tv Ken Bernstein and Stephen Schafer Preserving Los Angeles CSPAN October 9, 2021 3:33pm-4:53pm EDT
with that i will turn it back over to debbie. >> thank you. i just wanted to thank again our generous sponsors, the national endowment for the humanities, the stennis foundation the history channel and oxford university press. thanks to everyone who submitted questions today and finally a special thanks to our panelists. have a great afternoon. thank you. >> with us tonight is mike. mike is president and ceo of the center for arts and culture in and a longtime historic preservation. he led san francisco's historic preservation nonprofit. he has been the oat director of
advocacy of the los angeles conservancy and for the historic preservation. his present racial mark in angeles the subject of tonight's talk in here in san francisco. thank you for being with us mike and welcome and i will hand the microphone over to you. >> thank you so much frances. such a pleasure to be here tonight with my long-time friends and colleagues aliso beach and stephen schafer to talk about their stunning new book "preserving los angeles" how historic places can transform america's cities. published by angel city press. dare i say this book is a monument is a monument to statement and major contribution to preservation field. kevin devoted much of his career to enhancing the unique architecture of cultural heritage of los angeles. i had the shoes to fill and ken
has left his role for his current position with the city and within the city's planning department ken is a member of the design studio. among his many responsibilities ken led the groundbreaking of the ally project. he documented historic resources across the city has 500 square miles describing not only his diversity and architecture but also the curb cost -- cultural community. anyone who knows los angeles can appreciate the size and scale of this massive undertaking. stephen schaefer describes himself as a photographer with a preservation distraction. two decades behind the lens of the camera he's become an expert in the group new and intellectual architecture. he caught the cut the preservation bug as it were after seemingly endless days of preservation to the 1881
historic -- victorian farmhouse then drawn to buildings large and small in his crisscrossing america documenting significant places with the historic american building buildings survey collection at the library of congress. with that let me turn it over to stephen to kick off our presentation. >> they are we go. okay. but zero good evening everyone. such a pleasure to be with all of you at the historical society to be able to speak with an audience throughout the state of california tonight and share a little bit about preserving los angeles or new book for angel city press. i really wanted to begin i talking a little bit about why
we did the book in our motivation and what we were trying to do. i decided to write this book and i think most of you who follow history in california and los angeles know there are many books on los angeles and its history and its architecture but i felt like the story of historic preservation in los angeles had not really been told in a comprehensive way. that's really what i wanted to try to do with someone sub line and let me quickly pull up my dissertation and hopefully we can get this going. there it goes. okay. "preserving los angeles" is the story of historic preservation of los angeles and i had felt that again while there are many books on los angeles and its architecture the power of preservation to transform divinities had not really been
told. i had been frustrated in many cases that there have also been a claim that los angeles is a city that doesn't care about its history and doesn't care about its architecture. i thank all of you fewer angelenos with us tonight know that certainly those are myths and there are many angelenos who do care about it. i start with this image of university studios because of the los angeles is -- there we go. has a mind of its own tonight. the story of some of the studios of los angeles and of the entertainment industry is the entire sum total of the history of los angeles and obviously that's not the case. often i think east coast reporters think they can parachute into the city in a matter of days and capture the essence of what l.a. is all about. i've been fortunate to be in
professional roles in the l.a. conservancy and with the city of los angeles and the birdseye view for how historic preservation can make a difference in communities around the city. i wanted to try to capture a much more interesting and new wants to an complex los angeles that i have come to know and what i saw is that historic preservation while it's frequently kind of mischaracterized as being about stopping change or preventing progress of preservation has really been a primary engine for change throughout los angeles, and it has been a tool that's been revitalizing our downtown or historic downtown. it has been transforming neighborhoods and creating economic regeneration across our cities and even helping to address our housing crisis in
california with affordable housing. i wanted to try to bring back downtown l.a.'s history both for angelenos who may not fully internalize the positive changes that are around them and then to those beyond l.a. who want to know what l.a. is all about and i hope those of you from the bay area don't -- and i hope as you start to take a closer look at this book and begin to explore los angeles through the prism of historic preservation you start to see this much more interesting and much different city than the version of los angeles. this is what i wanted to do with the book and this is kind of a side project for me. i called it a weekend project for the last two years. and it's really been a labor of love for me.
i decided i wanted to donate my proceeds for the book to three national organizations working for greater equity and inclusion in the historic preservation field, the african-american action fund the national trust of historic preservation latinos. it's conservation and ati a asian/pacific islander americans historic preservation. and i knew i wanted this to be a visually rich book and was fortunate to find the perfect partner in steven schaefer who we will be hearing from a little later and i think you'll see in the photos that i will be showing there are 300 pictures in the book. his unique eye for architectural detail and having a preservationist i for capturing images that convey the message that i was trying to get across. the book and i think that comes
through as you'll see the images i'll be sharing tonight. starting with our historic downtown in eastern colombia building one of her great architectural buildings and the theater district on broadway we are seeing developers and property owners alike tying preservation and adaptive reuse converting things that ad to their projects and angelenos are seeking out places like this and they are their preferred places to live, work and play. i tried the book to provide example after example of how that is in los angeles and how preservation has transformed it and how other cities with resources can use preservation as a tool to do much the same. i think for many writers writing a book the act of writing itself is a journey of discovery
finding your message and your characters or mission writer and for me it wasn't about that. i knew the story i wanted to tell based on the first idea that i had in los angeles but for me it was about channeling the spirit of discovery that's been part of my work all along and using that in the book. i've been very fortunate to have an entrée to remarkable historic places around the city in many angelise knows aren't even aware of. i wanted to take it along with me and say here, look at this. this is the real los angeles and one of those sites is the garden of odds. i'll never forget the first time i got to see this remarkable garden in the hollywood hills the creation of a former journalist who worked with 75 of her artist friends who began to evolve this space to do her own
home into a full garden. here you have munchkin land attributed to the "wizard of oz" and in the garden peacemakers of the dalai lama and rosa parks and entertainment figures from elvis presley to duke ellington. she distributes keys to artists and two neighbors to be able to come in and experience the garden and she was very generous in allowing him to capture and share with a wider audience. i wanted to share many remarkable gems of the city with their readers here in los angeles. this is a book about the practical lessons of preservation and how preservation can transform other cities but also providing the
sense of discovery and to again showcase a very different los angeles. she starts her story with the power of historic education in a local landmark that we call historical monuments which are our local landmarks and we have over 1200 in the city and the book showcases how many of these made it dramatic transformation to rescue his dark places such as this. the idle hour one of the few remaining examples of what's called programmatic architecture. this is a bar in the north hollywood community of los angeles built in the form of a whiskey barrel. it's a historical monument to the nation. it became a flamenco dance dinner theater in the 1970s and 80s and a close in the
80s and the dancer who operated the theater became kind of like the old woman who lived in a shoe except she was the old woman who lived in a whiskey barrel per gig rolled in an apartment upstairs of the former bar with a small menagerie of animals around here. the building deteriorated and became threatened when she went into a rehabilitation facility in passed away. it was this historic preservation that really helps protect the building and led to in the building came up for auction a preservation minded buyer taking over in rehabilitating the bar and spending about $2 million in preserving the original features and reclaiming wood planks for the bar and on the patio another example of programmatic architecture of the 1928 bulldog café that sat on washington
boulevard in los angeles. it had been her peterson automotive building and it was relocated. we have two examples of romantic architecture and historic monuments. l.a. has also been a pioneer of preservation of cultural resources. we have in fact one of the earliest historic preservation ordinances in the country. we are actually ahead of other california cities including san francisco and san diego and allowing local landmarks dating back to 1962. we have always allowed for designations and places of cultural significance. we call call our historic -- monuments and one example is the cap are. many of you know about it in new
york in 1969 people cited that as the birth of the movement nationally but the birth of that movement in many ways began here at the cat. new year's day 1967 when there was an lapd police. on the bar and people were beaten by police just for expressing their enthusiasm for the new year and their love for one another in same-sex couples. that led to protests at the site the following month that then led to action that when all the way to the u.s. supreme court concerning equal protection rights as part of the movement. los angeles is a pioneer but a motivation pioneer. it may not have architectural significance but great social and cultural significance with
this historical monument about 13 years ago. in addition to our individual landmarks and monuments we also share the story of how we have preserved this entire neighborhood the historic district through the designation of historic preservation overlay its dod for local districts in l.a.. we have 35 of these in los angeles today and about 21,000 properties are included in these neighborhoods. these designations have made it to radek transformation to the community. i'd like to share a handful of them in the civic district in the book but i wanted to speak a little bit to what makes la's historic district so unique. they are neighborhoods of very noted socioeconomic and demographic diversity. there was a study prepared by --
economics on behalf of the l.a. conservancy last year that found our h.s. ca in los angeles have a higher share of nonwhite population is within most neighborhood than the average share of white population in the city has a hole in los angeles. these are neighborhoods that are continuing to attract a vibrant and diverse mix of residents from all income levels as well. an example of that is the neighborhood shown here in south l.a. that is tremendously diverse about 50% latino 35% african-american and the historic designation has led to this neighborhood becoming even more close-knit with the a true sense of community in this area and reinvestment in many of the homes as well. this shows how drought tolerant
landscaping can be inserted on the front lawns of the historic homes and a bigger setting like this so they are very compatible with the historic character. it spans all architectural styles and the city's history including the balboa highlands historic preservation overlay zone. this is at the north end of our city in the san fernando valley in granada hills and the bay area the development of joseph eisler who built about 10,000 homes in the bay area. this is the only track in the city of los angeles and he brought modernism to the masses from 1962 to 1964. each dod again you can see the landscaping and the cohesiveness of this modern neighborhood of the historic district.
our hdod generally has shown preservation and destiny are not mutually inclusive and this is a big topic is many of you may know statewide in california right now. for example with housing bills that are looking at introducing additional senior transit in hdod neighborhoods but the preservation positivity study cited found our hdod's or 50% younger for resident per square mile than residential neighborhoods on average and the rest of the city combined. they are denser than the citywide average tents to be in washington d.c.. this is an example not a high-rise neighborhood in terms of density but the family home on the left in the middle is a triplex and on the far and on the right and apartment style
building. you see this in many of our hdod path. this is one that i think are lower income neighborhoods but it has a lot of multifamily dwellings. this is only a single family home and even our historic district shows of density can be accommodated in this way. i also in the book wanted to make sure with all these beautiful photos that shaped the book and make a quite visually stunning we lose sight of the fact that it isn't only about beauty and only a bad architecture but also about people ultimately. people made historic preservation possible through their passion and commitment and as activists ordered ministry jars of historic reservation and give life to the places that we
have talked about. it's important that we include those laces in the book for preservation profiles. on the left he was the driving force of the lake and height preservation shown with his neighbors to make that possible in his community. on the right a student at uc riverside who is active with the historical society and got a nomination for the japanese hospital in the boyle heights community in l.a., really telling the story of african-american immigrants who created a health care facility for their own community in the 1920s at a time when asian-americans were being denied health care through discrimination. so the book gives voice to some of these stories and allows some of these individuals to tell their own story in their own
words through the book. i do want to find out though while i have a fairly optimistic view of what we've been able to accomplish their historic preservation in los angeles i don't want to paint an entirely rosy picture. we have a lot of work to do and one of those really has been the area of equity, diversity and inclusion and in my own donation book it's really a recognition. there is a disproportionate share of our historical cultural monuments in l.a. reflecting communities of color. it's 3% for african-american heritage is in the city and 6% for persons of color more generally and we need to take a hard look at why that is the case. we have newer designations in last couple of years to rectify
some of that imbalance. one of them is the new temple missionary baptist church on south broadway in southeast los angeles near the watts community. they've been designated for the significance of the reporting of her recent amazing grace cell phone which became the rest -- best-selling gospel song of all time in 1972 and there was a remarkable film that was only recently released a couple of years ago. we now this is of historic research of los angeles has launched enough in -- african-american project with the getty conservation institute as our partner. we continue to rectify some of these disparities to advance additional nominations of african-american heritage and really look at all of our historic preservation programs and processes through an antiracist lens. we also wanted to share in the
book some of the work in this area with respect to being more inclusive and equitable and historic preservation. we have done that for the creation of the preservation primer called historic content statements part of the work we have done on serve a lay and we will share more about that in a moment. the framework is meant to tell the story more comprehensive way of many of our diverse communities and cities and to tie important themes in that history to places that remain on the ground today. i think it's a great resource and i want to call attention to the california historical society because this really a think gives greater life too often untold stories of southern california los angeles history. for example this house which is the eddie mcdaniel residents
and their neighborhood of west adams. we are very mindful of the legacy of restrictions that racially did -- the urban planning history and the economic history of our city. they african-american history put that story front and center and other stories about the civil rights movement in the church and many others but what's noble about this neighborhood is hattie mcdaniel joined with other prominent residents who were beginning to move into this neighborhood after ethel waters and others to challenge some of these. that story itself began in sugar hill and they hired an attorney lauren miller to defend the rights to property for all african-americans. that was a legal action that ultimately went all the way to the supreme court shelly v.
cramer in 1948 that ultimately ruled that racially restricted residents were on enforceable. this is the home that the sugar hill neighborhood speak to that important history. there are many important themes including the influence of individual art and particularly the muralist movement defined as visual landscape in los angeles. the great wall of los angeles something that longtime angelenos are not aware of. judy baca and her nonprofit along the wall of the tujunga -- it was completed from 1974 to 1984. she and her colleagues worked with youth every summer to do a set of panels and it's an
alternative social history of california in los angeles. the office of historic resources build upon the work they did to nominate this successfully in 2017 to the national register of historic places so it's now listed nationally. we also define asian-american historic context. the unique histories of our chinese korean japanese latino american community and the japanese-american context tells the story of little tokyo and the primary settlement in the city but looks comprehensively at the inclusions of japanese americans that the city. there were once 26 japanese-american nurseries that really reflect did both the legacy of early labor of japanese-american gardeners in
the city in the year prior to the internment during world war ii. their only handful of people left and we have listed those important aspects of the japanese-american aspect in the city. preservation in los angeles is a downtown renaissance fueled by bringing older buildings to new purposes and you have the building on broadway. this was made possible like many others through an ordinance in los angeles which cleared the way for some of the fires owning in tenement that prevented older buildings from becoming housing one of those is parking. ..
that really create a new residential base and revitalization. seventy-five project with nine decade. and many other great examples we share in the book. some of which speak to the fact los angeles has a transit oriented development legacy historically such as the pacific electric building at sixth and maine and downtown l.a. as a first l.a. sky taper also speaks of the legacy on hydrate huntington a well known throughout california california history. he was responsible for specific electric railway system. our red car and yellow car system. all of which terminated the building downtown was a hub for streetcar line to stand outside the city and really created many of our early
suburbs of the city. the building's top floor included a jonathan club a unique private club for men in the city. the adapted resources allow this to be converted to housing by 2005. there are 14 residential under the ordinance. it was either beauty and the authenticity that was converted to a library for residents on the eighth floor of the building. which dates back to 1908. one of her most significant restaurants in the city. it's not limited to just downtown los angeles. it's also throughout the city produce not just for housing,
when google was looking to further expand from the headquarters in l.a. it did not look to high-rise office buildings that have been historically associated with howard hughes and hughes famously only flew one. pgf architects and google collaborated on the stunning reuse of the building. really inserting a building within a building gathering places for working employees. this is now probably the center of what is to come out of cell eight silicon beach with other tech companies as part of this. adaptive reuse for transportable housing. the key aspect and it's a wonderful example of the 28th
street ymca designed by paul revere williams a prominent african-american architect who contributed so much diversity over many decades. this is an earlier work from 19206 and observed to be in south l.a. for many decades. 2011 though, i did fallen into disuse and collaborates converts affordable housing, units of low income housing in the historic building and a five door a very contemporary style designed by tony eisenberg, 25 units of additional low income housing behind it. i know contemporary additions are possible. this was approved by our social heritage commission, our office is a highly differentiated new addition. also showing here layers
remain visible within the process. the images were the former swimming pool for the ymca was. right an outline which marks the outer edge of where the pool had been and makes this potentially reversible in the future if it does go back tomorrow eight recreation use. so to close before i turn it over i want to introduce a little bit about survey l.a. that mike had mentioned. a large part of the book captures the work of the city wide survey that was completed 2017 i was the largest historic research survey of any municipality in the country. the result of a lengthy partnership between the city and the trust that support from the getty conservation institute. i go to this amount because it shows the daunting challenge
that was before us. the outline of the city of los angeles eight of the largest cities in the nation sitting with room to spare in between. and survey teams which were literally went down every street of the city to identify historic resources. it's a great deal of research had been done you think historic content, community engagement for six -- nine months before were out in the field to capture the collective knowledge in crowd source information in every community about places that local places that might be not be obvious architecturally. all of that got loaded into tablets and pcs as you can see here with the set of drop-down menus so that survey could be completed for the first time
ever is an all digital survey out in the field with photos link to that. this information is now all available on our comprehensive inventory website at historic places l.a..org. the home screen is showing here with a photo as well on our website. this is meant to really guide the planning of the city. we can only plan the future of our cities, plan for greater density what communities are going to be preserved if we know what and where our resources are the first place. that's the purpose of the survey also to flag disinformation for developers and property owners before they invest in projects. a big portion of the book focuses on the discoveries from this process that surveyed more than a decade. the book provides a sampling of some of those most interesting signs from the survey. it was important to me that
has signs in every we have planned aaron's are all represented to every community can find places that matter to them and underscore the point that every neighborhood has remarkable history, remarkable architecture that's worth lifting up and celebrating. with that i will turn it over and let him tell a little bit about the process of going through the city and documenting some of these places. >> thanks it can, appreciate that. this was indeed a pretty amazing project. kind of eight daunting project i did not exactly know what i was going to get myself into. i may do a screen share here and get going.
okay, does that look like it is working? i'm going to have to assume yes. so i really wanted to show some of my behind-the-scenes photographs and some of the photographers not just a bunch of pretty pictures it was a pretty remarkable summer in many, many ways. an incredibly diverse set of subjects an incredibly diverse city. so that was pretty amazing to see. and now you all know what i did last summer with this book. i learned los angeles. and just to begin, while i was out there i let google maps track me so i can build this a map of all of my trips you can
see with the way i live over in the left side in ventura which is about 60 miles west of l.a. that sort of gives you an idea many days of driving down to los angeles in exploring i think it pains me every five or ten minutes it's not definitely accurate but it gives you the idea like how it follows the l.a. city limits. l.a. has an odd city structure and goes down to the san pedro area to pick up a little bit of the port. it has some islands in lake beverly hills, santa monica, or would that are not burbank, not part of it. there are islands that you are missing and long stretches your connecting and sometimes you're looking across the street sing gosh that would be really amazing. but that is not in the city of l.a. and what is behind you is.
my trips also mimic that surveyed like a comparison map to illustrate the sheer size of life. shows the seven major cities jammed into the borders pretty really wish i would have remembered this map when ken gave me his first 65 page shot list. i did not remember or realize what is getting myself into. the photos in the book all came to be the same way. i added all of ken's target from a 65 page shot list to my google's maps limit between sites like this when i tried to leap preplanned for the best shot like here but sometimes i was totally wrong when i drove up and i would have to make a second visit. here is fleetwood center, the top shot is a good example of the difference or hours can make. the top image is 6:00 p.m. the
façade is in full shade. i went back again, out a different day at 2:00 p.m. to get the rigging sunlight emblem and the gorilla of this cadillac shaped shopping center and some depth. most cases that i was able to read one shot some days i had to go back. some photos required excess planning logistics i was able to bring kate her fabulous intern on this outing to the hollywood sign. it's about 101 that day it was nice and dry on the top of the hill which is a very long hike. many of you might know that if you've ever hiked to the top. took the picture on the roof platform of my truck. if you look carefully throughout the book you'll notice the rooftop angle on a lot of photos in the book but is not trying to copy google. i favorite photos in the book are still the hero shot in the evening and the cover shot use in the theater in downtown.
both both of those took hours to do they are sort of deceptive simply looking and not to systole representative of most of the photographs in the book i took. so for instance i got to the orpheum theater way back before covid would about 45:00 p.m. on the left side i set the frame that's the basic shot kids and parents were lining up for the busy junior holiday party all of that craziness subsided when the show started at 4:30 p.m. is able to move the cones the light was about perfect when a postal truck stopped in the photo to do deliveries but luckily i was able to persuade him to move and talk him out of keeping his car there but otherwise the picture on the right will be the cover of today's book. here's a behind-the-scenes selfie the cameras light.
jim the owner left the lights this was taken march 2020 where that happens to be significant as the day los angeles county sacred home order was given all nonessential work in l.a. stopped. so stayed safe at home in ventura, planted tomatoes learn to bake muffins and i waited. after a month i realize most of my photos did not require into the action with real humans. so i got back on the road for a typical day was leaving greg schwietz amp photograph until 8:00 p.m., drive back. tried different drive-through every day, usually got home around 10:00 p.m. lather, rinse, repeat same thing. because of covid would my days were remarkably efficient rate almost no one asked me what i was doing or dared to come near me. it was heaven. i was about 90% finished with the photography in september when traffic started to come
back. places had reinvented themselves this is colonial corners barrington and national boulevard at 7:00 p.m. i was working at home i walked up the street and set up the shot. pretty remarkable, cannot do that today. and here is the hotel rosslyn in downtown l.a. at rush are. here i literally parked in the middle of the street, climbed up the roof of the truck and set up the shot. cars going by me do not try this at home i hadn't worn orange vest pretty much let's me do anything as long as they look like i know what i'm doing. there's even a code check parking and that never happens. it is built ko jk if you've never heard of that i need to look it up.
after months photos edited ready for publication cropped and uploaded high-resolution first buying photographers my preserving l.a. light room database on my computer is 19612 images in it for this one project. that edited down to just over 300 images in the book. about one and every five photos was used. i get it right a little under 2% of the times was probably a good thing i'm not a doctor. moving along, here is the survey a late spread from brentwood. the back of the book which is the survey l.a. section that ken alluded to is really a wonderful field guide. serves as a tribute probably field surveyors who did serve l.a. pay when i spent the summer dabbling down one road
and down another looking for cans of cream of the croft 65 page shot list the surveyors walked every sidewalk and drugged out every single street. sometimes they did not find anything for a day or a week and sometimes they found a lot. and so every survey sites in the book has a brief description i should go to the actual book. i found that was just part of the story. for instance, here is 647 south and westchester. it was a duplex and altered in 1977 but notable architect in a project cited as mosses first built work for the structure it represents streamlined architecture in a distinctive playful late modern designs emphasizing the buildings verticality. that is the basic overview or entry in the back of the book.
and then i arrived at the site and got to see the amazing mailboxes on the left. in neighbor walked by said the hay they just painted that billing so i had to go online and see from the middle photo from a couple years ago on google. i don't know about you but i like the old paint job better. so, all of these sites and places lead to other things and that was what was fantastic about the book. there's the 1962 apartment building in granada hills which is a smaller vertical shot in the book. you don't really notice all of these details. but i had to clear the palms you could not include the palms in the shot. but there is just that one shot. but in order to really appreciate you need to see the carvings the ingenious air-conditioner screens on the right which officially makes in the coolest character defining features on the building. also you have to get out of your car and stepped on the sidewalk and really take a
look. it does not work at 20 miles per hour. here's the atchinson house in san pedro built in 1907 the first row of architectural photography is you must say a prayer to the van gods to move in a van in front of their shot. they're always there and always at the wrong time. the van gods luckily complies here's the front of the house which is extraordinary but if you don't go there you don't see the marvelous a balcony which you can't include in one photograph because of the tree on the left. there it is, you walk around the corner it is an amazing house with different things. which i found endlessly entertaining. here's an un- touched 1908 in the middle of little old lady who lives there looked like she was about as old as the
house but she gave me the hairy eyeball as i stood on top of my truck and my orange vest and took this picture. it is amazing and vaccinating this is on a double lot. it is screaming out to be an apartment building or a condo. finance eight vernacular historic resource. everything is original including the paint. and here's a completely redone house in studio city. you probably recognize it as the brady bunch house. it was just rebuilt by hdtv recently should be on everybody's tour of l.a. next time you're out. again shows the super diversity of the things that are historic for his doric deafening up architecture here's the space station 1957 great western savings bank architect in panorama city. i added this photo to the
wikipedia page a few weeks ago. this is in west lake the other end of the historic spectrum. i also learned this is not the same as west lake. as learning l.a. as we go it's also an l.a. county. but westlake is just off of downtown. as the 1903 subzero substation start to realize it's a radio check it's a resource now understand it looks like an industrial building it's hiding there in plain sight as bright and colorful as you can imagine. this is the lincoln park motor court in lincoln heights for if you look closely you'll see the swards above the neon sign think all hotels should have swordsmen pretty sure swords don't meet the l.a. guidelines anymore. here's the church of saint andrews in granada hills. not only did i do a double take but this when i also did a u-turn.
it was not on ken's shot list but it's surveyed and survey l.a. i managed to convince him to put in the book. i kept seeing amazing places on the way to other amazing places. a lot of time i did not have time to stop it at if i did i would probably still be there driving around in circles. so often times it's in between where you are and where you are going. here is the department store by a small maker and westchester in 1948. and if you walk around the back you can still see the ramp to the classic parking system on the roof it is no longer a parking lot on the roof. 1906 craftsman residents the owner came out and the other
neighborhood i kind of wish i would've copied down the address. i know where he lives i can run down there and check it out again. this is a palmer kiesel house to be right at home and palm springs. it is amazing work which is consistent with palm springs mid lake legacy pretty just don't realize there's los angeles and there's in the valley. it's almost a secret unless you live in the valley and you know where they are. they're now starting to get snapped up and restored. i had no idea or maybe there's a little bit of valium palm springs. brutalism. that places and features in the book are small fraction of the sites from survey l.a. if you are out there in l.a., you see a building and are
curious just type the address in the database which added to the chat. every time i did that the building was there and that is what happened here. this was not on the shot list but i came to add it because i like these buildings and be because the moment i drove by was also the perfect lighting for this building. it is historic as the 1966 liberties savings and loan that is the building the same architect as the litton savings which is also in the book. but unfortunately, sadly, no longer with us. at the end other end of the spectrum i like to call this house folk brutalist. it is such a great expression of construction. you can almost ignore the replacement windows. but typically most of my architectural photos are taken on a tripod. but here the occupants were sitting just inside the opener
so i walked up the sidewalk and nonchalantly took the photo and without stopping i spun around and took another shot i got back into the truck to see if one of those two photos was good enough for the book. it is all work sometimes. and it is a diversity of places in the book. amy, the designer did a terrific job with the book. in this spread there's a 19202 service station covid 1956 japanese hardware store covid 1978 telephone substation. a ranch house district turn of the century 19205 organ pavilion and an elaborate craftsman that is just in one of the 35 plan areas that was part. and the highlights to get you curious to see the maybe other hundreds of things that were surveyed in that area or dig a
little deeper on anyone. in 1961 it was designed and built as an expression of all things mid century. it is not only an epic curving canopy also folded slate roof on the main building. i'm sort of expecting to run into alan hess is i walk into this place. school was not in session so i drove right up and walked right in. there are no fences at this point which is pretty terrific. a don't miss the 1959 boathouse district hanging off the hillside in the valley. built by norwegian ship builders taxes in stead of saws so to wrap it up this is the old ranch road district plan in one of my favorite afternoon walks to find a perfect angle that showed off both the house and the context.
the photos in the book were not manipulated in photoshop. i had to wait for the sun here. there are trash cans in the photo in the background because i took this photo on trash day but had arranged all the trash cans in the background to the brown ones hid the balloons that does not count as retouching if you do it in real life. so unlike my pandemic trips when everything was closed, when you finish exploring you can end your day with a beer and a historic building in the art district which is now angel city brewery. i hope you'll have the book on your passenger seat as you learn historic los angeles one summer just like i did. thanks so much. so that was that. >> thanks so much can for that kaleidoscopic tour of los angeles with a note traffic no people it's really quite
amazing to see that view of the city. before we launch into q na i just want to remind participants please enter your questions into the q&a tab at the bottom and i will read them direct them to answer. i have a few of my own i would like to maybe get started with. but, before i get to the questions i just wanted to get back to ken's initial comment about this over worn probes about los angeles not caring about its history. i just want to note from my perspective as a former director of san francisco heritage i've always believed san francisco, for those was attending from san francisco has much to learn from los
angeles and the leadership of ken and others and documenting the city's heritage. some of you might assume san francisco will log a goat surveyed its resources but in fact the city is a just about to get started doing a citywide survey here. and through many of the innovations developed through survey l.a., that project is going to be easier. anyway i just wanted to note that. i guess i will start with one of my questions. it relates to the pandemic of course which permeates everything we discussed. the last time i saw your presentation the state was still closed. now of course we are reopening. i just wanted to ask as preservationists often tout the importance of historic places of centers of community
, i was hoping you would comment on how many of the historic places profiled in the book were impacted by the pandemic. places were people tend to gather. theaters, restaurants, bars et cetera. also it's reopening what you see as historic places will play in providing a sense of community going forward pre-quickset is a great question mike thanks. as i had finished he had talked about how he was going after in the pandemic and capturing most of the photos during that period of time i had written most of mine prior to the pandemic. it just kind of wrapping it up. it occurred to me was i describing a city that was not going to exist?
is a different experience coming out of this time. i felt like i needed to add and i did add a covid afterward that reflects on this just a little bit. i think almost every place in los angeles has been affected in one way or another by the pandemic. i think in part so many showed the idle hour that had just been reopened and was a result of the reinvestment i describe and then people could not come together there any longer. of course our churches and other public gathering places all had been significantly impacted. i think there is significant concern as well. we have learned a lot from you in san francisco and your work with the san francisco heritage about legacy businesses and that legacy business program you haven't san francisco because it is really our legacy businesses that have been anchored for so
many decades in our community that are particularly precarious, number of them have closed in locations. we saw a little tokyo business that was the birthplace of the ice cream for over a century, it closed just recently. other beloved restaurants, delis and others have closed during this time period. we are not looking at the model of san francisco to create a legacy program coming out of the time. it had a legacy business registry have grant support. i think what i think and reflected upon and the covid after words is that, it really is historic preservation. the values of historic preservation really being about authenticity, continuity in our communities connecting us between past, present and future as we have reemerged
and been re- engaging with our cities coming out of this time. or gravitating toward these places that have that type of enduring connection and value. we have seen that in l.a. we recently had an announcement about the closure of the pacific theater chain very significant landmark theater in hollywood and the outcry that arose to come out and go out back to these places that have such value in places like the hollywood bowl as a gathering place or dodgers stadium which is now the third oldest ballpark in the major leagues. we have a long standing connections in continuity with historic places. that has more value than ever. thank you ken tucci of anything to add on to that question?
>> being a preservationist and seeing just context and history backwards i sort of now realize while going to be looking back on this time and historians in the future are going to be looking back it may be this group of photos this wonderfully book ended by one summer. it becomes a historic moment. but they are his all historic buildings. but from the associations of here are these things that have happened to us that somebody in 100 years is going to be looking back on things during 2019 this thing happened. that allowed me to sort of take a bigger perspective picture of how important it was as you are living it.
i always am looking back at the turn-of-the-century that i am photographing and thinking what were they living? they lived the last pandemic we get to live this one. it is just another way to look at that history which i found pretty fascinating it's a very fascinating overlay to this book. kind of unexpected to see the cities historic places devoid of people which really enlivened them. that is really interesting aspect. let me get to the audiences questions because we have several here that are interesting. so i will just read from this one. they're constantly in a state of transformation consulate being remade. how do you ensure people will remember places that have been built over and erased from the
landscape? i will note that of course you have an example in the book, the parkers center is one example talked about in the book. could you speak to that that is increasingly important to what we do. >> yes. that is a difficult question. i will say that maybe we don't pay as much attention to that traditionally as we showed. and even in the survey, survey l.a. the purpose of that was not to document lost los angeles what was really already gone. but it's what still remains on the ground. of course it is about that continuity and the layers of community the layers of history and change. we have many examples of that. i think in los angeles we have urban renewal coming of age, our bunker hill neighborhood was our first redevelopment
project of a neighborhood. what was created there we begin to appreciate some of the mid to late 20th century modern buildings in bunker hill and taking stock of them. they were built atop what had been a victorian era neighborhood from the late 1880s. an understanding that history in the evolution of history is really important. i was particularly fascinated though not so much by los angeles but by the layers of history that are still visible in many ways. i have examples of those in the book. blake and neighborhood in the crenshaw district of los angeles that became a japanese-american enclave after the years of interment in the 50s and 60s where the photo in the book really captured japanese architecture and landscape pieces that are
still very evident in the neighborhood. i'm really fascinated by the ways that type of change the layers of history are still evident all around us. we need to take steps to help tell the full stories of all of the contributions in the history we are trying to preserve. >> fascinating. i'm going to direct this next question and a couple variations on it to you regarding photography. first of all ages what to know, i've always believed photography is one of the strongest tools we have as a preservationist to convey the value and beauty of historic places and build public support for what we do. that certainly comes through in the book in your images. i am curious though if you could talk a little bit more how you convey the stories of your photograph.
in one of our attendees asks if you look at old photos or google street view to plan shots. also, especially in the case of culturally significant non- descriptive landmarks, how you prepared to document that type of historic place? >> actually going back for a brief moment to that last question, how are we dealing with these things that are vanishing off the face of the earth? ironically i documented before is demolished for the historic building survey before this project started about two years ago. all of that documentation is now at the library of congress in the archive and publicly accessible in the public domain. there is sort of this wonderful giving back in that way. yes the building is gone.
hopefully the photographs can live on for people who are curious and many of the historic american building survey photographs from years past as i understand it are in the california circle society archive. and just sort of moving on to that, i have done a number of architectural historic projects. either books or for a while i did historic calendars. looking at historical photographs is really help me too photograph current buildings and given me a different viewpoint of that. i tried to scout everything i possibly can. i'm using using being arial or birdseye views and a couple of other mapping tools online just to see what i am up
against. i was not able to do that in this particular case. the best i could do this many 300 photographs in a short amount of time was basically to give me i'm going to spend a day and the valiant men to spend a day in san pedro only to spend a day here, day there. and like i said, sometimes i would roll up anna building it was perfectly lit sometimes i would have to go back. when i'm doing something that is much more singular let's say, anything i can absorb to make sure always in the case of parker center and historic buildings are the kaufman house, i am looking at historic photographs in the flank lloyd wright i was actually documenting and duplicating some of the views from the same location with the same lenses so that if someone were to compare them
he would be able to see those alterations. we are supposed to be plugging preserve l.a. but one of my favorite books is called help buildings learn. that is it goes to it can is saying, that layering. when you see a building and sometimes you can tell what has been added and what has not been added. as an architectural purist, which is how i came into preservation sort of one of those i don't know anything about architecture been out there pretty victorians and their painted lots of colors and that is really cool. as i've gotten more into it and started to appreciate that funny little tact on part of the back of the building were the additions that happened that just show people live there or people did things or entire era came and went.
it came and now we want to modernize. the canvassing bunker hill came, bunker hill went and now were looking at the next level. the department store photograph i showed it's like i am celebrating victor ruin. thirty-five years ago he was a bad guy who tore down everything we love. so irony in what i do. thanks. can i will direct this next one to you to get started. think it's a great question something the preservation community confronts. how hard is it to get people to see the cultural and historical significance of younger structures like the one just mentioned.
people often associate preservation with old. >> that is a great question. i touch on that a bit in the book. i actually site at university of houston professor who confronted this question and termed ugly valley is an architectural concept of cycles of taste with architecture. the more recent past goes through a period particularly when buildings are 25 -- 40 years old they tend to appear ugly to us. it's hard to imagine now the victorian era architecture prevalent in san francisco and we have worked to preserve what we have in l.a. in the 1880s there was a period that was considered to ornament it and much more simple art deco buildings were threatened during the 1960s into the
1970s that rescued as the preservation movement began. so ugly right now brutal as him, postmodernism late modernism it's at that low point of ugly valley were just starting to emerge from that. that's when going from that time. our most threatened and people do not look at them anew. often it is younger people who are the first to emerge from ugly valley and embrace younger forms and younger styles. we have seen that in los angeles. michael knight worked for the l.a. conservancy modern committee for long time there the lone voice in the wilderness they began with the task force in the 1980s when those buildings were 30 years old i worked in the 60s and 70s when no one else was seeing it. but as for younger advocates
typically at the time. so it is a constant source of concern and education that is needed. survey l.a., we began the survey we took it to the building that was built in 1,982,006 we began the project with that was very progressive, only about 25 years old. we now realize we are going to need to at some point expand the survey to take account of the architecture of the 1980s and 90s as well. many of those are going to be threatened before we really appreciate them. >> absolutely. there is always at work to be done as history moves forward. this is kind of a related question but of a different variety. you mentioned in the book l.a. does not have confederate
monuments that we've seen her move throughout the country but it does have monuments to colonialism and other controversial figures. this question is asking, how does the city address less uplifting moments and is at the city's role? >> i think we are now seeing it as a city's. i've been honored to be participating over the past year probate memory working group eric garcetti and his chief design officer the former architecture critic of the los angeles times. we were grappling with the group of about 40 preservationists, historians architects and others really grappling with these questions that there director of the mayor how do we deal with these contentious, difficult chapters of our past?
not just in terms of preservation tools but interpretation and memorialization of that history. i highly commend to you there is a report that came out of that we can put it in the chat it was called past due it's a specific working group with essays and recommendations related to just this topic. one of the first recommendations coming out of that is to do something this year around the 150th anniversary in 2021 of the 1871 chinese massacre in los angeles that is something i did not learn about until more recent years. probably the largest lynching in american history 17 chinese americans were lynched in a massacre which what the original chinatown in los
angeles. there is really no commemoration, memorialization of that tragic event. so that group is working with chinese and american the city to find out what type should that look like in the year 2021 as well as looking at these questions of existing monuments. we had fewer men on horseback statuary than east coast cities. but we do have for example a statue that was toppled last year during some of those protests of 2020. and other public monuments we need to start grappling with. the report does not develop definitive recommendations on what should be the public process grappling with these questions. >> that is a rich topic that deserves a lot more discussion
than certainly the preservation committee throughout the state are grappling with those issues. well, we are a little bit below are ten that's a good place to wrap it up. i would just like to thank you both can and shape for joining us today and for your presentation. i will just remind people again to please check out the book. i know francis is posting the link to where you can purchase it. it is really an incredible, it's a fun book to read it's not overly technical. you do not need to be a preservationist to be interested in it. i strongly endorse it and hope you will consider it. thank you again for joining us it's great to see you again thank you to the california historical society for hosting this program this evening. have a wonderful part.
>> great to see you it has been a pleasure. >> absolutely, thank you everyone. ♪ ♪ weekends on cspan2 art intellectual feast. every saturday american history tv documents in america's story and on sunday book tv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span stew comes from these television companies and more including media. >> the world changed in an instant and immediate, most ready internet tracking sword and we never slowed down. schools and businesses went virtual and we powered a new reality because at media com we are built to keep you ahead. >> media, along these television companies supports cspan2 as a public service. >> american history tv is on social media. follow us at c-span history.