Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Historic Resources "Survey LA:" Community Meeting, Thursday, June 23, 2011

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 14, 2011.  Some think public staircases deserve historic protection to preserve an important public resource.  The staircases were originally built as public access to the Red Car Trolleys in hillside neighborhoods, like the Roselin Public Staircase.  (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

Los Angeles City Planning Department is conducting a first ever, citywide historic resources survey, called "Survey LA."  (They've farmed the work out to a contractor so don't expect much more than lip service to anything requiring complex thought.)  The contractor is conducting public meetings to get community input to help find historic resources in local neighborhoods. 

In the Red Car Neighborhood, the Fletcher Pacific Electric Viaduct Footings are already a City Cultural Historic Landmark.  The public staircases throughout the neighborhood are deteriorating and have no historic protection. 

A growing number of public staircase enthusiasts believe public staircases deserve some form of historic protection, such as a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ).  Considering the City fails to include public staircase maintenance in the budget for Street Services, a HPOZ might make historic resource grants a viable source of funding for public staircase repairs

Tomorrow's meeting is City Planning's way of finding out where historic resources are in our neighborhoods.  In addition to public staircases, Silver Ridge Ave deserves special attention due to the high number of modernist homes, built primarily by Allyn E. Morris.  Rudolf Schindler's How House is already a historic landmark.

The scale of Riverside Place might deserve attention since it is one of the few remaining Red Car Trolley adjacent streets, where homes are as small as 500 sq ft on 800 sq ft lots.  Most neighborhoods like Riverside Place were taken to build freeways in the 1950s. 

Find out more and share your what you think deserves historic resource attention in Silver Lake and Echo Park:

6:30 - 8PM
Edendale Branch Library
2011 W. Sunset Blvd (at Alvarado)
Los Angeles, 90026 (Echo Park)
More info:
Robby Aranguren (626) 793-2400

Related: Cal State Northridge urban planning and law students researched the illegal gift of public staircases to private development on Hathaway Hill.  Read their report,  "Undoing Community Edendale: Legal & planning analyses of community issues in two Los Angeles neighborhoods."  (Warning, large file, may take a minute to load.)