WAHA E-News 5-22-08

WAHA's 25 Years of Historic Preservation - Celebrate at a Mimosa Brunch (May 31), and a Landmarks Tour (June 7). Plus, a Mills Act Workshop and Expo Line Forum. >


WAHA's Annual Historic Preservation Meeting: "Landmarks Won and Landmarks Lost"
Saturday, May 31
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Program at Noon)
The historic Union Square Theatre, 1122 West 24th Street (University Park, just west of Hoover)

Please join WAHA at our annual Historic Preservation brunch at the Union Square Theatre, now home to the Velaslavasay Panorama. The Union Square Theater was built as a silent picture house, one of the first in the city solely dedicated to film programs. In 1935, former screen vamp Louise Glaum opened an acting school and playhouse here, calling it Louise Glaum's Little Theater at Union Square. Then in 1939, it was re-reconfigured back into a film venue, the Union, which operated into the 1950s. It was later home to the tile layers union. The Velaslavasay Panorama and Gardens is in the process of "preserving and prolonging the magic of this historic place."

For our program, we kick off WAHA's 25th year of historic preservation activities with a visual presentation and discussion about our landmark victories over the years, and an acknowledgement of some battles lost. Whether you are a longtime member or new to West Adams, we hope you will come and celebrate the character of our community, and its evolution over the past quarter century.

To help you celebrate, we're serving a Continental brunch and champagne mimosas. Please do come, enjoy the theatre, its garden and our special presentation.

We'd love a head count. Please e-mail your RSVP to wahaholiday@aol.com.


Saturday, June 7
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(Last ticket sold at 2 p.m.)

It's our 25th year of historic preservation! To celebrate, WAHA opens the doors to some of West Adams' best landmarks. Tour the interiors of:

  • "The Pink Lady," an elegant 1885 Victorian
  • A 1904 Mission Revival firehouse designed by City Hall architect John Parkinson
  • A classic 1905 Craftsman designed by John C. Austin
  • McCarty Memorial Church, a stunning 1931 Gothic-inspired house of worship listed on the National Register
  • A 1912 Arthur Heineman-designed Arts & Crafts residence recently seen on HGTV
  • A rare Train & Williams-designed Arts & Crafts mansion, a local and federal landmark
  • One of the city's most extraordinary estates, Villa Maria, a 42-room Tudor Revival manor built in 1908.

Check-in/Will Call tickets at Villa Maria (St. John of God), 2468 South St. Andrews Place, between 24th Street and Adams Boulevard.

"Landmarks of West Adams" tickets are $30 general admission, $25 WAHA members, paid in advance.

Day of tour/pay at the door: all tickets $35.

To register and pay in advance, print out this form and mail the filled-out form and a check (made payable to WAHA) to: WAHA Landmarks Tour
2209 Virginia Road, Los Angeles, CA 90016

NAME ______________________________

ADDRESS ___________________________

E-MAIL _____________________________

PHONE _____________________________

No. of Tickets: ________ Total: $ ________

For more information, call 323-732-4223,
write tours@westadamsheritage.org or
visit www.westadamsheritage.org.

This is a self-guided, driving tour. Tour visitors will receive tickets, brochure & map at Check-in/Will Call. We will e-mail confirmations to tour guests who register and pay in advance, and who provide us with e-mail contact information. The last ticket will be sold at 2 p.m., and tour properties will close promptly at 4 p.m. Tour at your own pace, but please do set aside several hours to enjoy the Landmarks of West Adams.


Saturday, May 31
9:30-11 a.m.
LAPD Drop-in Center, 4012 Washington Blvd. (at 10th Avenue)

The UNNC neighborhood council offers a free Mills Act and Historic Cultural Monument application workshop with conservation easement information.

Mills Act Applications are due on June 27, 2008.

The Mills Act Program is designed to encourage preservation of historic properties; these properties can be either residential or commercial. If approved, the property owner enters into a contract with the city of Los Angeles to use funds resulting from the reduction in property taxes to restore or maintain the structure.
This approval remains with the property, even when it is sold. Eligible properties must be either a contributor to an established Historic Preservation Overlay Zone or a Los Angeles City Cultural Monument.

Owners who purchased property after 1995 have the greatest potential benefit. Those who purchased property in the 1980s may see a decrease in their current property taxes. Those who owned property prior to the passage of Proposition 13 would probably receive no current benefit.

Preparing the Mills Act application requires either a substantial time commitment from the property owner or the services of a professional. Computing potential property tax savings is the first step in determining whether to complete the application process. The application can be downloaded from the Planning Department website or can be obtained from the historic resources office on the sixth floor of the Los Angeles city hall. Note: The application handbook and forms require multiple downloads.

Please review the application prior to the workshop, if possible, and bring it to the workshop. Photos of the property interior and exterior are also useful.

Please RSVP to: mmdarch@ca.rr.com.

(We'd like to point out that you may need that champagne mimosa after the workshop! Please do plan to come to WAHA's preservation celebration when you are done.)


Thursday, May 22 (TONIGHT) 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Dorsey High School Auditorium, 3537 Farmdale Ave (at Exposition)

Thursday, May 29, 6:30 p.m.

Foshay Learning Center Auditorium, located at Western and Exposition

"$54 Million More for Culver City, $0 for South L.A. -- Last month the MTA Board approved an additional $54 million for an overpass in Culver City from the same source of money we've been requesting they use to build the Expo Line underground in our South LA community and next to our schools and churches. The $54 million is part of an influx of $222 million extra dollars for the Expo Line, with not a single dollar going for putting the Expo Line underground through South L.A.."

So writes Damien Goodman, who is leading the advocacy movement to change the way the Expo Line will travel across Exposition from Flower Drive to Culver City. He is also spearheading a series of community forums, including one tonight and one next Thursday, to focus attention on how the Expo line may be dangerous to students attending adjacent schools plus potentially discriminatory in that its designers have treated different communities along the route differently.

"The MTA is now spending more money for Expo Line Phase 1 in the ONE MILE west of La Cienega than they are IN THE ENTIRE 4 MILES IN SOUTH LA," Goodman charges. "If the MTA spent the same amount per mile in South LA as they are in the 1-mile from La Cienega to La Brea they could put the Expo Line in a tunnel or trench, as we've been requesting, and still would have enough left over to paint every house on Exposition Blvd. But instead they're building Expo Line Phase 1 at mostly street-level in South L.A., but totally grade separated west of La Cienega."

Goodman and his colleagues have established a coalition, the Citizens' Campaign to Fix the Expo Rail Line. For more information, write the coalition at P.O. Box 781267, Los Angeles, CA 90016; phone (323) 761-6435, or visit www.FixExpo.org.


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.

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.