WAHA E-News 6-30-2006

A Star-Spangled 4th of July in West Adams! And many community activities next week.

By Laura Meyers

Tuesday, July 4 1-4 p.m. The Stearns-Dockweiler Residence, 27 St. James Park (North of Adams, west of Chester Place/Mount St. Mary's, between Figueroa and Hoover)

Please join your West Adams friends and neighbors at WAHA's annual 4th of July picnic. Everyone is welcome! This year's star-spangled afternoon of patriotic fun will be held at the home of Jim and Janice Robinson on the lawns of their lovely landmark Victorian-era Colonial Revival mansion.

If you are new to West Adams, this event is the one to attend! Lots of new neighbors to meet, and lots of fun for the kids.

Once again, the pop/jazz trio Voice Over will entertain us. We'll enjoy tours of the historic mansion, and fun activities (croquet, and kids' games from 2-3 p.m.) We'll have a variety of "Wa-hot dogs" on the grill. Cold drinks are on the house, and the POTLUCK theme is summertime picnic - please bring salads, main dishes, desserts, or fruits (enough to feed at least 10 people, please! And, let's avoid food that will melt on a summer day) to share.

We are also trying to get a head's up on the head count (so we can have plentiful cold beverages and hot dogs on hand.) Please let us know if you plan to attend by e-mailing WAHAholiday@aol.com, or just hit reply to this e-mail.

Thank you all so much, and hope to see you on the 4th!

Friday, July 7 6 to 7 p.m. South Seas House, 2301 West 24th St. (at Arlington)

You are invited to the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council's hors d'oeuvres reception.

The United Neighborhoods of the Historic Arlington Heights, West Adams and Jefferson Park Communities Neighborhood Council (UNNC) is one of the City's largest neighborhood councils, and it is right here in West Adams. Membership and participation is open to all stakeholders - and "stakeholders" are defined as anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school (or is the parent of a child who attends school), owns property, and/or belongs to an organization which is active within UNNC's boundaries.

The boundaries are broadly Pico on the north, Crenshaw on the west, Exposition/Rodeo Road on the south, and on the east the following jagged edge: Normandie between Pico and the 10 Freeway; Western south from the freeway to Jefferson, jogging over to Arlington, and then Arlington to the southern border.

If you are a stakeholder under these definitions, please do come to the South Seas House next Friday. Meet UNNC board members and find out what UNNC is all about. Learn about UNNC's upcoming elections, and how you can get involved. Appetizers and beverages will be served. Free! Please RSVP to info@unnc.org, or call 323.731.8686. For more information, visit www.UNNC.org. We hope you'll pass this invitation to your friends and neighbors.

Wednesday, July 5 "Wee hours" (very late at night)

The Pico Union Housing Corporation's "Casa Alice" project will begin when two houses - one a Craftsman/Tudor Revival designed by Frederick L. Roehrig, the other a 1908 Colonial Revival attributed to the Hunt & Eager firm - are moved from their original location on Arapahoe Street (just north of Olympic) to Alvarado Street between 11th and 12th Streets.

The houses will be fully restored and used for community-based programming, including a construction trades program (including an historic preservation component), and other classes and training for community residents.

The first house will move the night of July 5, the second on the night of July 9. Pico Union Housing Corporation is planning to have a party, media, etc. at the first move.

For updated information (including a more specific time for both party activities and the move itself) please contact project architect Michele McDonough at mmdarch@comcast.net.

Thursday, July 6 10 a.m. Los Angeles City Hall, Room 1010

WAHA has been working diligently for the past eight months, trying to save two wonderful turn-of-the-century homes located on Gramercy Place just south of Pico. In January, CD10 Councilman Herb Wesson nominated the two properties, 1409 South Gramercy Place, and 1415 South Gramercy Place, to be added to the City's list of Historic-Cultural Monuments. The Cultural Heritage Commission toured the two properties in early April (and, to our delight, we discovered they are essentially intact on their interiors, albeit in great need of TLC).

The public hearing was initially scheduled for May, but had to be continued and rescheduled for next week.The Commission will decide whether or not to recommend these two houses for Monument status.

We would love to have your support, either by attending the hearing and/or by sending in your own letter of support.

There are actually two separate "case numbers" because each house was nominated separately:

* The Cline Family Residence, 1409 South Gramercy Place, CHC-2006-2065-HCM A Spanish-Moorish Revival designed by architects Oliver Perry Dennis and Lyman Farwell, it is associated with a pioneer Los Angeles family who include early sheriffs and the president of the Los Angeles Parks Commission when the City established Westlake Park.

*The Statton-Frambach Residence, 1415 South Gramercy Place, CHC-2006-2069-HCM A Frank M. Tyler-designed Arts & Crafts/Tudor erected by the Althouse Brothers construction firm for financier William Otterbein Statton. This residence was later the home of Col. Henry A. Frambach, who was chief of spies for the Union Army during the Civil War, and then went on to have an illustrious business career which included introducing technology to convert wood pulp to paper, a process still used today by Midwest paper companies. Frambach owned the Ansonia Apartments here in Los Angeles.

Please e-mail your letters in advance (by 5 p.m. Monday, July 3) to gabriele.williams@lacity.org. The letters will become part of the official record.

Thursday, July 6 10:30 a.m. City Hall, Room 1020

Neighborhood Prosecutor Jan De Andrade asked that this note be passed along to community residents:

"As many of you are aware, the owners of the recycling center located at 1883 W. Adams Blvd are appealing the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety's decision to revoke the Building Permit 0410-10001-04399.

"This permit was issued in error because of inaccurate information provided by the owners. The permit would have allowed the owners to relocate the recycling center located at 1883 W. Adams from the south end of the property to the north end of the property. (By the owners moving the recycling center, they may have lost their non-conforming right to have a recycling center).

"Although this is not a nuisance revocation hearing, the hearing officer will listen to your concerns about this recycling center. Therefore, I encourage each of you who have concerns and personal knowledge about the ongoing illegal activity and nuisance activity that occurs at and around this recycling center to attend this hearing and voice your concerns."

Jan De Andrade, Deputy City Attorney Neighborhood Prosecutor Program Southwest Area (323) 789-2701

Thursday, July 6 9 a.m. Exposition Park Inter-Generational Community Center (EPICC), 2nd Floor, Community Hall, 3990 South Menlo Avenue

The Final EIR for the proposed University Gateway project (located at the northwest corner of Jefferson and Figueroa) has been completed and was released by the CRA on Monday, June 26, 2006 for public comment. A hearing in the matter has been scheduled for Thursday, July 6.

This project involves significant issues related to parking, traffic, and design, among other issues. At this meeting, the Board of the Community Redevelopment Agency will be voting on the whether or not to approve project and its Environmental Impact Statement WAHA was one of many entities which commented on the proposed EIR.

Conquest Housing, which is another (competing) student housing developer, has taken an advocacy position opposing the project, and has created a website, www.stopgateway.com, which has been updated with current information as well as links to view the Final EIR.

(WAHA does not endorse other organizations' positions, but this website is the best single location at this point to read about the project.)


The Van Buren Place Community Restoration Assocation website, www.westadams-normandie.com, has launched a new section in collaboration with the Los Angeles Public Library featuring selected links to hundreds of photos of historic West Adams and nearby communities housed on the Los Angeles Public Library website as part of their huge Photo Database.

The photos trace West Adams from the 1890s to the 1970s, including Adams Boulevard as a dirt road with horses and wagons; photos of Zanja, the open concrete trenches that ran along the sidewalks and delivered the water to the great houses on Figueroa in 1889; Exposition Park, when it was called Agricultural Park; the first Shrine Auditorium, before it was destroyed by fire in 1920; African American night clubs on Central Avenue in the 1940s; the grand Boulevard Theatre at Washington and Vermont when it opened in 1925; 36th and Western under water in the 1926 flood; horse-drawn hay rides on Pico Blvd.; black businesses on Crenshaw in the forties and fifties; cows grazing at Slauson and Central Avenue in 1930.

Everything is here, from local schools to trolley cars and the old theatres that once graced the major West Adams intersections. See the first automobile in California; El Cholo restaurant in 1931; nightlife at Club Alabam in 1942; the first Chinese American woman to become a doctor in the United States, who later went on to adopt 1500 American pilots and submariners in World War II and went to Washington to create the WAVES. See USC constructed; the Jefferson High School class of 1935; early photos of the Auto Club and St. Vincent's at Figueroa and Adams; and even a section on one of the city's most famous murders, the Black Dahlia case of 1947, which took place in the 3800 block of Norton Avenue, just east of Crenshaw.


Thursday, July 13 7 p.m. The West Patio, Farmers Market, Third and Fairfax

Thursday Night Jazz at Farmers Market presents Sydney Weisman (a WAHA member) with the Paul Chipello Trio. This event is free, but of course beer and wine are available on the West Patio, and there are a bevy of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines in the Farmers Market marketplace itself.

Saturday, July 15 Noon - 4 p.m. Tea 2 - 4 p.m. Guasti Villa/Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens, 3500 West Adams Boulevard

Open Saturday is especially designed for people who want to visit the historic villa, walk the labyrinth, and enjoy and afternoon in the gardens. No appointment necessary to visit the gardens, and this portion is free.

Afternoon Tea includes fresh-made tea sandwiches and cakes, and organic Urth Caffé teas. Cost: $10 (advance reservations and payment required.) Please contact Zoe Golightly at (323) 737-4055 ext 127 or e-mail registrar@peacelabyrinth.org to make a reservation and pay in advance for the afternoon tea.


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, circa the 5th and the 20th. 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