We Still Haven’t Crossed the Finish Line

front of N.F. Stokes Residence

front of N.F. Stokes Residence

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
323 957-6415

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.

Mosaic Church

Mosaic Church

Erasing Hollywood’s History

A view of 1905 Grace from Grace Ave..

A view of 1905 Grace from Grace Ave..

UPDATE: A time has been set for the meeting to consider this building as a historic landmark. Here are the details:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 10:00 am
200 North Spring St.
Room 1050, City Hall

You might also want to take the time to read the comment at the end of this post from John Girodo of Hollywood Heritage. He gives more information about what’s happening.

Thursday night I heard some disturbing news. An American Colonial mansion that was built in 1917, located at the corner of Grace and Franklin in Hollywood, is slated for demolition. A developer wants to knock the building down, probably with the intention of constructing high-end residential units.

Hollywood Heritage is trying to have the mansion nominated as a historic monument, but things don’t look good. The Office of Historic Resources will be holding a hearing to consider the nomination, but it’s on such short notice that it will be hard to rally the community. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 12. The last I heard, the time hasn’t been set.

It seems like the City is trying to rush this through, which doesn’t surprise me given their recent record. In just the last year the City has allowed developers to level the Mole-Richardson Building on La Brea and the Oswald Bartlett House in Los Feliz. Those are just the two most recent casualties of the current wave of development.

Can anybody stop this? I don’t know. It would be great to have a good turnout at the meeting on Tuesday. Hollywood Heritage says people must show up in person to express their views, but it’s hard to plan on attending when the time hasn’t even been set. Hopefully the OHR will nail that down pretty soon. It also might be helpful to find out what CD 4 candidates Carolyn Ramsay and David Ryu have to say about this. They’ve both said they want to preserve Hollywood’s history. Let’s find out if they really mean it.

Carolyn Ramsay

David Ryu

If you can’t make it to the meeting on Tuesday, you might still let the OHR know how you feel about this. The link is below.

Office of Historic Resources

[For an update on 1905 Grace, click here.]

A view of 1905 Grace from Franklin Ave..

A view of 1905 Grace from Franklin Ave..