WAHA E-News 6-3-2007

Surf's Up, and Preservation Fun!

By Laura Meyers

Our thanks to all who supported the Wilshire Park Tour. It was a grand success. Here's some more exciting community events.

Benefit Preview Screening of "Surf's Up"
Thursday, June 7
7 p.m.
Pacific Theaters at The Grove

West Adams residents are invited to an exclusive, advance showing of this summer's Sony animated feature, "Surf's Up," starring Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Jon Heder, Zooey Deschanel, and James Woods.

This fun-filled evening is also a way to help one of West Adams' premier attractions: Gramercy Housing Group, which provides child care and housing for young mothers in a beautifully restored, brick building on Fourth Avenue at Washington Boulevard.

The special showing benefits Gramercy Housing Group's programs. The $30 tickets are tax deductible, and thanks to Sony and Pacific Theaters, every dollar goes to Gramercy.

To order tickets, please make your check payable to Gramercy Housing Group, and mail it to (or drop it off): GHG, 1824 Fourth Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019. For more information, call Joey Solomon at 323-737-7351, ext. 13. To learn more about the organization, visit www.gramercyhousinggroup.org

To preview "Surf's Up," go to

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, and shudder at the pickled poignancy of the murder-by-brandy of Benjamin Weber.

You will also 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 Offices of Historic Resources.

If you are considering nominating your own house for Historic Cultural Monument designation - or want to nominate another historic building - you'll want to see how this part of the presentation is done.

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.


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 harder¦). 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.