Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Types of Flight

I mentioned a book titled Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West almost a year ago, and today I heard from one of the authors. The book was named Runner Up in the Great Midwest Book Festival (Regional Literature Award) and also received Honorable Mention in the San Francisco Book Festival (Biography Award) and the Southern California Book Festival (Biography Award).

Montgomery--the hero of the book--made the first ever flight in a glider, back in the 19th century, in San Diego . . . twenty years before the Wright Brothers made the first motorized flight.

Flight is the only thing that Quest for Flight and these pictures have in common. I was on the Redondo Beach Pier before sunset last night and the seagulls were posing so nicely.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Self-Help Graphic Arts building in East Los Angeles (& Shrine)

Happy Mosaic Monday!

Today's mosaic adorns a 1927 building in East Los Angeles, although the tile mosaic itself was installed much later--sixty years later.

Address: 3800 E. Cesar Chavez Avenue (once Brooklyn Ave), at Gage.

Artist Eduardo Oropeza, who died ten years ago, applied the decorative facade to the building itself in 1987.

According to the history provided by the LA Conservancy, this building was planned to house the Brooklyn State Bank, but there's no record that the bank ever opened its doors in LA. 1927 was just before the Stock Market Crash and Depression, and my understanding is that even before the Crash, lots of wild speculation and poor investments were affecting businesses all over the country, so maybe the Brooklyn State Bank fell victim to that.

The building was also planned as a four-story affair, but that didn't happen either. It was supposed to have a market as well as a bank on the ground floor, but the Conservancy tells of no occupants until . .

. . . 1944,when the Archdiocese of Los Angeles bought it, and made it a Catholic Youth Organization. The Conservancy website says it became :

"the incubator for the Chicano/East Los Angeles rock and roll sound developed during the 1950s and 1960s. It was the place to go hear local bands – including Thee Midniters, Cannibal and the Headhunters, the Premiers, and the Salas Brothers – who went on to national and international fame for introducing the then-burgeoning East L.A. sound into mainstream rock & roll music."

All that before the mosaic!

Here's more:

"In 1979, it became the new home of SHG&A [Self Help Graphics & Art]. Founded by local artists and community activist Sister Karen Boccalero, a Franciscan nun committed to social change, SHG&A has become the leading visual arts cultural center in East Los Angeles, garnering national and international recognition. Established during the cultural rebirth of the Chicana/o movement of the 1960s and '70s, SHG&A has nurtured the talents of emerging artists through training and has given exposure to young local artists, many of whom have gone on to global prominence such as Patssi Valdez, Willie Heron, Gronk, Frank Romero, and Diane Gamboa.In the 1980s, the upstairs reception hall doubled as the Vex, providing a rare community venue for emerging East L.A. punk bands."

SHG&A--an organization that started out in someone's garage in 1970,  was paying the Archdiocese one dollar a year in rent for the building. But by the 21st century, the place needed repairs that could not be paid for.

Another history is at the Self Help Graphics website. After nearly vanishing in 2006, the institution regrouped and moved to 1st Street in Boyle Heights but is still dedicated to Sister Karen Boccalero's vision.

SHG&A is one of two organizations that popularized the Day of the Dead--Dia de los Muertos--in the early 1970s and made it part of our culture. That's why people my age don't remember all those candy skulls from our childhood! Those candies didn't exist in LA until the 1970s.

Eduardo Oropeza comes into the picture in 1987. He spent three years embedding the ceramic tiles that adorn the older Self Help Graphics & Art building on Cesar Chavez Avenue.

Artist Eduardo Oropeza was very successful and his work is owned by LACMA--though it's not currently on display. Glenn Green Galleries of Santa Fe has the most information on him, and many pictures of his work. They describe him as "A quiet, gentle spirit, with a heart full of whimsy and an overflowing imagination, he speaks softly."

Oropeza seems to have been primarily a sculptor of bronze or metal life-sized images, although the gallery also has drawings and paintings of Day of the Dead figures (appropriate for this week, huh?). He was a photographer, too. The shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe, left was the second phase of the Self Help Graphics & Art Building work, done for the community. It has been relocated to the new SHG&A site in Boyle Heights, so it's no longer a part of the old building--which the LA Conservancy still refers to as the Self Help Graphics & Art building. Confusing.

Not sure who is in the old building now.

The first large picture in the post, taken in 2006, is from Wikipedia, which actually has the best and most comprehensive history of the organization. The other two photos above are from, and you'll be glad to know the stage and big ballroom are still intact. The Archdiocese sold the building in 2008; the place last changed hands in 2011. The last picture is from Glenn Green Galleries.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

LA Arts District Tour

What do you know about the Arts District?

If you're like me, not a whole lot. I suppose there's artsy stuff there, right?

Well, yes.

But art and beauty may be in the eye of the beholder.

Or . . . maybe you can't judge art by the cover?

I say that because the lovely ol' warehouse to the right is one of the venues of the Los Angeles Conservancy's Art District Tour on November 10.

The building is the Pickle Works, more properly the James K. Hill and Sons Pickle Works.

When it was built in 1888 of brick, it was the California Vinegar and Pickle Company, and for 19 years it got enlarged because, I guess, back then we ate a lot of pickles (some of us still do.)

Then it got trendy and carried the name Citizens' Warehouse and Art Dock. So it's on the tour--but only the exterior.

Other stops on this self-guided tour are the Angel City Brewery, where you must be over 21 to go in, the Southern California Institute of Architecture shown at left (formerly a Santa Fe Train Depot), and the American Hotel, a seedy-looking-but-beloved, nay, legendary home for artists, built in 1905.

You will also see artist home/workspace lofts on 3rd St, in a 1910 building that once housed the  Southern California Supply Company. Then there will be private lofts to view, elegantly decorated, in the Toy Factory Building, the Challenge Dairy Building, and the National Biscuit Building, all built in the mid-1920s but all deeply refurbished and modernized.

This tour seems ideal for the voyeur in all of us who wonder what our lives would be like had we taken the plunge and bought into one of these lofts a few years ago (before or after the Great Recession, depending on your derring-do).

Well, I wonder, and I thought about it. One of these buildings was offering a Mini-Cooper with loft purchase for a while.

That's the National Biscuit Building to the right, and on top of the wing that juts out is a beautiful long pool for doing laps. It's also called the Biscuit Company Lofts.

Here's the facts on the Conservancy's tour:

Sunday, November 10 from 10 am to 4 pm

Cost is $10 children, $15 students, $30 for Conservancy members and $35 for non-members. All non-refundable.

The tour may take 4-5 hours and you may have to move your car once (or not; I guess it depends on how far you want to walk). Docents will be at the various locations to talk about the sites, and there are some possible restrictions, so please check out the website.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How Fast is the Sea Rising?

OK, this is just a short little post to inform you that Friday--October 25, 2013--at the Aquarium of the Pacific at 1 pm, there will be a hearing on sea level rise and its impact on California's infrastructure.

The state's Select Committee on Ports and Select Committee on Sea Level Rise are holding the hearings, which last from 1 to 5 pm.

The event will be held in the theater, and guests can check with the Information Desk to the left of the Aquarium's entrance. You should not have to pay to go to this hearing. However, if you want to enjoy the Aquarium  too, why not?  There's going to be a spooky family sleepover that night--kind of Night At the Museum meets Halloween, and it should be tons o' fun. ($60-70 per person, and each child must have a chaperone/parent with them).

Actually, there's lots of events--from trick or treating "Scariums" to night dives and lectures on such unfun topics as sustainability. I mean "unfun" as opposed to children's talks--I don't mean to imply the talk won't be interesting. Heck, this post is about state hearings, so let's all assume there won't be any games or live animals entertaining us.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mosaics Changing Hands

A roundup of changes in the LA Mosaic community:

The former Home Savings and Loan Tower in Pomona--one of the buildings that anchored the open-air Pomona Mall back in the mid-60s when it was built, thanks partly to the efforts of Millard Sheets--has been a Chase Bank for a few years now.

According to this article in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the building is being sold to Western University for $4.2 million.

Superficially, things won't change much. Chase signed--or will sign--a 10-year lease with the building's new owner and continue to run its bank on the ground floor. Plus, since Chase has already spent a considerable amount of money restoring the facade of the building, the mosaic was never really in danger. But everyone seems pretty happy about the change.

Another building that Millard Sheets designed and filled with art, the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire, was purchased last summer by Maurice and Paul Marciano, the founders of Guess.

I've never blogged on that particular building because, besides hearing how beautiful it is, I really never had too much information on it, and no pictures. It's been empty for nine years. But this Los Angeles Times story says that the Marciano Brothers will keep the building intact and turn it into a museum, moving part of their huge art collection into it. It will occasionally be opened up to the public.

The Times also mentions that part of the movie National Treasure was filmed there. Hmmm.

Here's a mosaic that I did blog about. It was at the Summers Studio Art Academy in Lomita, but has been removed from the building on Lomita Blvd. It's going to be installed in a new area of UCLA Harbor General Hospital on Carson St. in Carson--not too far away--early next year. The art studio is creating a new mosaic--again with the help of local artists and students--to hang in its place in a few months.

And finally--I don't think I mentioned this before--the WPA mosaic "Recreations of Long Beach" is now the centerpiece of Harvey Milk Promenade Park, on 3rd Street in Long Beach.

This post has its history; briefly, forty artists worked to assemble this mosaic in 1936-1938, led by Albert Henry King, Stanton MacDonald-Wright, and Henry Nord. For years it rested over the entrance of the Municipal Auditorium. That building was torn down in 1975 to make way for the Terrace Theatre & environs, and for a long time it was part of the parking structure for the downtown mall--a beautiful part of the structure, but really not a worthy placement of a work of art.

So on what would have been Milk's 82nd birthday, ground was broken to create a small park in his honor. It opened in May of 2013. The Long Beach Press-Telegram printed all the details--who worked for it, who was honored at the opening, why Harvey Milk was being celebrated--but they left out any mention of the mosaic. Go figure.

So here's a big picture:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Grand Avenue Project Opinions

The Grand Avenue Project involves the lot across the street from the Disney Concert Hall.

What to do with it? No one has presented a plan that all--or even the majority--can live with.

According to this summary on Zócalo Public Square, the original plan for the plot of land, also called Parcel Q, was a design by Frank Gehry, architect of the Disney Concert Hall. That got tanked with the economy around five or six years ago.  New plans were developed (pictured left and below) but nixed by a three-person board called the Grand Avenue Authority. The reason? It lacked public space and perpetuated a "fort-like condition" common on Grand Avenue (Supervisor Gloria Molina's phrase).

However, the architectural firm Gensler has another four months (from September 30)  to adjust and resubmit a plan.

Here's what the Los Angeles Times' Christopher Hawthorne had to say about it:

Still, the recent uncertainty may turn out to be a good thing for the project and its architecture. It may make a lackluster or ill-advised design less likely to win approval or move uninterrupted toward construction.

And it will bring a fresh round of scrutiny to a development process that in recent months, as the long-delayed project gained new momentum after the recession, had faced far too little.

So like the enigmatic Q on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Parcel Q project appears and disappears, often telling us things about ourselves we don't want to hear, and more often behaving badly overall. Of course, on Star Trek Voyager, Q jumped the shark and became not-so-comic relief but that's another story, and non-Trekkies are no doubt hoping I'll just stop, so I will.

Zócalo features four essays by men with expertise in urban planning, some from a real estate perspective, and some from studying public use and public spaces. There's also an interview with Grand Park designer Tony Paradowski, and following that link leads to sidebars of other interviews with designers of public spaces--you can spend a very pleasant hour educating yourself on the ups and downs of a career path you probably never even considered before.

It would be fun to design parks, wouldn't it?

Zócalo Public Square, I just learned, is the brain child of my alma mater, Arizona State University (well, one of my alma maters. Another is UCLA--I've only lived out of LA County for two years of my entire life.)  It is a public forum of ideas, often partnering with local public radio to bring up great ideas and present lectures, like a recent one on whether we'll have enough water in the future, or will resort to warring over it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pan American Bank Mosaics & 1st Street Murals

The Pan American Bank is not just a building with beautiful mosaics. Unlike so many of the mid-century banks we've featured here--the Home Savings and Loans, etc.--Pan American Bank is still open, still a part of the community for going on 50 years.

Pan American Bank opened in 1964 at 3626 E. 1st Street in East LA.

In 1966, artist Jose Reyes Meza completed these mosaics, titled "Our Past, Our Present, and Our Future." The mosaic was restored last year by volunteers.

This image below is from the bank's Facebook page:

I'm displaying it in "original size" so I'm not sure how it will turn out on the blog. But it is an incredibly detailed picture.

The artist, Jose Reyes Meza, died just two years ago, in his 80s. He's best known as a painter and his murals are featured all over the Americas, including the the Raudales Malpaso Dam in Chiapas. I don't see any references to other mosaic work, but he did something called plastic integration that melds plastic sculptured pieces with mural backgrounds. There are several examples pictured of this technique used in churches, and it's very striking.

On the next block of 1st Street, down from the Pan American Bank, is a series of 17 arched murals made with painted ceramic tiles, inspired partly by Reyes Meza's artwork on the bank. Those murals were put up in the 1970s. The line is blurry on whether these are mosaics or not, but what the heck--I've featured tile pictures here before. The rules for Mosaic Monday are extremely pliable.

A group headed by artist Johnny D. González,with Robert Arenivar and David Botello designed the murals, which were made into tiles in Mexico by Joel Suro Olivares. Robert Kemp was the owner of the store (it closed in 2007) that sat behind the murals, which are titled "The Story of Our Struggle."

With the store gone, Pacific Charter Schools is interested in the property as a site for a middle school and high school--but they weren't necessarily sold on preserving the art. So  the artists were contacted (which is the state law, thankfully) and a new coallition was put together to save the murals.

There is a happy ending to all this. Read more about that at KCET's page here and here, at EGP News. The old store building will go, but the murals will be preserved and will surround a courtyard at the new school, about ten feet back from the sidewalk.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Newboys, 1915

Ah, the good old days. When the poor sent their children out barefoot to sell newspapers on street corners, instead of coddling the little leeches . . .
This picture is from Shorpy, and was taken in Los Angeles. Here's the caption: May 1915. "Nine-year-old newsie and his 7-year-old brother 'Red.' Tough specimen of Los Angeles newsboys." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

L.A. History: October Events . . .

. . . that are not Halloween-related.

Like old movies? How about old movies screened on the roof of the Union Rescue Mission?

LAVA--the Los Angeles Visionaries Association--will screen the 1949 film Of Scrap and Steel on the rooftop on Thursday, October 10. It's a 30-minute color film showing life on Skid Row in 1949: "live-action footage of the vibrant street scene that included rescue missions, pawn shops, amusement parlors, bars, restaurants and the ever-patrolling paddy wagon in search of drunkards to haul away to jail or County work crews."

The film was made on a $5,000 budget by Board of Directors of the Union Rescue Mission, and showcases a saved and reformed Arthur Hawkins. Only two actors are in the film--everyone else is a real person on the streets of LA.

The showing is free--but you must register with LAVA and jump through their hoops. (I love LAVA, but they do make you prove your love.)

7 pm on 10/10: Enter through the Mission at 545 S. San Pedro St.

Next, the 8th Annual Archives Bazaar is on Saturday the 12th, and this link will take you to the big poster that tells you all about it.

Over 80 institutions will be at USC showing off their goods: old photos, maps, legal documents, tourist brochures,maybe some diaries and dance cards and all sorts of things from collections as diverse as the Ayn Rand Archives, genealogical societies, the Baseball Reliquary, and dozens of local historical societies.

There'll be an Antiques Roadshow spin-off in which experts will evaluate family heirlooms, and a rooms set up for  speed-dating style presentations of archives--five minutes at each table. Also panels of specialists talking about starting your own collection and others presentations on Craft Brewing (huh? who knew that was historical? I'll drink to that!) (it had to be said), a new documentary on African-American soldiers coming home after WWII, and more.

9 am to 5 pm, Saturday October 12

 USC Campus, Doheny Memorial Library. Free, but parking will cost you.

(USC hosts the webstie LA as Subject, which gives them a vested interest in this yearly celebration of paper-and-ephemera-loving Angelenos.)

Then on the next day--in case you want a Really Full Weekend--there's a lecture derived from the Never Built LA exhibit. Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin, the fellows responsible for the Never Built LA presentation--which is still going strong, through the last weekend of this month--will join John King, "instigator" of a similar Never Built San Francisco exhibit. The three will discuss their shows--how they came to be, and what they tell us about the cities of the future, and more

That's a picture of the original LAX design to the left, btw. We've been enjoying a smaller knock-off for years, but somehow we pulled through.

6 pm, Sunday October 13

The Architecture and Design Museum

6032 Wilshire Blvd. (just east of Fairfax)

Free with a paid admission to the museum, but you can pre-register to ensure your place.

And wait--there's more!

Saturday October 19th--the following weekend--Tongva Park in Santa Monica is the site of a community celebration in honor of the park's grand opening.

Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square will feature music, crafts, storytelling, food trucks, and tours of the park’s diverse horticulture and innovative design elements. Tongva culture will be presented through traditional stories, songs, indigenous dances, and ceremonies.

That's Saturday, 10/19, 11 to 4>

The park is at 1615 Ocean Ave, near City Hall.

Pre-Halloween Cemetery Tour in Long Beach

Halloween's a big holiday for historical societies, and Long Beach is no exception.

On October 26, 2013 HSLB hosts their annual Cemetery Tour at the Municipal and Sunnyside Cemeteries, 1095 E. Willow.

Here's who you'll meet:

  • Ethel and Charles Haynes. In 1961, Charles became the first African American member of the Long Beach Board of Realtors. Ethel was an elementary school teacher. Together they helped integrate the city. 

  • Brother-sister Thomas and Kathleen Harnett whose parents came here from England in the late 1800's. Thomas owned a milling company; Kathleen a teacher.

  • Yaye Kurayama Takeshita was a "picture bride" married to a man she never met in a foreign land. Her two sons were WWII heroes and son Las Takeshita became a respected Japanese American leader in Long Beach. 

  • Elizabeth and Donald Wallace had Poly in their DNA! Generations of Wallaces were Poly grads. When the civil rights movement brought awareness and desire for change--change which threatened Poly. Liz and Don brought black and white parents together. 

  • William (left) and Betty Seal were born in Long Beach, both teachers, following in the footsteps of their families. Bill helped returning Vietnam vets get into college; Betty worked with Cambodian refugees to help them succeed in their new home town.  

  • Valentine and Maybell Leal were married in Long Beach in 1905. Together they raised three sons, watched friends fight for fair treatment, and Valentine joined Alianza,an early Latino fraternal organization. One son attended UCLA and was a noted language scholar. 

  • Coseboom Family-Clarence, Dora, and their son Walter Coseboom, in 1896, embroiled in the question, "Should Long Beach stay dry?" A rumpus and row ensued. And, what mischief was son Walter up to that night in the city storeroom? 

  • Dora Czerny was an elderly entrepreneur. After marriage and giving birth to ten children (most died) back East, she came to Long Beach alone, worked her way up from housekeeper to bathhouse owner and real estate developer. And then in 1907, she blew the whistle on the murder-by-poison of her best friend.

ALl, this, and a Dia de los Muertos exhibit as well.

Performances run from 9 am to 2:30 pm, and there are guided tours as well, at 9, 10, 11, and noon.

Tickets are $20, though there are discounts for HSLB members and students, and a hot dog lunch is included from 11:30 to 1:30.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sunday in the Park with George

George is the snowy egret. Not that he knows that. Nor does anyone else, I suppose, since I just made his name up.

The park is Averill Park in San Pedro, where you can see lots of wild life: dozens of ducks, a few geese, egrets, phoebies and other birds, skateboarders, butterflies, and wedding parties arranging themselves near the waterfall, stone bridge, fauna or meadows to pose for photographers.

Found a 1923 article in the Los Angeles Times that mentions this park--says its 12 acres "affords a splendid view of the Bay of San Pedro from its commanding position at the head of the beautiful Vista del Oro section."

The Superintendent of Parks, one Frank Shearer, was credited with giving Averill park touches of "rustic beauty."

A 1933 piece about the spending of over $1 million on parks mentions the waterfalls at Averill--pictured 80 years later at right.

There's a picture in the 1933 paper, but online it doesn't look like much--just enough of a sketchy outline to confirm that it's the same waterfalls.

The 1933 article reports that the million dollars was being spent to put  nearly 1400 men to work full time making improvements to the parks, and the project was expected to last three years. This was during the Depression, of course, and the money was part of a $5 million city bond issue, aimed at increasing employment in many areas.

So picnic grounds were added to Elysian Park, a grotto and rock terraces went to Fern Dell, Victory Van Owen Park and Reseda Park were created, the Arroyo Seco got more channels, etc. etc. Dozens of parks are mentioned, all over LA.

And even the rocks and bricks from defunct miniature golf courses were repurposed in the parks, becoming the bases of the waterfalls and new, decorative retaining walls. Waste not, want not.

Sounds like about a fifth of the money went to Griffith Park, where miles of bridle trails were added, roads were paved, and thousands of new trees and shrubs were planted. Not sure about the figure though because apparently the estate of Col. Griffith contributed funds as well.

But as you can see from these pictures, the waterfowl in the compact oasis of Averill Park are thriving. Children were racing around, squealing and playing, men were barbecuing and telling tall tales, and the cameras were clicking and whirring. Just the right antidote for the news . . . I wonder if we could start a movement, forcing folks to balance the time they spend listening to the news with hours spent in the city's parks. Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Halloween Events at the Zoo--Old and New

Haunted Hayride and Purgatory Sideshow 
at Griffith Park's Old Zoo
Based on Actual Events!

Apparently--or at least, according to their website--the area of the Old Zoo in Griffith Park is abnormally and paranormally active. Its history is filled with murder, mayhem, torture, abduction, and serial killings--the perfect spot for a night of hellacious fun. The ride is completely re-worked and redone, nothing like last year, so you won't know what's coming at you in the maze o' terror. Cages and enclosures now hold zombies and hooded ghosts rather than lions and tigers, but the bars are gone, and we all know that on Halloween, the barriers between the worlds are dissolved.
  • Location: The Old Zoo, 4730 Crystal Springs in Griffith Park. The area is beyond the Ranger Headquarters and Shane's Inspiration, and below Harding Golf Course. Follow signs to the Merry-Scarey-Go-Round.
  • On Sundays and Thursdays (except the 3rd)  in October, tickets to the Haunted Hayride are sold from 7-10:30 pm and the ride runs till 11:30. On Fridays and Saturdays, tickets are sold till midnite; the ride goes till 1 am..
  • Prices start at $30, but there are add-ons, group rates, and specials so you should go see the price site yourself. Looks like cash only at the box office, though you can buy online.
  • Warning: the website itself is creepy and disturbing. 
Now, for those families who are not part of the Addamses we present: 

Costumes and Trick or Treating!

Last two weekends in October (19-20, 26-27) at the Real Zoo! Here's the description from the Zoo's website
Pumpkin carving demonstrations, arts and crafts, creepy-crawly animal encounters, Chomp n’ Stomp animal feedings, engaging performances by Campfire Cathy where the children become the stars of the show, and a picturesque pumpkin patch.
Watch some of our resident creatures enjoy special enrichment surprises. And, of course, trick-or-treat for candy as you roam the Zoo.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Corky's Retro Vibes

Charles Phoenix was at Corky's earlier this week (follow his FB page if you love mid-century kitsch) and the place looks wild.

Of course, in this instance I am defining wild as something brighter than Pepto-Bismol. Your results may vary.

Armet and Davis designed the joint--you know them, right? They designed so many Googie-style places, like the original few Norms, Pann's Coffee Shop, the Wich Stand (now Simply Wholesome), Johnie's Coffee Shop on Wilshire,  Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake, the LAX Theme Building, and more.

If you love Googie, check out this Road Trip Slide Show, courtesy of James Horecka,

Here's another photo of Corky's interior, with John Gilmore, writer, glowering at the camera of That Man Ray . . . From Venice (taken from the blog of the same name.)  Ray calls Gilmore the "quintessential L.A. noir writer," which fits since he's penned books on crime in our city, like Severed: The True Story of the Black Dahlia Murder

Corky's started life in 1958 as Stanley Burke's Coffee Shop on Van Nuys Blvd, according to this article from the Sherman Oaks Patch.

(Let me just digress to say that I hope all our LA-area Patches survive the coming apocalypse, since they are a great source of community-interest articles that would otherwise be relegated to blogs like this. My fondest dream would be for Patch to thrive and be able to actually pay writers again!)

Anyway, Hal Lifson in Patch writes that Stanley Burke's changed to the always open, 24/7 Corky's in the early 60s, and stayed that way for 25 years. Billy Joel played piano there in the 70s.

Then it became the Lamplighter. And toward the end of its life as The Lamplighter, it served as a location in the 2010 version of Nightmare on Elm Street. This picture is from the ItsFilmedThere blog, highlighting film locations in Chicago & LA. I suspect this is a screencap from the film; it shows the same booth that Mr. Gilmore sat in above.

Now it's Corky's again. With that rechristening came a retro renovation, so I do not know for sure which parts are really really new, which are original, which are imitative of the original, and which are the rich fantasies of decorators gone wild. And which photos have had the colors tweaked a bit, though I have my suspicians. But it's all good.

(BTW, there is an Inland Empire-based chain of Corky's Restaurants--not related.)