WAHA E-News 5-25-2007

Wilshire Park Tour, Weird and Wonderful West Adams, and more!

By Laura Meyers


Wonderful Wilshire Park: Spring Historic Homes and Garden Tour Saturday, June 2

Houses will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Last ticket sold at 2:30 p.m.
Check in at 4039 West 7th Street (west of Wilton Place) on the day of the tour

Please join WAHA and Wilshire Park Association on a pleasant Spring stroll through Wilshire Park, one of Los Angeles' best kept secrets.

The self-guided tour includes homes dating from circa 1910 through the 1930s, and features a wide variety of architectural styles. Some residences have been painstakingly restored by loving owners to their original period, while others have been given a new, creative life by artists and craftsmen.

This is your last chance to purchase DISCOUNTED advance tickets (see below), but full-price tickets will also be available on the day of the tour, space permitting.

Wilshire Park is bounded by Crenshaw, Wilshire, Wilton and Olympic. It is home to three L.A. landmarks, and dozens more beautiful historic homes. The enclave is located just north of the Historic West Adams District, in a community where WAHA also advocates on historic preservation and neighborhood character issues.

Paid in advance, WAHA members and Wilshire Park residents, $25.
Non-members paid in advance, $30.
Paid on the day (walk-in), $35.

Proceeds from this event benefit WAHA's historic preservation advocacy activities. WAHA is helping the Wilshire Park Association's efforts to raise money for a historic resources survey.

To purchase advance tickets, send your request and a check made out to "WAHA" to:

WAHA June Tour
2209 Virginia Road
Los Angeles, CA 90016

For more information, call 323-732-4223, e-mail tours@westadamsheritage.com

Sunday, May 27
3 to 7 p.m.

St. Elmo Village, 4830 St. Elmo Dr. (one block south of Venice Boulevard, 2.5 blocks east of La Brea Avenue)

St. Elmo Village presents "Drums, Blues & Jazz" to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend. Performers include Leon Mobley & Da Lion, Gregg Wright, and the Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble. Sponsored by the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs department. The event is free; refreshments are available for sale. If you haven't ever been to the St. Elmo Village art community, it's well worth the visit. (The paintings and photographs by the participating artists are also for sale.) 323-931-3409

Saturday, June 23
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

(*Tour ends just in time for WAHA's Annual Preservation Meeting to begin - see info below)

Meet at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and 25th Street in West

Adams Avenues (just west of Arlington, north of Adams) to board the bus

Scene of the West Adams crime: On this tour through the West Adams' notorious historic crime settings, passengers thrill to the carjacking horror of silent film starlet Myrtle Gonzalez, shiver as Dream Killer Otto Parzyjegla chops his newspaper publisher boss to pieces with the paper-cutting blade, shudder at the pickled poignancy of the murder-by-brandy of Benjamin Weber, marvel at the Krazy Kafitz family and their litany of murder-suicides, attempted husband slayings, Byzantine estate battles and mad bombings, then gag at terrible fate visited on kidnap victim Marion Parker by The Fox.

There will be some celebrity sites along the route, including the death locales of Motown soul sensation Marvin Gaye and 1920s star Angels baseball catcher Gus Sandberg. And the architecture too is to die for.

The tour is sponsored by Esotouric, which leads bus tours into some of Los Angeles's most interesting neighborhoods -- the ones often overlooked by traditional touring companies. It's not your ordinary tour bus company. Esotouric's tour themes are provocative and complex, but never dry, mixing crime and social history, rock and roll and architecture, literature and film, fine art and urban studies, with original research and startling observations.

The June 23rd outing is a special edition of the Weird West Adams tour designed especially for members of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and the West Adams Heritage Association. Passengers are encouraged to dress in whatever period attire best suits them. Current (or brand new!) members of WAHA or ADSLA can reserve seats by phone (at 323-223-2767) or e-mail (via the contact form on the website below) and save $5 off the $55 ticket cost, provided they pay by check. Non-members can either pay by check or online using the link below.

There are no paper tickets: your name will be on a list at the bus door. Check in is at 10:30 a.m. for an 11 a.m. sharp departure from the park at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and West 25th Street in West Adams. There is street parking in the neighborhood. Watch for red zones and park legally.

Visit http://www.esotouric.com/adams-6-23-07 to sign up and/or get more information.

The tour is planned to end just as WAHA's Annual Preservation Meeting begins, one block away (yep, you can leave your cars parked where they are.) Please keep reading

Saturday, June 23
3 p.m. (reception) to 6 p.m.
At the Mrs. Susan Wilshire Residence, 2501 4th Avenue, West Adams Avenues (three blocks west of Arlington, one block north of Adams)

WAHA hosts its Annual Historic Preservation Meeting in June at the historic Mrs. Susan Wilshire Residence, a 1912 Colonial Revival designed by famed architects Hudson and Munsell. Mrs. Wilshire was the wife of George Wilshire and mother of H. Gaylord Wilshire, the entrepreneur/developer for whom Wilshire Boulevard is named.

We have a great program planned. (At least, we think so!) This past year, the City of Los Angeles has begun to require visual presentations in Powerpoint about proposed historic landmarks. As a result, preservation advocates have had to learn how to be visual storytellers, using vintage photos and other graphic material to tell the history of the people and architects of our wonderful West Adams community.

For this event, we will be showing and telling the story of four of our local landmarks (and soon-to-be landmarks). See old photographs, drawings, and ephemera related to Felix Chevrolet, the first (1878) farmhouse in Jefferson Park, a 1902 Tudor mansion on what was then Bankers' Row by USC, and a fab Craftsman/Art Nouveau mansion in Victoria Park built by Nellie Holmes Shannon and Michael Shannon, L.A.'s first traffic cop.

Special guest: Ken Bernstein, manager of Los Angeles's Historic Resources Department.

We'll be serving light refreshments: sweets and savories, and beverages. Please do us a favor and RSVP so we have an idea of how many people to expect. Send an e-mail to WAHAHoliday@aol.com, and many thanks.

Saturday, June 9
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Adams Boulevard between Arlington and 3rd Avenue (the street will be closed)

Home Assembly Church and a host of co-sponsors including United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council (UNNC) present the 8th Annual Community Unity Day festival. Look for a grand day of good music, entertainment, delicious food, activities for kids, access to healthcare providers, and much more.

At noon, UNNC will receive the Dr. Gregory R. Dantzler Humanitarian Award in recognition of its "mission of empowering and bringing together a diverse community to maintain and improve the quality of life." UNNC will also be giving away small potted drought-resistant plants at its booth.

The Festival will be emceed by Pearl Jr. Highlights include:

* A kidzone including sno-cones, a critter zoo, jumpers, and an aquarium on wheels

*Entertainment, including The Fourth Element R&B Jazz Band, Tony Sol Gospel Rapper, a Mariachi band, and Pellani African Drums, among other performers

* Health testing -- diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, mammograms

* Food -- both free and for sale by vendors

The Community Unity Day Festival is free - just come on down!

Saturday, June 16
Saturday, July 14

Summer public tours of the historic Doheny Mansion at Mount St. Mary's College in Chester Place will be given at 9:45 and 10:30 a.m. on June 16 and again on July 14.

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 Siena marble.

Public tours, which cost $25 a person, include the first floor of the mansion and surrounding grounds. Seniors are $15, and other discounts apply. Call 213-477-2962 to book reservations.

Founded in 1925, Mount St. Mary's College is the only Catholic college primarily for women in the Western United States. The College is nationally recognized for its academic programs, its culturally diverse student body, and its focus on preparing the next generation of citizen leaders. For more information about the Mount's undergraduate program or its co-ed graduate and weekend college programs visit www.msmc.la.edu.


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.