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Curbed LA - All Love where you live

  • Downtown LA Expo Line stations closing for two months
    by Elijah Chiland on June 21, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    The 7th Street/Metro Center and Pico stations shut down Saturday Just in time for summer, Metro is temporarily shutting down two Downtown LA stops on its popular Expo Line train to Santa Monica. The closure will start Saturday and last two months. During that time, rail service will be down for both the Expo and Blue lines at the 7th Street/Metro Center Station in the Financial District and the Pico Station near LA Live. Rail service will continue on the rest of the route, but passengers boarding westbound trains will have to get on at the LATTC/Ortho Institute Station, just south of Downtown. Shuttle buses will be on-hand to carry riders to and from the closed stations. Metro this month unveiled a temporary bus-only lane on Flower Street to ensure speedy service for shuttles serving Expo and Blue line riders. Passengers traveling to and from the Pico and 7th Street/Metro Center stops can hop aboard the 856, 864, 863, and 860 buses to complete journeys in and out of Downtown LA. Those heading north will board at 23rd and Flower, with the bus then traveling up Figueroa Street. Southbound passengers can wait at the intersection of Hope and Seventh streets, as well as Pico and Flower. Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system will also offer a shuttle between the LATTC/Ortho Institute Station and the 7th Street/Metro Center Station, so that’s another option for riders who aren’t connecting at Pico Station. Metro Los Angeles A map of shuttle options for Expo Line riders.The station closures will allow Metro to lay new track and make repairs necessary to complete a $350 million project aimed at speeding up service on the Blue Line, which has been partially closed since January. The agency’s contractors wrapped up work on the southern half of the light rail line last month and in June began replacing track and overhead cables along the route’s northern section. The Blue Line won’t fully reopen until September, but all Expo Line stations will be up-and-running in late August. Once work is complete, Metro expects to shave about 10 minutes off the time of an end-to-end trip on the Blue Line. Expo Line riders should also benefit from track replacement in the 7th Street/Metro Center tunnel and along Washington Boulevard. The work is aimed at ensuring trains move more smoothly through the segments shared by the Expo and Blue lines, reducing backups and making service more reliable. Metro will alert riders to any schedule changes or project updates on its New Blue website. […]

  • Academy Museum opening delayed—again—to 2020
    by Jenna Chandler on June 21, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    It’s not the first delay Tinseltown will have to wait another year to roll out the red carpet for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In an email to supporters today, museum officials say the new venue next to LACMA on Wilshire Boulevard will open in 2020, and The Hollywood Reporter says it won’t be “any time prior” to the Oscars in February. In the email, museum officials say constructing the new venue—a 130-foot tall glass and concrete orb—and joining it to the former May Company department store at Fairfax and Wilshire, which it’s turning into exhibition space, has been “highly complex.” “At every decision point along the way, we have always chosen the path that would enhance the structure, even if that meant construction would take more time to complete.” It’s not the Academy Museum’s first delay. Construction was originally supposed to be substantially complete by December 2017, according to Variety. But that date was pushed to 2018, then pushed again. The $388 million project is part of an evolving stretch of Wilshire Boulevard. Next door, most of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is poised to be demolished and totally rebuilt. The La Brea Tar Pits will also undergo a “reimagining.” In 2023, the first phase of the Metro’s Purple Line extension to the Westside is set to open, with a station at Wilshire and Fairfax. The Academy Museum is being funded with private donations. Its collection will include photographs, films, screenplays, props, and other historic moviemaking accoutrements—including the typewriter Joseph Stefano used to write the screenplay for Psycho and the last remaining life-size model of the great white shark from Jaws. […]

  • Stunning modern in the Los Feliz Oaks asking $2M
    by Pauline O'Connor on June 21, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    A light-filled haven of high design Considering the impressive and lengthy career he’s enjoyed, architect Louis Wiehle’s name ought to be much more widely known. Now in his 80s, Wiehle started on his path six decades ago as a member of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship, and would go on to work directly under Wright on such lauded projects as the Guggenheim Museum and Marin County Civic Center. Wiehle moved to Los Angeles in 1951, where he worked with John Lautner before joining William L. Pereira Associates, serving as chief of planning when the Irvine Ranch Master Plan was developed in the mid-’60s. Since the ’90s, Wiehle has been in professional and personal partnership with architect Christopher Carr. The pair have collaborated on a wide variety of projects, including the restoration of Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, and the redesign of their longtime personal residence in the Los Feliz Oaks, which is now on the market. Once a 1930s traditional, the four-bedroom home was transformed into a unique modernist sanctuary. Occupying three levels, it features floating staircases, clerestory windows, lofty ceilings, and abundant built-in shelving and furniture. With a verdant, tree-filled lot of 8,395 square feet, and Griffith Park just a few blocks away, the property is also blessed with a “country in the city” air. Asking price for the home, which will be open from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, is $1.975 million. Patricia Ruben of Sotheby’s International Realty holds the listing. Thick walls of poured-in-place concrete and strategically placed windows establish a feeling of home-as-sanctuary immediately upon entry.The open plan kitchen offers ample storage and work space.Bedrooms are spacious, with lofty ceilings, clerestory windows, and built-in shelving.Skylights and sizable windows create the illusion of an outdoor shower.The hallway is a bibliophile’s dream.A gas and wood-burning fireplace anchors the living room.The home is surrounded by greenery on an 8,395-square-foot lot in the hills just east of Griffith Park. […]

  • Majestic Jefferson Park Craftsman asks $1.2 million
    by Elijah Chiland on June 21, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    The four-bedroom home has wood floors and lovely built-ins Built in 1913, this handsome Craftsman in Jefferson Park has been carefully updated in recent years but retains some wonderful vintage features. Those include hardwood floors, dark wood moldings, original casement windows, and a host of built-ins. The living room is framed around a tile fireplace and sits alongside an elegant stairway and an adjoining reading room with built-in bookshelves. A formal dining room boasts wood paneling and a large buffet with overhead cabinetry. The 2,500-square-foot home has four bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms—including one adorned with classic black black and seafoam tile. The renovated kitchen sits alongside a breakfast nook, a pantry or office space, and a sitting area. There’s also a basement with some extra storage space. Upstairs, the master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom and a walk-in closet, while another bedroom opens out to a private balcony. The house sits on a 7,253-square-foot lot. It’s got a covered front porch and a pergola-shaded back deck. It leads down to a grassy backyard and a detached garage. Asking price for the home, located at 2405 Fifth Avenue, is $1.2 million. The living room has crown moldings and a tile fireplace.The dining room includes a large built-in buffet.The sunny kitchen has new counters and appliances.The home has a renovated tile bathroom.Vines hang from a back deck pergola. […]

  • Metro: ‘No complaints’ about Flower Street bus-only lane
    by Elijah Chiland on June 21, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    The Downtown LA pilot project is moving 60 buses every hour In preparation for the two-month closure of two Downtown LA Expo Line stations, Metro and the city of Los Angeles launched a pilot bus-only lane on Flower Street earlier this month. At a Metro committee meeting Thursday, agency officials said the project has been successful so far—and even drivers don’t seem to mind the change. “We’ve received no complaints about the Flower Street bus lane to date,” said Metro community relations officer Anthony Crump. Conan Cheung, an executive officer with the agency, added that the bus lane has gotten “a lot of positive feedback” so far. “We’re getting good social media coverage,” said Cheung. “I think it’s a positive step forward.” Positive feedback is something the agency could use more of when it comes to other bus-only projects. Earlier in the week, residents loudly protested bus rapid transit projects planned in Eagle Rock and the northern San Fernando Valley. Unlike the Flower Street bus-only lane, which is only restricted to buses between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays, BRT projects set aside lanes for buses around the clock. But even limited-hour bus-only lanes have proven controversial in Los Angeles, where drivers often complain that the projects worsen traffic congestion. Peak hour bus-only lanes on Wilshire Boulevard took years to install, and the city of Beverly Hills opted out of the project entirely. Today, bus riders complain the lanes have made little difference in commute times, since drivers using the lanes illegally frequently block traffic. Cheung said Thursday that enforcement of the peak-hour restrictions on Flower Street has been a key part of keeping buses moving. With eight LAPD motor officers patrolling the route, the bus-only lane has been able to accommodate roughly 60 buses per hour, according to a Metro presentation on the project. The agency expects that even more buses will use the lane once the Pico and 7th Street/Metro Center Expo Line stations close this weekend. Flower street is already getting heavier-than-usual bus service thanks to a four-month closure of the northern tracks along Metro’s Blue Line. Metro staff previously estimated the bus-only lanes could save passengers as much as 9 minutes during afternoon commutes. Results of the pilot could inform Metro’s strategy in rolling out future bus-only lanes. The agency announced plans earlier this year to test out dedicated bus lanes along one of its most heavily used lines, but the proposal hit a snag when Los Angeles officials criticized one possible project along Van Nuys Boulevard. It’s not clear whether the agency will still be able to roll out another bus-only project before the end of the year, as originally planned. […]

Curbed LA - All Love where you live

  • Downtown LA Expo Line stations closing for two months
    by Elijah Chiland on June 21, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    The 7th Street/Metro Center and Pico stations shut down Saturday Just in time for summer, Metro is temporarily shutting down two Downtown LA stops on its popular Expo Line train to Santa Monica. The closure will start Saturday and last two months. During that time, rail service will be down for both the Expo and Blue lines at the 7th Street/Metro Center Station in the Financial District and the Pico Station near LA Live. Rail service will continue on the rest of the route, but passengers boarding westbound trains will have to get on at the LATTC/Ortho Institute Station, just south of Downtown. Shuttle buses will be on-hand to carry riders to and from the closed stations. Metro this month unveiled a temporary bus-only lane on Flower Street to ensure speedy service for shuttles serving Expo and Blue line riders. Passengers traveling to and from the Pico and 7th Street/Metro Center stops can hop aboard the 856, 864, 863, and 860 buses to complete journeys in and out of Downtown LA. Those heading north will board at 23rd and Flower, with the bus then traveling up Figueroa Street. Southbound passengers can wait at the intersection of Hope and Seventh streets, as well as Pico and Flower. Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system will also offer a shuttle between the LATTC/Ortho Institute Station and the 7th Street/Metro Center Station, so that’s another option for riders who aren’t connecting at Pico Station. Metro Los Angeles A map of shuttle options for Expo Line riders.The station closures will allow Metro to lay new track and make repairs necessary to complete a $350 million project aimed at speeding up service on the Blue Line, which has been partially closed since January. The agency’s contractors wrapped up work on the southern half of the light rail line last month and in June began replacing track and overhead cables along the route’s northern section. The Blue Line won’t fully reopen until September, but all Expo Line stations will be up-and-running in late August. Once work is complete, Metro expects to shave about 10 minutes off the time of an end-to-end trip on the Blue Line. Expo Line riders should also benefit from track replacement in the 7th Street/Metro Center tunnel and along Washington Boulevard. The work is aimed at ensuring trains move more smoothly through the segments shared by the Expo and Blue lines, reducing backups and making service more reliable. Metro will alert riders to any schedule changes or project updates on its New Blue website. […]

  • Academy Museum opening delayed—again—to 2020
    by Jenna Chandler on June 21, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    It’s not the first delay Tinseltown will have to wait another year to roll out the red carpet for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In an email to supporters today, museum officials say the new venue next to LACMA on Wilshire Boulevard will open in 2020, and The Hollywood Reporter says it won’t be “any time prior” to the Oscars in February. In the email, museum officials say constructing the new venue—a 130-foot tall glass and concrete orb—and joining it to the former May Company department store at Fairfax and Wilshire, which it’s turning into exhibition space, has been “highly complex.” “At every decision point along the way, we have always chosen the path that would enhance the structure, even if that meant construction would take more time to complete.” It’s not the Academy Museum’s first delay. Construction was originally supposed to be substantially complete by December 2017, according to Variety. But that date was pushed to 2018, then pushed again. The $388 million project is part of an evolving stretch of Wilshire Boulevard. Next door, most of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is poised to be demolished and totally rebuilt. The La Brea Tar Pits will also undergo a “reimagining.” In 2023, the first phase of the Metro’s Purple Line extension to the Westside is set to open, with a station at Wilshire and Fairfax. The Academy Museum is being funded with private donations. Its collection will include photographs, films, screenplays, props, and other historic moviemaking accoutrements—including the typewriter Joseph Stefano used to write the screenplay for Psycho and the last remaining life-size model of the great white shark from Jaws. […]

  • Stunning modern in the Los Feliz Oaks asking $2M
    by Pauline O'Connor on June 21, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    A light-filled haven of high design Considering the impressive and lengthy career he’s enjoyed, architect Louis Wiehle’s name ought to be much more widely known. Now in his 80s, Wiehle started on his path six decades ago as a member of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship, and would go on to work directly under Wright on such lauded projects as the Guggenheim Museum and Marin County Civic Center. Wiehle moved to Los Angeles in 1951, where he worked with John Lautner before joining William L. Pereira Associates, serving as chief of planning when the Irvine Ranch Master Plan was developed in the mid-’60s. Since the ’90s, Wiehle has been in professional and personal partnership with architect Christopher Carr. The pair have collaborated on a wide variety of projects, including the restoration of Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, and the redesign of their longtime personal residence in the Los Feliz Oaks, which is now on the market. Once a 1930s traditional, the four-bedroom home was transformed into a unique modernist sanctuary. Occupying three levels, it features floating staircases, clerestory windows, lofty ceilings, and abundant built-in shelving and furniture. With a verdant, tree-filled lot of 8,395 square feet, and Griffith Park just a few blocks away, the property is also blessed with a “country in the city” air. Asking price for the home, which will be open from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, is $1.975 million. Patricia Ruben of Sotheby’s International Realty holds the listing. Thick walls of poured-in-place concrete and strategically placed windows establish a feeling of home-as-sanctuary immediately upon entry.The open plan kitchen offers ample storage and work space.Bedrooms are spacious, with lofty ceilings, clerestory windows, and built-in shelving.Skylights and sizable windows create the illusion of an outdoor shower.The hallway is a bibliophile’s dream.A gas and wood-burning fireplace anchors the living room.The home is surrounded by greenery on an 8,395-square-foot lot in the hills just east of Griffith Park. […]

  • Majestic Jefferson Park Craftsman asks $1.2 million
    by Elijah Chiland on June 21, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    The four-bedroom home has wood floors and lovely built-ins Built in 1913, this handsome Craftsman in Jefferson Park has been carefully updated in recent years but retains some wonderful vintage features. Those include hardwood floors, dark wood moldings, original casement windows, and a host of built-ins. The living room is framed around a tile fireplace and sits alongside an elegant stairway and an adjoining reading room with built-in bookshelves. A formal dining room boasts wood paneling and a large buffet with overhead cabinetry. The 2,500-square-foot home has four bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms—including one adorned with classic black black and seafoam tile. The renovated kitchen sits alongside a breakfast nook, a pantry or office space, and a sitting area. There’s also a basement with some extra storage space. Upstairs, the master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom and a walk-in closet, while another bedroom opens out to a private balcony. The house sits on a 7,253-square-foot lot. It’s got a covered front porch and a pergola-shaded back deck. It leads down to a grassy backyard and a detached garage. Asking price for the home, located at 2405 Fifth Avenue, is $1.2 million. The living room has crown moldings and a tile fireplace.The dining room includes a large built-in buffet.The sunny kitchen has new counters and appliances.The home has a renovated tile bathroom.Vines hang from a back deck pergola. […]

  • Metro: ‘No complaints’ about Flower Street bus-only lane
    by Elijah Chiland on June 21, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    The Downtown LA pilot project is moving 60 buses every hour In preparation for the two-month closure of two Downtown LA Expo Line stations, Metro and the city of Los Angeles launched a pilot bus-only lane on Flower Street earlier this month. At a Metro committee meeting Thursday, agency officials said the project has been successful so far—and even drivers don’t seem to mind the change. “We’ve received no complaints about the Flower Street bus lane to date,” said Metro community relations officer Anthony Crump. Conan Cheung, an executive officer with the agency, added that the bus lane has gotten “a lot of positive feedback” so far. “We’re getting good social media coverage,” said Cheung. “I think it’s a positive step forward.” Positive feedback is something the agency could use more of when it comes to other bus-only projects. Earlier in the week, residents loudly protested bus rapid transit projects planned in Eagle Rock and the northern San Fernando Valley. Unlike the Flower Street bus-only lane, which is only restricted to buses between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays, BRT projects set aside lanes for buses around the clock. But even limited-hour bus-only lanes have proven controversial in Los Angeles, where drivers often complain that the projects worsen traffic congestion. Peak hour bus-only lanes on Wilshire Boulevard took years to install, and the city of Beverly Hills opted out of the project entirely. Today, bus riders complain the lanes have made little difference in commute times, since drivers using the lanes illegally frequently block traffic. Cheung said Thursday that enforcement of the peak-hour restrictions on Flower Street has been a key part of keeping buses moving. With eight LAPD motor officers patrolling the route, the bus-only lane has been able to accommodate roughly 60 buses per hour, according to a Metro presentation on the project. The agency expects that even more buses will use the lane once the Pico and 7th Street/Metro Center Expo Line stations close this weekend. Flower street is already getting heavier-than-usual bus service thanks to a four-month closure of the northern tracks along Metro’s Blue Line. Metro staff previously estimated the bus-only lanes could save passengers as much as 9 minutes during afternoon commutes. Results of the pilot could inform Metro’s strategy in rolling out future bus-only lanes. The agency announced plans earlier this year to test out dedicated bus lanes along one of its most heavily used lines, but the proposal hit a snag when Los Angeles officials criticized one possible project along Van Nuys Boulevard. It’s not clear whether the agency will still be able to roll out another bus-only project before the end of the year, as originally planned. […]

  • A century of Los Angeles summer fun
    by Hadley Meares on June 21, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Scenes from MacArthur Park, Echo Park, and Griffith Park in the 1910s There is nothing more heartening than taking a summertime stroll through one of the hundreds of public parks in Los Angeles County. Nowhere else will you see such a mix of cultures, styles, and ages, all enjoying the beauty of outdoor life in Los Angeles. Toddlers celebrate their birthdays next to 50-year high school reunions, and hikers power walk past sunbathers. The smell of barbecue fills the air, while yogis burn sage as they stretch their legs to the sky. From the biggest park to the smallest, a feeling of camaraderie and celebration is all around. Today’s Angelenos are participating in a civic tradition that has been strong in Los Angeles for over a century. In 1916, before television, the internet, and (most importantly) air conditioning, the burgeoning park system provided crucial recreation opportunities for the city’s 300,000-plus residents. Let’s take a look at what summer was like 100 years ago in three of Los Angeles’s most popular parks. Los Angeles Public Library photo collection Created in the 1880s under the name Westlake Park, the park was later renamed in honor of General Douglas MacArthur. Here we have a color postcard of a couple in a row boat as they pass by a pelican standing on a wooden platform among the reeds. Westlake/MacArthur Park If there was a jewel in the LA park system’s crown in the 1910s, it was Westlake (now MacArthur) Park. Opened in 1890, Westlake Park was situated in the most fashionable residential neighborhood in Los Angeles. Modeled on European parks, it featured elegant promenades and a shimmering lake dotted with various types of boats that one could rent by the hour. The park’s romantic beauty made it perennially popular with lovers both happy and sad. During the summer months, live music was provided several times a week. This was the era of “park bands,” like the Los Angeles Park Concert Band and Gregory’s Band, which travelled from one big park to the next, playing a mixture of classical mainstays, popular waltzes, marches, and foxtrots. “One can enjoy it while rowing, entertaining friends, smoking a fragrant Havana or partaking of sweets,” a Los Angeles Times reporter explained. In 1914, Miller’s Military Band played many shows in Westlake. One concert in July was described thusly by the Times: Westlake seemed to have taken upon itself a subdued festival attire last evening. Miller’s Military Band was playing to a large audience scattered around the edge of the lake. Numerous boats were lazily moving on the surface of the water, the red lanterns at the stern of each canoe casting long and dancing crimson shadows. Los Angeles Public Library photo collection A color postcard of the band shell showing an audience listening to an orchestra. There were also more “exotic” offerings, like the popular McVea’s Jubilee Quartet, which specialized in newfangled "jazz" and old Southern melodies. In 1914, the park sponsored a “Night in Hawaii,” the first in a series of concerts featuring ukulele music, the new fad sweeping the country. "Several thousand persons, taking advantage of the warm evening, congregated around the lake, illuminated by Japanese lanterns, to listen to the tinkle of the ukulele and the haunting notes of a Hawaiian love song," the Los Angeles Times reported. Sometimes, parkgoers made their own music. In 1914, Helen Peterson and Roy Latimer “were loafing along the lake” in “a snug canoe with cushions and a couple of Japanese lanterns.” Peterson played the ukulele and the couple sang “quiet little duets, intimate and subdued.” Suddenly, there was a ruckus on the mainland, as a man named Alvis Merenberg suffered a violent seizure on a park bench. According to one report: The crowd became terribly excited. Mothers wheeled their babies away, nurse girls went flying for their charges and a score or more raced for a doctor. Miss Peterson and Mr. Latimer had just finished the song "Aloha." The noise attracted Miss Peterson and she turned to see what was the cause of the excitement. She saw the crowd surrounding the unfortunate, and stood up in the canoe to see better. Mr. Latimer was warning her to be careful, but she peeped just a little harder. The sensitive craft swayed to one side, gulped a little water, darted back, and then turned over. Miss Peterson and Mr. Latimer were in the water, shouting a duet, "Help!’ "Help!" The crowd on the mainland, now torn between two dramatic events, ran to the shore. Peterson and Latimer struggled in the water. Peterson, who could not swim, threw her hands around Latimer’s neck, and he pushed her away so that she wouldn’t drown them both. Some in the crowd believed it was malicious and began to scream "murder!" Other boats rushed to the couple’s aid, and the farce continued: A young man and a girl occupying another canoe rushed to the scene. The young man paddled so vehemently that his exertions destroyed the balance of his craft, and that capsized. Eight young men manned a big canoe and darted to the rescue. Their paddles did not harmonize. They caught and interlocked. A scurry, a scramble, and the eight, too, were in the water. Luckily, everyone in the water was saved. A bonfire was built so that the ill-fated first responders could dry off. An unconscious Peterson and a dazed Merenberg were taken away in the same ambulance. All parties made a full recovery. Not surprisingly, some in the crowd were "skeptical of a motion picture ambush." Not every dramatic event at Westlake had such a happy ending. There were several intentional and accidental drownings over the years, and the park became a popular place for suicides. A husky bean cultivator named Floyd Mayhew shot himself on a warm June night in 1914, hoping to get away from his five girlfriends by “beating them to another world.” A bigamist named Walter Warner shot himself on a “bed of flowers,” no longer able to bear his “false reputation of a model husband.” In a note found in his pockets, he explained, “I have had the marrying fever since I was 18. I have more than one wife living. Wine, women and rheumatism drove me to this.” Today, the music still continues at MacArthur Park, thanks to the beautiful Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, which hosts 50 free summertime concerts every year. The park as a whole, like Westlake, the neighborhood that surrounds it, is in a state of transition. For decades rife with gang activity and drug use, it is slowly becoming a vital community asset once again. That is especially evident during the summer, when the park is illuminated late into the night, providing recreation opportunities for residents in the surrounding areas. Los Angeles Public Library photo collection Boating at Echo Park Lake, circa 1928.Echo Park If Westlake Park was the park of the elite, then Echo Park in the 1910s was the park of the people. Founded in 1892 on the site of a failed reservoir, the park was an especially popular spot for families, who frequented its large, kids-only playground, a rarity at the time. This playground would become one of the first welfare stations in the city, where mothers could come to consult with government doctors about their children. There were weekly concerts, many featuring the same park bands that played in Westlake. There was a boathouse with boats for rent. Most popular of all were the ample, tree-shaded picnic areas, which helped make Echo Park one of the premiere "get together" spots in Los Angeles. Summertime in Los Angeles was a time for people to reconnect. As the population grew by 200,000 over the 1910s, newcomers and oldtimers alike sought to keep their bonds with their birthplaces strong. Annual state and country picnics were held in parks all over Los Angeles, but particularly in Echo Park. In 1914, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times described the activities at the annual Canadian picnic. “Off in one corner of the park, a football game was in progress, the tennis and croquet courts were occupied, and the boating advantages were completely utilized.” Prizes were given to the oldest Canadian in attendance, and under a bough of pepper trees draped in the Union Jack, Mrs. Ruie Meek, “a clever woman with a fund of stories, brought many laughs to the day’s pleasures by her drolleries.” In 1917, over 1,500 native Canadians and their families attended the all-day event, practically taking over the entire park. Colleges, veterans associations, women’s clubs, and civic organizations also held frequent events in the park. At a Y.W.C.A. picnic in 1916, the girls participated in a track meet, learned to folk dance, canoed, ate doughnuts, and drank hot coffee while “wandering musicians” played mandolins. The Echo Park Playground also sponsored many summertime events, including a large, family-friendly program every Fourth of July. The day typically consisted of swimming races, boat races, baseball games, pie and orange eating contests, something called watermelon-swallowing, and apple dunking. There was the cruelly popular “fat man’s race,” and the “mothers race” during which some of them surprised their offspring with their agility and stamina.” At night, educational and patriotic films were shown. The 1915 celebration was particularly festive: [E]mbryo athletes walked the greased pole to the accompaniment of the shouts of their friends and admirers, nimble feet danced the Highland fling, clever youths tussled and boxed, a selected class gave a fine exhibition of Indian club swinging, and fleet feet ran races. Perhaps because of its warm family atmosphere, Echo Park seems to have been particularly popular with young runaways. In 1914, 10-year-old Hebert Ciprico was found sleeping on a park bench, having disappeared from his home in Pasadena the week before. When asked how he had survived, “all he would say was that he had made his way selling peanuts and popcorn at the different ball grounds when there was a game.” A year later, an eight-year-old runaway named Vilos Haight survived for two weeks in the park: Vilos told quite frankly of wild life in Echo Park. He described his roost in a tree and the kindness of numerous picnickers, who gave him food enough to meet all his needs. But he had nothing to say of any joy in the nature life and nodded from sheer exhaustion while he talked. Today, Echo Park in the summer is not all that different than it was 100 years ago. The playground is still swarmed by children, and paddleboats rent for $10 per adult, per hour. Picnickers from all walks of life loll on the grass, while breezes from the lake cool down the hot summer sun. Los Angeles Public Library photo collection Barefoot riders and a crowd of young people gathers in Griffith Park.Griffith Park During the 1910s, Griffith Park was a place in search of an identity. Compared to MacArthur Park and Echo Park, which were smaller, traditional parks, the sprawling, untamed 4,000 acres given to the city by Griffith J. Griffith in 1896 presented many challenges. Should the Parks Commission accept the controversial Griffith’s offer of money to build an observatory and Greek theater within the park? What to do with all that land, much of it mountainous? With the advent of the automobile, one of the first answers had been to build a winding, 14-mile road that cut through some of the park’s most scenic acreage. As more and more Angelenos became enamored of the automobile, this breathtaking drive became popular, especially during the warm summer months. On July 4, 1914, the Los Angeles Times reported: [Griffith Park] had perhaps its biggest day, with the Vermont-avenue entrance as a sluice through which humanity by the hundred ebbed and flowed all day long, while the honk of automobiles along Los Feliz Road made a diapason to which there were few interludes. Then as now, the secluded environs of the park’s roads were a convenient place for those engaged in illicit activities to hide. In 1917, 14-year-old Leonard and Lawrence Johnson, nicknamed “the terrible twins,” were discovered with two stolen cars in the park. The tykes had escaped from Juvenile Hall a few days before, after being placed there for a string of burglaries. California Postcard Co., California State Library Auto drive through Griffith Park, circa 1920s.The gates to the park, at both the Hollywood and Vermont entrances, closed at 8 p.m., stranding many motorists inside the great park, unless they were lucky enough to stumble upon the caretaker’s home. “The paramount reason for the 8 o’clock curfew stunt,” an amused reporter for the Los Angeles Times wrote, “seems to be the spooning bees held by youth of Los Angeles under the fragrance of the Griffith pussy-willows.” However, getting locked in for the night wasn’t all bad as long as you had a blanket. As one stranded motorist reported: After climbing the easy grade, the motorist suddenly debouched onto the south face of Mount Hollywood, and there was a blaze of glory indeed. Above the clear moon and below the carpet of light from Hollywood and Los Angeles—around mysterious mountain peaks. It called for a gasp of wonder and got it. Over the course of the 1910s, two major attractions would open in the park, bringing a new, diverse group of visitors with them. The city zoo, built between 1912 and 1914, opened in Bee Canyon to the delight of children and adults alike. Although today we would be appalled by the conditions the animals were kept in, at the time the accommodations were considered incredibly modern and humane. According to the Los Angeles Times: In the canyon of Griffith Park, an assiduous effort has been made to keep the surroundings of the animals as near those of their native homes as possible. The bear pit, for instance, is a rocky hillside surrounded by a high iron fence. Within the pit there are man-made caves in the hillside and also a swimming pool. A little way off, foxes peep from holes of the same kind that we knew as a boy; while the raccoons and the opossum and the wolves are surrounded with all the accessories of their native homes … ‘Animals are like most folks—the better you treat them, the better they act," said [head zoo keeper] Mr. [W.A.] Calhoun yesterday as he tickled the chin of a lion that could have laid him open from head to foot with one stroke of his paw. In 1915, the Los Angeles Municipal Golf Course opened in Griffith Park and, despite its lack of an adequate clubhouse, it soon became the hottest ticket in town. Designed by Tom Bendelow, known as the “Johnny Appleseed of American Golf,” it featured oil-and-sand greens, which were very popular at the time. By June 1915, it was reported that around 100 people a day played on the links. By 1917, several summer tournaments were held at the course, including the Red Cross Golf Tournament. Columnist Alma Whitaker described the upcoming scene: Today positively the most stylish golf event that has been staged in these sunny democratic climes opens on our Los Angeles Municipal Golf Links at Griffith Park this morning. Golfers are just naturally a superior race anyway, and today Griffith will be a veritable mecca of golfing effulgence. Not only that large army of golfers who weekly haunt the municipal links, but all the country club golfers as well, the very crème de la crème of sportsmen and women deluxe will assemble for this particular tournament. By 1918, after escaping several close calls with fire, Griffith Park was well on its way to becoming the multifaceted natural wonderland that we now enjoy. Every year, the former zoo is filled with the roar of Shakespeare instead of the roar of trapped lions, when the Independent Shakespeare Company is in residence for its annual summer series. The ongoing popularity of MacArthur Park, Echo Park, and Griffith Park is a powerful reminder that humans don’t change all that much. We are all after a little summertime fun in the sun and a place where we can safely and communally enjoy the great outdoors. […]

  • Quaint Craftsman-style cottage in Sierra Madre seeks $639K
    by Bianca Barragan on June 21, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    A vintage look without the decades of wear and tear Sierra Madre’s location up in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, and its small-town feel are a perfect fit for this Craftsman-inspired cottage. The one-bedroom, one-bathroom house measures 648 square feet, but packs a lot into that space. The cottage was originally built in the 1950s but was redone in 2008 in the Craftsman style. Details like a shingled exterior, Batchelder-style tiles, built-ins, French doors, a two-sided fireplace, hardwood floors, and wainscoting help it achieve that old-time look. There have been modern upgrades too: The residence is equipped with dual-paned windows, an electric car charger in the carport, and a little nook on the back patio for a stackable washer and dryer. The house at 294 Old Ranch Road is listed for $639,000 with Sarah Rogers of Compass. The living room has French doors that open out to a patio. A Batchelder-style backsplash and granite counters in the kitchen. The bedroom is spacious and sunny. The lone bathroom is roomy and tiled.An L-shaped patio wraps around the rear of the house. […]

  • Above Chateau Marmont, graceful Spanish-style seeks $3.9M
    by Jenna Chandler on June 20, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    It’s like your own private Chateau What’s more glamorous than a stay at Chateau Marmont? Living in a romantic 1920s Spanish-style above the famed hotel. This beauty was built in 1927 (two years before the chateau opened) and still brims with all of the elaborate finishings characteristic of a revival-style home. The most elegant spaces in the four-bedroom, three and a half bathroom residence are the foyer, dining room, and living room, which all connect via arched entryways. In these areas, you’ll find terra cotta floors, a wrought-iron staircase, handsome moldings, a wood-burning fireplace, a picture window, a coved ceiling, and a bounty of arched French doors. Upstairs, the master bedroom suite opens to a balcony with views of the Chateau and connects to an ensuite bathroom inlaid with vintage turquoise tile. Outside, there’s an alfresco dining terrace, a courtyard with a “soothing” fountain, and a swimming pool. Sold two years ago for $3.3 million, the magnificent property at 8328 Marmont Lane is now listed for $3.99 million. The centerpiece of the foyer is a staircase with colorful tile and a wrought iron railing. The house sits on a 4,866-square-foot lot, framed by “mature olive trees, hedges, [and] potted plants.” Arched French doors open to an outdoor dining terrace.All of the bedrooms feature French doors or casement windows.Glorious, glorious tile.A pool, added in the ’60s, has views of the hills. […]

  • ‘Stop this madness’: Valley residents trying to block bus rapid transit
    by Elijah Chiland on June 20, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    The project is one of 28 Metro aims to complete in time for the Olympics Metro’s Board of Directors will soon vote on whether to begin environmental review of a planned bus rapid transit project in the Northern San Fernando Valley, but some Valley residents are set on blocking the bus-only lanes. A group called Save the San Fernando Valley—which distributed a flier comparing the project’s Nordhoff Street segment to a rapid bus system in Delhi—has encouraged residents to contact Metro directors to urge them to “stop this madness.” It appears they got the message. Director Ara Najarian on Wednesday begged those concerned about the project to stop calling his private law office, and director Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, who chairs Metro’s planning and programming committee, said boardmembers had received “hundreds of calls on both sides of the issue.” Dozens of residents turned out to the committee’s meeting Wednesday to voice opposition to the project, arguing that removing lanes for cars would cause more traffic and disrupt the lives of those who live close by. “I am not against public transportation, but I am against that route,” said Linda Allison, 37, of Northridge. “I think it would strongly ruin the value of our homes.” Jay Beeber, a leader of Save the San Fernando Valley, told committee members that residents hadn’t been properly notified about the project. Metro staffers at the meeting said the agency had been holding community meetings on the project since last year. The proposed project would run between the North Hollywood area and Chatsworth, passing through the communities of Sun Valley, Panorama City, and Northridge along the way. The route route hasn’t yet been finalized; the easternmost stop could be at the North Hollywood subway station or further west at the intersection of Chandler and Laurel Canyon boulevards. Either way, the bus line would provide key connections to a planned light rail line along Van Nuys Boulevard and the Orange Line, an existing rapid bus that travels in dedicated lanes to the south of the proposed North Valley route. Several opponents said they would be more supportive of a bus route along Roscoe Boulevard, rather than Nordhoff Street. Right now, the eastern portion of the planned route runs along Roscoe, before turning north to Nordhoff around the 405 freeway. Running the entire project along Roscoe, however, would mean bypassing California State University, Northridge. School officials have pushed hard for better transit options for students, and Metro staff estimates that ridership on the bus would be highest between the university and the forthcoming light rail line to the east. “Our students are coming from all over the greater Los Angeles region,” said university representative Francesca Vega. “We want CSUN to become a transit hub.” The rapid bus is one of the 28 projects that Metro aims to complete by the 2028 Olympics. According to Metro staff, the project is on track to open by 2025. The agency’s Board of Directors will consider the project further at is monthly meeting next week. […]

  • Committee endorses skyscraper with 438 market-rate condos across from Figat7th
    by Bianca Barragan on June 20, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    A separate city commission had pushed to make 5 percent of the units affordable The Los Angeles City Council’s planning and land use management committee voted Tuesday to approve plans for a 41-story tower at Figueroa and Eighth streets with 438 condos and about 5,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. As part of its approval, the committee rejected recommendations from the city planning commission—including one that would have required the developer to make 5 percent of the condos affordable. Developer Mitsui Fudosan America had appealed the affordable housing requirement, arguing that it was already paying nearly $5 million in “public payment benefits” in exchange for the site’s air rights. It also said its planning application was “deemed complete” by the city before LA’s linkage fee ordinance was adopted, which charges developers in order to fund affordable housing. As planned, the skyscraper will rise across from the Figat7th shopping center. In a statement to Curbed, Stuart Morkun, Mitsui Fudosan America’s vice president of development says the company is pleased with the committee’s decision. “We... look forward to the start of construction,” Morkun says. The tower at Eighth and Figueroa. The tower will also hold 505 parking spaces. The planning commission had voted to mandate that Mitsui Fudosan “screen” its parking podium with mock apartments or office units that would hide its three floors of above-ground parking. But the planning and land use management committee rejected that condition too. (Mitsui Fudosan says it did alter the design to enclose its parking structure.) In its appeal, Mitsui Fudosan had said its design complies with city codes and was created after “extensive consultation” with the city and stakeholders. In March, the committee removed a similar condition for affordable housing in the College Station development in Chinatown. That project was ultimately approved by the full City Council without affordable housing. Neighbors and activists have since sued the city and Chinatown Station’s developer, Atlas Capital, over the lack of affordable housing. […]

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