Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lankershim Depot Transit Center

This former Southern Pacific Depot built in 1895 may be the oldest building in North Hollywood, according to America's Suburbs.
In 1911 it became the Lankershim stop on the Pacific Electric streetcar line across the Valley. It is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and now that the MTA owns the property, a Save the Depot committee has formed to fight plans to move the building and, hopefully, to find a way to preserve and restore it.
Today, however, the project stalls. Both the LA Times Bottleneck blog and Daily News report that the LA City committee vote on funding didn't take place. The request for $1.1 million to restore the transit center now goes to the City Council without a recommendation.

Monday, July 30, 2007

We don't need no stinkin' surveys

Someone has given our city lots of money to: "identify, catalog and ultimately protect not just[Los Angeles'] physical "built history" but to provide a sharper portrait of Los Angeles and how it came to be."

Sounds boring. When officials start out spouting adminispeak like this, I despair.

The LA Times reported that the (deep breath) Los Angeles Department of City Planning's Office of Historic Resources, abetted and partially funded by the Getty Conservation Institute, is kicking off a five-year, multiphase effort: "SurveyLA: Los Angeles Historical Resources Survey Project. "

City official: "it's become important to catalog what makes Los Angeles Los Angeles."

These people want to discover "hidden L.A."

Run, hidden L.A., run!

Perhaps my pessimism is unwarranted. An interactive website will debut August 15; it may be tons o' fun. Here's more from the paper:

a team of 25 experts — urban historians, academics, architectural historians among them — selected by Jones & Stokes, an environmental and planning consultant firm, have begun preparing a comprehensive "Historic Context Statement," a document that will help shape the survey field guide. (A pilot survey team is set for a test run this year with the formal survey to begin in 2008.) The statement will chart the historic and architectural evolution of L.A., laying out major themes that shaped the city's identity, such as "Hollywood the Place," "Hollywood the Idea" and "Annexation." In addition, it will consider the property types and what makes them important.
zzzzz. . . . I suggest they hire a socko PR person, post haste.