WAHA E-News 4-17-2007

"Eye" on West Adams.

By Laura Meyers

Taxes got you down? Don't be blue - there's plenty to do in the neighborhood, and around town!

Saturday, April 28
6:30 p.m.

ABC-Channel 7's "Eye on L.A." has scheduled a segment on the historic districts of West Adams to air on Saturday, April 28, at 6:30 pm. The show, co-hosted by reporter Leslie Sykes, and Garth Kemp, Channel 7 weatherman and morning news feature reporter. "Eye on L.A." has been airing a series on Los Angeles's neighborhoods, and spent more than two days filming at a variety of West Adams historic locations. TV is unpredictable, of course, so do check local listings closer to the date!

Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29
Projects in West Adams:
Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at historic Firehouse No. 26, 2475 West Washington Blvd.
Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Casa de Rosas, 2600 South Hoover (at Adams)

More than 32,000 volunteers of all ages came together last May to help at nearly 250 different non-profit sites as part of Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa's Big Sunday 06: L.A.'s Annual Day of Service.

As a result of the success of last year's partnership between the Office of the Mayor and Big Sunday.org, Big Sunday is expanding to two days as Mayor Villaraigosa presents "Big Sunday 07: All Over Town, All Weekend Long" on April 28 and 29. The goal is to involve 50,000 people and grow their level of volunteerism throughout the year. Big Sunday 07 is not just about community service; it is about community building too.

Volunteer registration began on March 28th. Go to www.bigsunday.org to view the list of projects and find out how you, your family and/or your organization can participate in Big Sunday '07.

In West Adams, folks at the Helen and George Thomas Senior Center, located at the historic firehouse on Washington Boulevard, need volunteers to help "clean, garden, paint, spiff up and spruce" the building, inside and out. You can sign up at www.BigSunday.org, or just call the center's director, Marva Maxey, at 323-734-9091.

Also in West Adams, volunteers will be helping at Casa de Rosas/Sunshine Mission on a landscaping project. You will be helping with a major re-landscaping project, clearing, pruning, digging, and planting in the historic courtyard.
Calling all gardeners - and anyone else willing to get down and dirty. Sign up at www.BigSunday.org, project number 0225 for Saturday and 0258 for Sunday.

Barbara Delvac is coordinating feeding the Casa de Rosas volunteers, and she's looking for a fun group of guys and gals. If you'd like to help with food for the crews (breakfast, lunch and snacks all day) please contact her directly at baranndel@aol.com.

Let's show those other guys that West Adams residents can work a paintbrush or a shovel alongside the best of 'em.

California Preservation Conference
Thursday to Sunday, May 3-6
Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood
Volunteer training session: Thursday, April 19
7 p.m.

The California Preservation Foundation (CPF) is seeking volunteers for the 32nd Annual California Preservation Conference: Preservation Goes Hollywood.
And, CPF needs your help! Volunteers are needed to help in all aspects of the event, including registration, bus loading, the bookstore and the auction area, the exhibitors fair, special events, and floating "runners" who may be called upon to walk several blocks on errands.

In addition to self-satisfaction gained from dedicating time to a worthy cause, CPF offers great benefits in exchange for a volunteer's time at the Conference. Volunteers may attend the Conference educational sessions and Plenary Session free of charge, based on the number of hours volunteered. Volunteers can also purchase tickets to tours or events, without having to pay the full conference registration fees. In addition, volunteers will be invited to a not-to-be-missed Thank You Event that will take place after the Conference.

Register as a volunteer at www.californiapreservation.org.

Please distribute this e-mail to your network of friends, family members and preservation aficionados who may be interested in volunteering their time to this worthwhile cause. If you or potential volunteers have any questions, please contact Alison Rose Jefferson at Alison@historicla.com.

Dessert and Coffee Meet-and-Greet
Thursday, April 26
7:30 p.m.
2650 South Kenwood (Adams Normandie area)

West Adams Heritage Association's annual Board elections will be sweetened by dessert and beverages. Come meet the candidates (or declare yourself), and get involved in this volunteer-run organization. Candidate Statements appear in the current (April) issue of the WAHA Matters newsletter.

If you'd like to know more about what it takes to serve on the WAHA Board, contact WAHA president Jefferson Davis at jeffdavisv@yahoo.com.

Hosted by West Adams' own Kathie Adams
Wednesday, April 18
7 to 9:30 p.m.
Fairview Branch, Santa Monica, 2101 Ocean Park Blvd. (Santa Monica)

Does the dysfunctional family reflect a breakdown of society or a reassessment of values?

View a screening of "Pieces of April," written and directed by Peter Hedges and starring Katie Holmes, and then discuss it with both audience members and an expert at the Dysfunctional Family Film Festival, a series sponsored by the Santa Monica Public Library.

Enjoy food, coffee, and dessert, compliments of Monte Alban Restaurant, Peet's Coffee & Tea, and Coppelia's Bakery & Restaurant, with a post-movie viewing discussion hosted by family therapist Kathie Adams. For directions and more information, contact 310-450-0443.

Saturday, April 21
1-3 p.m.
California African-American Museum, 600 State Park Drive (Exposition Park)

As part of the ongoing exhibition, "Intersections of South Central: People and Places in Historic and Contemporary Photographs," the MAK Center for Art & Architecture L.A. joins the California African-American Museum (CAAM) in sponsoring a talk exploring the role of modernist architect R.M. Schindler in a South Los Angeles neighborhood.

Historian and exhibition co-curator (and WAHA member) Alison Rose Jefferson will lecture on "Continuity and Revolution: A South Los Angeles Neighborhood and the Architecture of R.M. Schindler." Focusing on Schindler's Bethlehem Baptist Church (1944) at South Compton Avenue and 49th Street, Rose will discuss the history of the neighborhood, its demographic changes, architecture, and historic preservation.

"Intersections of South Central: People and Places in Historic and Contemporary Photographs" interprets the changing landscapes of South Central since the 1920s and features historic photographs from the archives of the Automobile Club of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Sentinel and California Eagle newspapers, the Los Angeles Unified School District archives, the Harry Adams collection at Cal State Northridge, and the Huntington Library.

In addition, the exhibition features contemporary photographs of the same sites by prominent African-American photographers, including: Haywood Galbreath, Frank Jackson, Kimberly Johnson, Akili Ramsess, Lester Sloan, D. Stevens and Bruce W. Talamon. The exhibition is on view at the California African American Museum through April 28.

Jefferson is a consultant with the Historic Resources Group, an historic preservation planning and development services firm. She is a Master's candidate at USC's Historic Preservation program and is finishing a thesis on an African American vacation community that existed in Riverside County at Lake Elsinore during the segregation era. Through her research, Phillips Chapel, a small, 100-year-old African American church in Santa Monica's Ocean Park neighborhood, received Landmark designation in 2005.

CAAM is located at 600 State Park Drive in Exposition Park, Los Angeles.
Public hours are Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission is free and parking is $6; the parking entrance is at 39th and Figueroa Streets. For further information, visit www.caamuseum.org or call 213-744-7432.

Saturday, April 21
Registration: 7:30 a.m.
Sessions until 3 p.m.
Westin Bonaventure Hotel, 404 S. Figueroa

The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment will be hosting the annual Congress of Neighborhoods, "One City, Many Neighborhoods, Working Together," to provide a chance for stakeholders from all areas of the City to interact with one another, with city departments, city officials, and various community entities via networking sessions and workshops.

This free event is open to the public, though it is focused on neighborhood councils and their members. Continental breakfast and lunch will be served.
Plus: free validated parking at the City National Plaza (400 S. Flower Street.)

For more information or to register please visit the Department's website at www.LACityNeighborhoods.com or call 213-485-1360.

Saturday, May 5
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Enter this gated community from St. Charles Place (turn west from Crenshaw)

It's time for Lafayette Square's annual spring cleaning! Homeowners throughout the Square will be offering their tossed-off treasures for sale. The sale will include the usual assortment of clothing, kids' toys, furniture, and vintage/periodesque furnishings and accessories galore. In past years, members have reporting acquiring all kinds of great antique "finds." Come early for the best selection. Questions? Contact co-chair Ellen Farwell, 323-737-2528.

Saturday, April 28
9:45 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

The Gothic Renaissance-style Victorian mansion was designed by Theodore Augustus Eisen and Sumner P. Hunt in 1898 and was home to the Doheny family for almost 60 years. Frequently remodeled by oil baron Edward L. and Carrie Estelle Doheny, the mansion boasts the famous Pompeian Room with iridescent Tiffany glass dome and imported Sienna marble. Public tours, which cost $25 a person, include the first floor of the mansion and surrounding grounds. Call 213-477-2962 to book your reservation (required.)

Sunday, April 29
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
La Casita del Arroyo Garden, 177 South Arroyo Boulevard (Pasadena)

In 1995, the Garden Conservancy launched its Open Days Program with 110 private gardens in Connecticut and southeastern New York, many of which had never before opened to the public. Garden lovers flocked to sneak a peek behind each other's garden gates. Ten years later, the Open Days Program has grown to include more than 450 new and returning private gardens each year, including more than a dozen in the Los Angeles region. This month, eight verdant gardens will be open for touring in the Pasadena area.

Maps to the Pasadena Open Days gardens and discounted admission tickets (6 tickets for the price of 5 - $25) will be available at La Casita del Arroyo Garden. Situated on the east bank of the Arroyo Seco, La Casita del Arroyo Garden surrounds a small community meeting house designed by Myron Hunt in the early 1930s. In the late 1980s Isabelle Greene designed a water demonstration garden divided into sections with the purpose of illustrating plants suitable for different water requirements. In 1999 a butterfly sanctuary was dedicated on a slope leading down to the arroyo.

PLUS: Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 12, when private gardens in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades open their garden gates. Maps and discounted admission tickets (6 tickets for the price of 5 - $25) will be available at Merrihew's Sunset Gardens, 1526 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays.html.


The West Adams Heritage Association along with United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council (UNNC) have been working diligently with the LAUSD to move or salvage the homes slated for demolition at the new Washington Street School located on Washington just west of Arlington. While initially rebuffed, the community rallied with the help of school board member, Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, to force the LAUSD to work with us to help save the houses.

The goals are two-fold -- salvaging our historical heritage and keeping these items out of landfills.

While the plans are still being worked out, we have toured the homes and made a list of houses to move and items to salvage, including windows, doors, hardware, built-ins and cabinets, siding, flooring, etc., from structures that will not be moved. We will e-mail you again with details, but there will probably be a specified day when workers will remove house parts for salvage, and a list of material available.

Importantly, WAHA and UNNC are working with community members to move at least two of the houses. There are still some wonderful little bungalows that are available for moving if you have room in the back of your house. (756 square footages - 36 feet by 24 feet)

If you are interested, you must act now. Please be aware there are many governmental hoops to go through and probably no more than 3 or 4 months to do so.

1. Contact Eric Bronson (eb@birdmarella.com) and tell him you are interested. He will notify you of important dates and time frames.

2. You can view the bungalows at 3rd and Washington- they are the fenced in bungalow court just south of Washington. We will attempt to arrange an opening of the houses with the LAUSD in the near future.

3. Please be aware that it will cost around $13,000 to move the house to your lot - more if you are far from the location. Electrical and utility lines are around $600 dollars to move if needed. These bungalows are likely small enough not to require movement of the lines. In addition, a foundation meeting current codes would be required, which itself will likely cost in excess of $12,0000, as well as upgrades to the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.

4. There are more expenses in moving the houses, including city and permit fees. Those fees can be very expensive, especially if you have zoning issues on your lot. Zone changes take time and money. (It is very important for you to visit the Dept. of Building and Safety to find out the limits of what you can do on your lot. Get the facts first.)

Please watch WAHA's website for updates.


Do you have a present-day photograph that depicts the rear of the renovated South Seas House? In particular, we need images that show the oversized sign that was mounted on the fence, indicating the State of California funding sources for the project. Government officials are trying to document that the sign was really mounted for several years (it was), and need photographic evidence.
If you can help, please contact architect Michele McDonough, mmdarch@ca.rr.com, or the City's project manager, Richard Chang, at 213-978-1912.


We welcome your contributions to the WAHA E-News and West Adams Heritage
Association's monthly publication, "West Adams Matters." Please understand that we do have deadlines. Material for the print newsletter should be submitted no later than the 1st of the prior month (i.e.: April 1 for the May issue). If your event is scheduled for early in a month, we suggest you request coverage for the prior month (i.e.: May issue for a June 3 event), because it's entirely possible that not all of our members will have received their newsletter by then (we do try hard…). We reserve the right to edit submitted material. For the WAHA E-News, we prefer to only send it out once or twice a month. Please don't wait until two days before an event to let us know about it. It may not be sent out.

EXCEPTION: If you suddenly hear of an important city hearing or other public meeting that is important to West Adams, we will endeavor to send out a special bulletin.

Submit your material to Laura Meyers, editor, lauramink@aol.com.