I was thrilled last week when I heard that LA’s Cultural Heritage Commission voted unanimously in favor of designating the N.F. Stokes Residence a historic cultural monument. The building, at 1905 Grace, dates back to 1917 and is one of the few structures from that era still standing in the Hollywood area. At the same meeting the CHC voted to consider the Mosaic Church, at Hollywood and La Brea, for designation as well. There were a number of people in the community who have worked long and hard to save these buildings, and reading the e-mails from those involved it seemed like everyone was breathing a collective sigh of relief.
But the fight isn’t over yet.
I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but we have to remember that the Stokes house won’t actually be declared a monument until the City Council votes on it. That’s when it becomes official. And as for the Mosaic Church, I was at a meeting last week where a developer’s representative flatly declared that the building did not deserve monument status. Now, you might be thinking, Hey, the CHC vote was unanimous. They clearly believe that both buildings are worth saving! How could the City Council ignore their recommendation?
Better think again. Not too long ago Mayor Garcetti pushed for the demolition of the Oswald Bartlett House over the loud objections of the preservation community, and he got his way. That house is gone. Over the past few months the Mayor has overridden the City Planning Commission to revive two major developments that faced strong opposition from the neighboring communities. There are no guarantees here. Recent history has shown that the Mayor and the City Council will do what they want. Which is often exactly what the developers want.
So we need to keep the pressure on. If you live in Council District 4, where the Stokes Residence and the Mosaic Church are both located, you might want to contact newly elected Councilmember David Ryu. His support will be crucial. Here’s his info.
Councilmember David Ryu
And if you don’t live in CD 4, you can still contact your councilmember and let them know you think these buildings are worth saving.