Did Los Angeles poet and novelist Charles Bukowski ever have a childhood?
The lawn at Longwood, which Bukowski was forced to trim.
Well, he was small here, in this Spanish style house in the West Adams district, where his brute of a father made him mow the lawn with a precision that no human boy could master, then beat him into unconsciousness in the tiny bathroom at the end of the hall.
Jeff Markey is a Bukowski fan who recently purchased the house at 2122 Longwood Avenue, with an aim to restore it to its 1920s appearance and make it available as a short-term AirBnB rental.
We’ve been advising him about historic preservation options, based on our having helped to get Bukowski’s East Hollywood bungalow named an L.A. landmark.
Esotouric’s Kim Cooper takes a moment inside the remodeled bathroom where the young Bukowski was abused.
The experience of standing alone in “that” bathroom is not something any Bukowski fan will soon forget.
You can hear an interview with Jeff and our Richard Schave done by Anna Scott of Press Play/ KCRW.
And the house has a website.
And our Charles Bukowski bus tour is scheduled four times a year.
See more of our photos of the house on Longwood Avenue below.
Detail, Garfield elevator clock
For many years, the only way to see any part of the interior of Claud Beelman’s magnificent Art Deco Garfield Building (1928-30), a National Register and Los Angeles landmark, was through a grubby glass door behind a metal grate.
Despite a million dollar restoration in the 1970s, the Garfield has long been locked up tight, only accessible to vandals and pigeons. But the revival of interest in Downtown architecture has finally stirred the landlords to place the property on the market. Over the summer, the ugly plastic panels come down off the upper first story, and we noticed some intriguing activity inside the lobby.
And when we saw that this door to paradise was open, we couldn’t resist taking a peek. Behold! All this can be yours! (And soon, we fervently hope, more freely accessible to the beauty seeking citizens of the world.)
Oak Grove is a private cemetery opened in 1922, and owned and managed by Marilyn Stanza, who married into the founding family. Cemeteries without large perpetual care endowments can become difficult to maintain with time, and in recent years there have been complaints surrounding the condition of the park grounds and Mausoleum. There has been water damage to the structure, and metal items, including rain gutters and sculptures, have been stolen for scrap value.
Mrs. Stanza has recently initiated a major restoration of the lion-flanked Byzantine Mausoleum (Tom P. Barnett and Sidney Lovell, 1928 with later additions), beginning with the gilded dome, which was inspired by the Pantheon in Paris. She was kind enough to permit us to visit this exquisite structure, and to share stories of the cemetery and St. Louis community.
Our tour of Oak Grove Mausoleum reminds us of the enormous challenges that face small organizations and individuals entrusted with the care of aging landmark properties. We hope that the good restoration work begun by Mrs. Stanza will continue and that Oak Grove will once again become famous for its beauty and restful charm.
See photos from our visit to Bellefontaine Cemetery here
See more scenes from our anniversary trip through Missouri and Illinois here.