cat Hospital in West Hollywood was just arrested on Federal bribery and public corruption charges. Who else was paid off and how many landmarks lost?

 

 

Episode #126: From Show Caves to Palm Canyons: Treasures of Southern California’s Desert State Park System

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Join us this month as we get an education from two devoted parks interpreters: LuAnn Thompson shares her favorite things about the landscape and creatures found in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and Andy Fitzpatrick introduces us to the Providence Mountains State Recreation Area, including the Route 66 roadside attraction turned State Parks resource, the astonishing Mitchell Caverns.

UPCOMING EVENTS

LAVA Forensic Science Seminar: The Grim Sleeper

URLS FOR GUESTS AND CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Providence Mountains State Recreation Area

Recommended Reading:

Anza Borrego Desert Region: Your Complete Guide to the State Park and Adjacent Areas of the Western Colorado Desert by Lowell & Diana Lindsay

Keepers of the Caves: A True Account of Twenty Years of Modern Pioneering by Jack Mitchell

  • Hollenbeck Park Lake in Boyle Heights slated for a major makeover.
  • In rent control news, Costa-Hawkins repeal supporters say they will qualify for November ballot.
  • Landmarking makes all the difference: Crossroads of the World mega-project now plans to incorporate historic Hollywood Reporter building (no word on the gorgeous 1930s garden apartment buildings that are also under landmark consideration).
  • The huge development surrounding Capitol Records returns from the grave.
  • Church of the Angels moves forward after vandalism.
  • Developer in Dispute with Community Stakeholders Warns, ‘I’ll Use My AR-15.’ The parcel was subsequently landmarked.
  • The L.A. Times might move to… El Segundo? We made the trek so you don’t have to!
  • City of Los Angeles following the lead of AIDS Healthcare Foundation in turning old motels into permanent supportive housing. This is good for people experiencing homelessness and for the preservation of the historic built environment.
  • Pasadena plans new anti-suicide barriers for the National Register Colorado Street Bridge, with design recommendations to come. They can’t be uglier than the current chain link solution. . .we hope!

Episode #125: A Farewell to the Caravan Book Store & The Challenges Facing L.A.

Caravan Books

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Join us this month as we talk with Donald Spivack, former Deputy Director of Policy & Operations for the CRA-LA, about the two biggest challenges facing Los Angeles: Homelessness and Open Space. We’ll also visit with Leonard Bernstein, second-generation proprietor of Caravan Book Store, which is closing at the end of this month after nearly 56 years. It is the last shop left on Downtown’s historic Booksellers Row.

We’ll also discuss the unwelcome sale of the Japanese-American landmark Historic Wintersburg for a possible self-storage facility, the Vermonica problem, big changes at the Los Angeles Times as the reporters unionize and a new era of local ownership begins, with the Save 7500 Sunset petition the community rallies to save Parisian Florist and other historic Sunset Boulevard small businesses from an out-of-scale redevelopment project, Tom Bergin’s on the ropes again, hope for retaining some of William Pereira influence in the new development proposed for his Metropolitan Water District HQ, sleuthing the shock demolition of Lawrence Halprin’s taxpayer-funded Crocker Court on Bunker Hill, Malibu’s surfing zone is added to the National Register and we hope this is good news for the neglected Adamson House, outrage and organizing as the Port of L.A.’s redevelopment arm breaks promises made to the Ports O’ Call tenants and San Pedro community and changes to San Gabriel’s outdated preservation policies.

UPCOMING EVENTS

February Sunday LAVA Salon: Poem Noir

March Sunday LAVA Salon: The Los Angeles Mall Reconsidered

LAVA Forensic Science Seminar: Wrongful Convictions: Investigatory Case Studies From the California Innocence Project

URLS FOR GUESTS AND CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS

RIP Caravan Book Store (1954-2018). The last survivor of Downtown L.A.’s bookseller’s row is closing on 2/24, and with it goes a big piece of Los Angeles’ literary heart. See the 3-D scan.

Caravan Books

Betrayal of preservation promises at Historic Wintersburg, a significant Japanese-American landmark in Huntington Beach.

Can Street Art Be Moved Without Destroying It? Atlas Obscura tackles the Vermonica problem. The Cranky Preservationist stops by, too: Episode 15: Not Vermonica Blues.

Big changes at the Los Angeles Times: the reporters have unionized, then the inept Chicago owners sold the paper to a local owner. The looming question: will the Times be able to remain in its namesake building, which it no longer owns?

A petition is launched to “Save 7500 Sunset” seeking to preserve two blocks of small businesses in Hollywood, including Parisian Florist, one of the finest vintage storefronts we’ve got.

Tom Bergin’s is on the ropes, again.

Renderings released for proposed redevelopment of William Pereira’s Metropolitan Water District HQ: much demolition, but also partial restoration of the low-rise building at the heart of the complex. The sunscreens, removed, we believe, to stymie the landmark nomination, are back.

A civic disgrace: Department of Building and Safety issued a demolition permit in TWO DAYS just before Christmas, then Lawrence Halprin’s significant, taxpayer-funded Crocker Court was destroyed with no public notice. And of course the Cranky Preservationist has something to say about it: Episode 14: Bunker Hill Re-Redevelopment Blues.

Southern California culture spreads its influence around the globe. And now Malibu’s surfing zone is on the National Register, for layers of significance ancient to modern. Maybe now the state will invest in proper restoration of the magnificent tiled Adamson House, which needs some love.

Outrage and organizing as the Port of L.A.’s redevelopment arm breaks promises made to the Ports O’ Call tenants and San Pedro community

San Gabriel, rich with history, gets L.A. Conservancy recognition for beefing up its outdated preservation policies.

 

 

Episode #124: The Symbionese Liberation Army & A Vintage Arcadia Xmas

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Join us this month as we talk with author Brad Schreiber about his book Revolution’s End: The Patty Hearst Kidnapping, Mind Control, and the Secret History of Donald DeFreeze and the SLA and the upcoming Esotouric bus tour inspired by his research. We’ll also visit with Linda Jensen and her son Adam Wadlow, multi-year winners of an Arcadia Beautiful Holiday Decoration Award for their astonishing display of vintage, illuminated Blow-Mold plastic figures.

We’ll also discuss: our 2017 Los Angeles historic preservation survey, design problems emerge with Agence Ter’s proposed Pershing Square revamp, the Los Angeles Conservancy and Zev Yaroslavsky advocate for preservation of William Pereira’s endangered CBS Television City, the mysterious demolition of Lawrence Halprin’s atrium in Wells Fargo Tower, developer seeks to demolish William Kesling’s fine streamline moderne Wallace Beery house, encouraging news about Sheila Klein’s lost public art installation Vermonica and the collapse of the restored Van De Kamp’s windmill sign on the Arcadia Denny’s.

UPCOMING EVENTS

January’s LAVA Sunday Salon featuring Nathan Marsak on the Aesthetics of Bunker Hill (Sunday, January 28)

Two Days in South LA: The 1974 SLA Shootout tour (Saturday, February 10)

Wrongful Convictions: Investigatory Case Studies From The California Innocence Project (Sunday, March)

URLS FOR GUESTS AND CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS

Brad Schreiber’s author website. Brad’s book Revolution’s End.

Esotouric’s 2017 Los Angeles Historic Preservation Survey

Pershing Square: attempts to give L.A.’s oldest public park a high-tech revamp are stymied by parking garage topography.

An impassioned plea from Zev Yaroslavsky to preserve William Pereira’s endangered CBS Television City.

Why has a public garden on Bunker Hill been mysteriously demolished? The Cranky preservationist objects to the loss of Lawrence Halprin’s only atrium design.

Wallace Beery’s streamline modern house at risk.

Encouraging news about beloved public art piece Vermonica.

After just 18 months of service, the restored Van De Kamp’s windmill fell off its tower. We just saw it in action.