March/April 2018| ISSUE NUMBER 338
The Return of Buster and Earl
Join the Board!
NATIVE GARDENS TOUR
Surfas Comes to West Adams
The West Adams newsletter is a publication of West Adams Heritage Association. Members and supporters of WAHA are invited to submit articles by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters and articles will be subject to space restraints and may be cut for length. Articles will be published subject to the editors.
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2263 S. Harvard Boulevard
Historic West Adams
Los Angeles, CA 90018
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Layout & Design
Jennifer Charnofsky discusses native plants in anticipation of the garden tour.
WAHA elections and cheese tasting.
1828 S. Gramercy
Saved (For Now)
WAHA Visits FIDM
Rory Cunningham leads his annual tour of Academy Award costumes.
Where's AJ's Hat?
West Adams in the News
Native Plant Gardens in West Adams
Adam Janeiro Notes Changes to the City
Why Native Plants?
Why do you use native plants? I remember my mother's garden back East, my childhood garden, filled with flowers. When we moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950s she couldn't easily adapt to the Mediterranean climate, and kept trying to use the same trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials and annuals that she planted before. Some couldn't survive; some did but only with large amounts of work and/or water. By the time I began my own gardens, it was easier to find the kinds of plants that like it here. And what likes it better than California natives?
The Mediterranean climate is characterized by wet non-freezing winters and dry summers. This means usually totally dry summers, no rain at all for up to six months. It exists in few places in the world: coastal zones around the Mediterranean Sea, southwestern Australia, the Chilean coast, southern Africa, and central and southern coastal California. Plants native to these regions adapt to the lack of summer water by going dormant at that time instead of in the winter.
We use native plants for aesthetic reasons, because they are less work, cost less, and for environmental reasons. Are they beautiful? Try ceanothus, California lilac, filled with blue flowers (and bees) in the spring. Oddly enough you'll find ceanothus all over Great Britain. Gardeners love it there, and struggle to keep it thriving even though it doesn't want summer water, as I discovered on a garden tour years ago. Or California poppies, drifts of bright orange, which self-seed so you never have to plant them again. There are so many native flowering trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, bulbs, and annuals, so many colors, flowering in the spring and in the fall. As John Arnold, whose West Adams garden is almost entirely native, says, something will bloom all year round, and the summer dormant plants look good. During the dry summers, most natives are dormant, and it may require a shift in our attitude to appreciate their muted green and grey colors at that time. But the seedheads are there, and the leaves and the grasses. An excellent book which includes color photos of the plants in bloom is "California Native Plants for the Garden" by Carol Bornstein, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. It's also an encyclopedia of just about everything you need to know about the subject.
Less work and less money: try no fertilizing. Ever. And there is no need to dig amendments into the soil. A layer of organic mulch on top (I use homemade compost) once or twice a year is all that is necessary. Most of the plants need little pruning or spraying. Emily Green, the garden and environmental writer, once one of our own West Adams native plant gardeners, gives her plants quarterly cleanups. And, of course, the plants need little or no water once they are established. During the six months of our rainy season, if it rains a reasonable amount, they don't need any supplemental water at all. If, as happens at times of drought, the total is only 3 inches, then yes, you'll need to give them extra water in the "rainy" season. But Los Angeles averages 13-15 inches a year, and that's more than enough. During the other six months, it depends on the plant. Some natives don't want any summer water at all, and may suffer or even die if you give it to them. Others do enjoy a little supplemental water, perhaps once a month. So if you have beds of native plants, you may water established plants as little as zero to as "many" as six times a year. And that costs much less. Green believes she could have put a kid through college on what she spent on her lawn before she took it out. Lawns need a lot of water; they flourish in England or the eastern United States. But in our Mediterranean climate, we must give them additional water, and that plus fertilizer stimulates growth which must be cut off. Then we either cut the lawn ourselves or pay someone to do it.
And that leads us to the environmental questions. First, native plants attract native animals and insects. Arnold loves the birds, butterflies, and bees that abound in his garden. Green's place is like a bird sanctuary, even with her four big dogs (plus one rescue puppy). She remembers the time a hummingbird landed on a native sage as she was taking it out of her car, and thinks it is indicative of the profound relationship between native plants and the creatures who want to live here. Beneficial insects are attracted, also, and they along with birds help control pests.
Water conservation comes naturally to native plant gardens. Since they need almost no irrigation, being dormant during the dry season, there is little or no irrigation runoff. You've seen water running down the gutter almost every day, and then you know that your neighbor is watering his lawn or his tropical plants. According to Green, southern California drains wild areas of their water in order to pollute the Pacific, with large expanses of lawns in between, using petroleum (in fertilizers) in the process. The poisons used in insecticides and pesticides, such as Round-up, needed to kill the weeds and pests attracted to non-native plants, seep into the underground water, further polluting.
People who are interested in saving water tend to also want to harvest or save stormwater. At Arnold's property, rain used to pour off his house and run down the driveway into the street. Now it flows the other way, through a gravel filled trench, disguised with plants, into the backyard where it sustains the rear plant garden. The front third of his driveway which used to drain rainwater into the street, has been cut up so the water can percolate into the soil.
Lore Hilburg was able to achieve her goal of zero runoff. Rainwater drains from the historic downspouts off the roof of the house into channels into the garden beds. She broke up the concrete which covered half the backyard, and had the pieces relaid on gravel and sand to form a lovely patio. No water ever runs off.
At my house the gutters drain into various combinations of barrels and soaker hoses. We recently removed the concrete and asphalt covering the rear driveway and laid permeable tile. No runoff there anymore, and the rain helps irrigate the thirsty apricot and orange trees.
Using Other Plants
Lore, John, and I, as well the other homeowners on the tour do have other plant material. Some are established plants that were already there when we moved in, such as old myrtles or aloes that have proved their drought resistance, or fruit trees that produce well. Some we put in, such as various new fruit trees or mature trees with a shade giving canopy, roses, or vegetables. And there are fruits that need less water and appreciate our climate, such as figs and pineapple guavas. My roses are heavily mulched, planted in basins, and watered with a drip system, so they don't need nearly as much water as they would otherwise. And we do use other Mediterranean plants. Emily believes that lavenders should be "honorary California natives," because they do so well here and reseed easily. Rosemary, salvias from other states, fortnight lilies (dietes) and other Mediterranean plants blend well with natives in our gardens.
However, some Mediterranean plants need soil that is different from ours, such as sandy, acidic soil, and ours is the opposite. And if we use those plants we are back to trying to change basic conditions instead of working with what we have. So we lean more and more towards natives; thus we feel more in tune with the subtle gradations of California's climate.
Photos: Reggie Jones
Jennifer is a retired bilingual teacher who moved to West Adams in 1988 with her husband Leslie Evans. She spent several years on the WAHA Board of Directors. Now she gardens organically and rescues and fosters cats, kittens, and dogs.
Native Gardens (Continued)
WEST ADAMS NATIVE GARDENS TOUR
Saturday, April 28
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WAHA invites you to our first West Adams Native Gardens Tour. The self-guided tour opens the gates of ten private gardens that feature native plants in historical settings throughout the West Adams District. All of the front yards and some back yards will be open to view, with knowledgeable owners and docents who will describe the plants and the benefits of “going native.”
The gardens on the tour will showcase reduced water use, reduced (or eliminated) chemical and pesticide use, improved habitat and benefits for birds and bees, and the unique aesthetic appeal of gardens designed with California native plants. In other words: These gardens are glorious.
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you may be walking over somewhat uneven surfaces.
Early Bird Ticket Prices are:
WAHA Members, $20
General Public, $24
Tickets after April 22 or at the door, $30 (all visitors)
Purchase tickets online at www.WestAdamsHeritage.org. Your confirmation of your online purchase is your ticket. Check in at 1651 Virginia Rd. in Lafayette Square (Los Angeles 90019).
Or, mail a check (made out to WAHA) to WAHA Garden Tour, 2263 S. Harvard Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90018.
If you would like to volunteer to help with the tour, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We certainly need garden docents on the tour day, but if you want to help in advance – or even serve on the Organizing Committee – please let us know that, too.
Like so many houses in West Adams, this imposing English style residence at 2831 Ellendale Place no longer has a building permit on file with the city for its original construction. It first appears in the city directory in 1910 when it is occupied by Frank B. Hanawalt, an officer in and co-owner of the Meek Baking Company. Hanawalt and his wife had previously lived up the street at 2822, and apparently kept that property when having this one built.
The house was built with thirteen rooms, including a billiard room, and two bathrooms. On the same lot was a second home; a seven room and one bath bungalow. I have been unable to find any mention of the original building permit, or of its construction, in the Los Angeles Times or the Los Angeles Herald. However, it was reported in the Los Angeles Herald in 1904 that Frank Hanawalt did purchase the lot, and the adjacent lot the following year.
Frank Hanawalt was originally from Ohio and his wife from Iowa. They settled in Missouri where they had three children, Sarah, Zola and Frank Barrett Jr., before moving to Los Angeles. Their time in the house is interesting in that it coincides with the marriages of their three children. In fact, Sarah appears so often in society columns, entertaining in the home with detailed descriptions of the decorations provided to the press, that it almost seems that they had “moved up” in order to have a grand house for entertainments, and as a result to perhaps find suitable spouses for their offspring.
The first child to marry was their daughter Zola, whose wedding took place in the house on June 15, 1911. The groom was Euzema Clarence Bower, Jr., the son of a prominent local attorney and real estate investor who had once run for the office of District Attorney. Sadly, the son never saw the same success as his father, dying young in 1917. No mention of his death appeared in the newspapers. Zola remarried to Times reporter Fred Spayde, who in 1928 accidentally poisoned himself, thus leaving her again a widow.
Frank, Jr., who often went by his middle name of Barrett, was next to marry. His bride was Olive Mae Horn, whose late father had been a butcher. Her step-father, Fred Green, was an insurance agent. The couple enjoyed a church wedding on November 26, 1913, followed by a reception at the Lankershim Hotel. Unfortunately, the marriage was not a happy one. When Olive Hanawalt filed for divorce seven years later she claimed that her husband and she had moved twenty-five times in that period. He had held a dozen different occupations during their short marriage, and at one time had sold all their furniture and wedding gifts without her consent.
Sarah Hanawalt was the last to marry, being joined in wedlock with Seymour E. Davids at the Church of the Angels in Garvanza on March 4, 1914. The matron of honor was Mrs. Frederick Hastings Rindge, Sarah’s best friend and former schoolmate. The Hanawalts hosted a small party the night before as a reception, as the bride and groom left immediately on their honeymoon before returning to Pomona where Davids was employed. He later worked as a ranch manager, but did not maintain the same career throughout his life. Although the 1930 census has Seymour living with his mother and having a marital status of “divorced,” by 1940 he and Sarah were back together. They are both interred, as are her parents, at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery.
The year 1914 was the last time the Hanawalts were listed in the city directory at that address. In fact, only days after Sarah was married the house and the adjacent bungalow were placed on the market. The price was listed at $20,000, and the Hanawalts actually asked for an “exchange” of properties, claiming that they would even consider an “Eastern property.” Whether this mean Eastern United States, or east of Ellendale was not stated. By 1920 they had settled at 2300 West 24th Street.
In 1918 an advertisement appeared in the Los Angeles Herald offering the house for rent at $65 a month. The ad suggested the home could be sublet, or possibly used for doctors’ offices. In 1920 a building permit was taken out to add a garage to the property. At that time the owner was Anthony Brockamp. The house was still listed as a residence, but Brockamp appears not to have moved in. The city directory shows a number of occupants, implying it was now a rooming house.
The photograph accompanying this article is one taken in the 1920s by a USC student who briefly lived in the house. He noted on the back that although he was not a member of the Phi Alpha Fraternity, it was their home when he lived there. It’s difficult to tell when exactly the building housed the fraternity, which was devoted to law students, but in the fall of 1927 it became the Sunny Gables School for Girls. By 1929 the proprietress, Mabel Wetmores, was teaching in Long Beach.
No more building permits exist until 1948 when some minor modifications were made to the house. The owner was then a Mr. Hammen. But in 1957 a demolition permit was pulled. The owner was the firm of Teal House Wreckers. Immediately afterward a new owner, George Latter and Associates, built a twenty-four unit apartment house on the site.
2831 Ellendale Place
On February 10th Rory Cunningham led his annual tour of movie costumes at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising). Rory told stories about how the costumes were taken from an idea to a sketch to a reality that makes a story concrete. This year’s tour included fantasy and history, heroes and villains of all kinds, an Oscar awarded for Best Costume Design, as well as the always fabulous historic clothing of the Helen Larson collection.
WAHA Visits FIDM February 10
Shopping WEst Adams
Photos : Suzanne Cooper and Suzanne Henderson
Photos: Suzanne Cooper, Reggie Jones
Our excellent West Adams cooks have a new playground as we welcome Surfas to our neighborhood. Suzie Henderson wasted no time introducing herself to manager Vanessa Casares (pictured) and the Annual Membership Meeting and Board Elections will take place there—an excellent time to throw your chef’s hat into the ring and become a board member. The store was forced to move when the L.A. Metro came through, worrying its many fans, but Culver City’s loss turned into a bonus for West Adams. The new address is 3225 W. Washington Boulevard, just west of Arlington. For those of you who prefer eating to cooking, there will be a café opening soon, and Menotti’s Coffee may occasionally have their truck parked there for your caffeinated pleasure.
Robin Evangelista has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board (a position that expires at the end of April), and she has also agreed to run for a regular term at the April meeting. Thank you, Robin! WAHA has a policy that appointed Board members write a short statement so the members can "meet" them, at least digitally.
ASK NOT WHAT WAHA CAN DO FOR YOU…
WAHA is looking for a few good men and women. This community was founded by the best volunteers in the nation, and now is the time for members (you!) to come forward. Our Annual Membership Meeting and Board Elections is on Saturday, April 21, and we are asking candidates to step up.
As always, we need board members with fresh, upbeat, enthusiastic ideas. We don’t have many requirements: a love of old houses and other historic buildings, an enthusiasm for community activities, membership in WAHA for at least six months, and a desire to preserve and improve our neighborhoods. WAHA always needs expertise in fundraising, zoning issues, and historic preservation. But if you have a program you’d like to initiate, those ideas are welcome, too.
You need not spend an extraordinary amount of time doing tasks, but you must be committed to WAHA’s goals of providing both member and community service, and its historic preservation mission of advocacy. Generally speaking, board members are expected to attend all WAHA board meetings (usually held the fourth Thursday of each month), help with WAHA’s fundraising efforts, and share in the responsibility for WAHA’s events, committees, advocacy, and social functions.
If you’d like to run for the board, please submit a brief (roughly 100-word) candidate’s statement introducing yourself to the membership. We will send these statements via e-mail to the members in an April e-News. Submission deadline is Monday, April 9. Please e-mail your statement to email@example.com.
If you are still pondering your involvement past that deadline but decide to run for the Board, that’s OK (although your name may not be on the ballot), since all Board candidates will be asked to present themselves at the April 21 election in a very short (one- to two-minute) speech. If you have not submitted an advance candidate's statement, you are required to be present at the election itself to run for the board (and then, if elected, you'll still need to write up those 100 words for a future issue of the newsletter).
If you’d like to learn more about the requirements (and benefits) of serving on the WAHA board, please contact WAHA President Roland Souza, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Board Member Statement: Robin Evangelista
My desire to be a member of the WAHA board is mostly to be of service to an organization that does so much good for the community that I love. Since moving to West Adams I feel a sense of home that I have always wanted. I want to be a part of the continued good works of this organization.
West Adams figured prominently in Disney’s movie
A Wrinkle in Time. Many of the scenes set on earth were filmed in the area. The film opens with an aerial view looking over Leslie N. Shaw Park to where Westminister Presbyterian Church gleams in the sunlight. Various scenes feature Prescott Court, 30th Street and Harvard Heights and the production was on 4th Avenue for three months. Here are a couple of the media outlets that wrote about the locations:
West Adams in the news
St. Patrick's Day in West Adams
Photos: Flo Selfman
WAHA celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with beer, corned beef and the wearin’ o’ the green at the home of Dan and Anne Hakes. "WASH," the West Adams Society of Homebrewers, had a chance to show off their special brews and there was plenty of good food for everyone. We thank hosts Anne and Dan, who offered tours of their home brewery and a fine game of darts was enjoyed by those who relied on luck or skill - after all, everyone should have a bit of the luck o' the Irish on St. Patrick's Day.
A Phoenix Can Rise from the Ashes
Burkhalter before fire. Photo: Jim Childs
Burkhalter after fire damage. Photo: Jim Childs
As our mission statement states, WAHA members are stewards of our cultural and architectural history. Stewardship is the fulfillment of a public trust. Our historic homes are a precious resource that provides a sense of place and rootedness to all of the community. Stewardship can take many forms including the preservation of our historic homes. Unfortunately experience tells us that not all owners of historic properties are dedicated stewards. Too often we see poor stewardship and neglect creating havoc in our historic communities which can set the stage for a disastrous fire.
One recent case in point: on March 7, 2018, a blaze erupted at 2154 W. 24th Street, the Emma Loy House (1904), in the West Adams Terrace Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ.)
There is a history of code violations on this property going back to December 1, 2014, and May 24, 2016: “abandoned or vacant building left open to the public,” among other citations. The property had been cited as recently as March 2, 2018, again, as an “abandoned or vacant building left open to the public.” Five days later there was a fire.
An accident? Why would someone purchase a historic property on April 19, 2017 in an R-1 single family zone and within a year leave it abandoned and open to the public? The resulting fire has left the Emma Loy House damaged and vulnerable. The question arises will it be restored or demolished? The answer lies not only with the owner’s intent but with the City’s commitment to preserving historic resources. There is now a historic building in severe need of restoration. Can it be done? History and experience tells us yes.
As a contributor to the West Adams Terrace HPOZ, the Loy House enhances the character of the zone and needs to be restored. At the time of this writing, not all of the facts are known. Much of our information is from ZIMAS, the City’s on line information resource.
This fire incident brings to mind a similar crisis that happened in the University Park HPOZ just before Christmas, 2006. The historic craftsman Marian Wells house (1902) at 2317 Scarff Street was the target of arson in the wee hours of the morning. Within a few hours, the fire totally consumed the Wells House. The smoldering debris was bulldozed by the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The valiant fire companies however were successful in saving the adjacent house, the 1895 Queen Anne, the Dennis Burkhalter Residence (HCM #409) at 2309 Scarff Street but it sustained significant damage. The Burkhalter Residence was not only a Historic Cultural Monument, but also a contributor to the St. James Park National Register District and to the University Park HPOZ. The question posed by preservationists was whether it could be saved or also would be demolished.
The preservation community engaged in a lengthy and complex process with City officials; (then) CD1 Councilman Ed Reyes and his staff were involved and helpful in this lengthy process.
The initial response by City officials of the Contract Nuisance Abatement Division, after a superficial walk-by, was that the structure was over 50% damaged and therefore needed to be removed. The preservation community challenged this assumption and began their documentation of the viability of a restoration.
One of their first challenges was to ascertain the building’s structural integrity. This was accomplished with the assistance of legendary structural engineer Mel Green who found that the structure was stable and repairable. Knowing that it was restorable did not answer the question how this would be accomplished financially.
The (then) current owners did not want the property demolished and offered the building for sale. The south side and western rear of the building were extensively damaged and the roof was gone. The owners and the community were fortunate to find an angel in the wings, Mrs. Foo, who saw its potential and an opportunity to become a faithful steward of a historic property.
Contractor Robert Carrera guided the plan for its restoration. The windows and doors were removed for replication. Jim Childs helped Building and Safety inspectors understand the value of the historic property and the significance of its restoration to the historic district as well. Willing parties all came together to accomplish what some thought might not be possible.
The Wells House sadly was destroyed. But the Burkhalter stood, damaged but repairable. Fortunately, the Burkhalter was adjacent to another Queen Anne Victorian, the Charles Seyler House, (1894), also an HCM #407. Nearly identical in design as the Burkhalter, built by the same team, developer John Zeller and architect Abraham Edelman, it was a template that could answer all questions about original construction during the restoration process.
Similarly, the Emma Loy House, has a twin building adjacent to it at 2158 W. 24th Street. Loy developed the twin properties, one for herself and one for her daughter Carroll upon her marriage to J. Henry Stewart. It is fortuitous having a duplicate next door. It is clear what the house should look like – its twin is next door.
The Loy House is in an R-1 zone (single family.) It cannot be developed into multiple units without a variance. The most effective and neighborhood affirming path is to restore the fire damaged property. It is not known at the time of this writing the owner’s commitment to its preservation.
WAHA seeks a similar positive resolution to the Loy House as was achieved at the Burkhalter Residence. Demolition is forever and no new infill, no matter how compatible, can provide the context and presence to the street that the historic building can.
Jean Frost is the current Preservation Committee Chair. Contact her at email@example.com.
Restored Burkhalter. Photo: Jean Frost)
WAHA wants to give a Big Shout Out and grateful Thank You to Council President Herb Wesson, who in February stepped in and staved off the demolition of the Cordary Family Residence, 1828 South Gramercy Place in West Adams’ Angelus Vista neighborhood.
After a new owner applied for a demolition permit in late January, Mr. Wesson nominated this 1905 Victorian home as a (potential) Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument. The Council President’s action temporarily halts any demolition and also triggers review of building permits and construction work for the moment.
WAHA also wants to thank all of our neighbors and friends who contacted city officials asking them to stop the proposed demolition.
The original Victorian residence and a rear 1923 Colonial Revival bungalow sit in the middle of the block and, along with others, is a contributing structure to the SurveyLA (identified) Angelus Vista National Register Historic District. The property was also listed as a Contributor in a 1996 City-sponsored Historic Resources Survey. The entire east side of the 1800 block of Gramercy is original and a demolition and new construction/ infill would have a devastating negative impact on the block, which retains its century-plus of integrity at this moment in time.
Angelus Vista does not have the automatic protections of an HPOZ, and the pending Character Residential Overlay Zone/CPIO (aka “HPOZ lite”) has not yet gone into effect, so it was incredibly important that the Council Office hear from concerned members of the community. And they did! Again, thank you, one and all.
As a result of this community effort, bringing WAHA members together with Angelus Vista neighbors, we now have a process where the Cultural Heritage Commission members tour the property and later (probably in May) discuss and vote on their recommendation. We hope the recommendation to designate the property is YES. And based on WAHA’s initial historical research and review of photo, we think there is a strong case for landmarking both the primary Victorian house and also the rear 1923 cottage, an excellent example of a Pacific Ready-Made bungalow (which was a popular kit house in that era).
But whatever the Commission’s recommendation is, after it acts the nomination moves forward to City Council, which will have another few months to act. We will keep you informed.
Meanwhile, unfortunately, the longtime elderly tenant was evicted and locked out by the new owner. Neighbors are trying to help him find new housing.
Saved (for now)
Adam Janeiro, an 18-year resident of West Adams, is a licensed real estate salesperson with local brokerage City Living Realty.
The drive began like always, braving the steep rise South of Adams, crossing the 10 freeway on a drawbridge, finger-drumming through Kinney Heights and Angelus Vista, past the decommissioned library, sealed from rodents, raiders, rehabbers, shrink-wrapped, bubble-wrapped, languishing in a cake dome. Near 15th Street, a man--barefoot, stepped from the curb. At Venice, nouveau Craftsman apartments appeared, portentously. A broad, green, Southern elevation refreshingly satellite dish free.
Through Country Club Park I clung to the middle lane. Big, fat cars shot around me. I balled my fists, muttered a curse word.
The pace slowed again in Wilshire Park. Buildings rose as if propelled hydraulically, forming deep, shadowy canyons. At least one multi-unit paired smooth coat Mortex with horizontal wood facing. I fretted about finish durability, zen, and the art of facade maintenance. Construction workers and Wilton Place School parents, channeling Irene Cara, poured into the street. Looks were exchanged. A horn squealed, rising like a cry for help.
Crossing Wilshire I was set adrift in a sea of Lyfts, Ubers, pink mustachioed cabriolets, minivan taxis. A sharrows hogging cyclist--clad in fatigues--delayed matters through the charming--if not madding--Wilton Curve. From somewhere, Jose Rizo's radio show, Jazz on the Latin Side, echoed strains of Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe.
North of Maplewood an entire neighborhood had been razed. Light--unfiltered--flooded the car, grey and scalding. My clutch felt leaden, near replacement. Zombies roamed the excavations, sifting through rubble, vandalizing the OSHA mandated hand wash stations, shadows cast by the flaming wreckage of an Aston Martin Lagonda. A mail carrier darted about, excessively devoted to his ear piece.
I turned onto Raleigh, destination at hand, certain I'd traveled the whole of Los Angeles, rather than a mere four miles.
The City Changes
Photos: Adam Janeiro and Reggie Jones
Buster and Earl
There are any number of taco restaurants in West Adams so when we first heard of Taco Window, we didn’t think much of it. When we heard it was a walk-up street side restaurant with no seating provided, either indoor or outdoor, we thought even less of trying it.
Not to be deterred, we did give it a try. What a surprise to find this delightful gem, walking distance for anyone who lives in Jefferson Park.
The restaurant describes itself as a French take on Mexican tacos, and with a French chef named Basile, (who grew up in Northern France), one can understand why. The standard menu, with only 6 types of tacos and a few sides, is not extensive, but the tortillas, churros and salsas are all made fresh right on the premises.
Earl has had the Carne Asada Taco, as well as the Fish Taco. Both were served hot and flavorful. The fish is lightly battered and tasted fresh. Tacos come with a green salsa, red salsa, and a guacamole sauce. Everything Buster has tried he liked. Sides include the usual chips and salsa or guacamole, again quite tasty. Other items are made with pork or chicken, and there is even a Ceviche, all at reasonable prices. There is also a vegan option that changes daily.
If it’s a lovely day there are two tall tables on the sidewalk where you can stand and dine. They’ve even put in a bench where you can wait while your food is freshly prepared. It’s impressive to see the variety of people who dine there at lunchtime, from artistic young millennials who appear to work nearby, to the local firefighters, to just familiar neighbors.
And being on Jefferson, next to a laundromat no less, it’s a great place to dine while waiting for your laundry to spin, or your car to be repaired nearby.
Taco Window is open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., allowing for dinner as well as lunch to be enjoyed. We heartily recommend our neighbors and WAHA members give it a try! Make sure to ask about the taco and/or specials of the day when you do.
2622 W. Jefferson Boulevard (near 7th Avenue)
Los Angeles, California 90018
Mon – Sat 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
So if you think you know where AJ’s hat is in the picture AND you are a WAHA member and want a chance to get your hand on the prize, email your answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org before April 15th. Only one entry per member allowed. And sorry WAHA Board members - you’re not eligible to win the prize.
P.O. Box 5619, Whittier, CA, 90607-5619
Craftsman style cabinet with a working treadle White brand sewing machine inside. The machine was made in Cleveland, Ohio June 3, 1913. The oak cabinet veneer has some minor damage. The sewing belt is new. Works well as a sideboard or hall table. The dimensions are 18” W x 34 1/2” L x 29” H. Purchased years go for $500. Will sell for $400 or a reasonable offer. Call Pat K. and leave a message 310-572-7929 or e-mail: email@example.com for pictures.
Apartment or house needed to rent or share for musician with 5 foot grand piano. Call Lee at 213-385-3459.
To have your classified ad placed in this newsletter, please send your proposed ad to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than the first of the month prior to the month of publication of the ad.
Annual Membership Meeting and Board Elections
Saturday, April 21 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Surfas Culinary Center at 3rd and Washington
After a brief business meeting for the election of board members, Ian, their fabulous cheese maven, will give an introduction to their delicious offerings. WAHA will be hosting wine and cheese. This is not a potluck. The store is open until 5:30, so there will be some time after for shopping.
Parking is at a premium, so please park on the street or walk over, if possible.
I am sad to say I just got back from viewing the latest destruction of WAHA’s historic housing resources.
The devastating home fire on 24th just west of Gramercy is a huge loss to the fabric of that block.
The current demolition of an historic bungalow at 2209 6th Avenue, south of Washington, in Arlington Heights, adds yet another loss to our community. This month’s attempts to demolish two historic homes on Gramercy, in Angelus Vista, just prior to the long awaited Character Residential CPIO overlay designation in that neighborhood, significantly heightens the anxiety level of our members in these historic neighborhoods in the center of West Adams.
We are certainly lucky to have the combined experience of WAHA board members like Jean Frost and Jim Childs, plus board member Laura Meyers and neighborhood resident Katie Larkin (who live in these threatened blocks) to advocate for this part of West Adams. The years of collaboration between WAHA and Council District 10 is hopefully going to shape a more positive outcome in Angelus Vista in the coming months.
The board continues to keep busy with Lore Hilburg, a longtime board member and twice WAHA president, coming up with fresh ideas like our first ever native plant gardens of West Adams tour scheduled for April 28. Not only did she come up with this timely idea but she took the initiative to make it happen. THANK YOU!
Also we have more good news to report. Robin Evangelista, who hosted WAHA’s 4th of July Party and the Halloween Party last year, has agreed to become a member of the WAHA Board and work with Suzie on events. WAHA has an amazing working board that keeps creating new events, and I would like to invite each of you to consider joining us. Elsewhere in this newsletter you can read more about how to run for the WAHA Board of Directors at the Annual Membership Meeting and Board Elections. Lastly, we extend a "Welcome to West Adams "to Surfas Culinary District at Washington and 3rd, and to Alibi Coffee at 2268 Venice (near Western at the Start LA Complex). These are great additions to the neighborhood, where you can walk to and meet your neighbors!
Lore Hilburg and Reggie Jones
John Arnold & Curt Bouton
Craig Bartelt & Nick Mercado
Katie Larkin & Brian Jett
Hilary & A.J. Lentini
Ivy Pochoda & Justin Nowell
David Raposa & Ed Trosper
Edy & George Alva
David Bottjer & Sarah Bottjer
Winston Cenac & Alishia Brown
Lisa Ellzey & Jeff (Ulrik) Theer
Amanda & Tomas Jegeus
Marina Moevs & Steven Peckman
Jim & Janice Robinson
Board of Directors
Roland Souza, President 323-804-6070
Suzanne Henderson 323-731-3900
Laura Meyers 323-868-0854
Jean Cade, Treasurer 323-737-5034
Paula Brynen, Secretary 323-936-7285
SeElcy Caldwell 323-292-8566
Jim Childs 213-747-2526
Kim Calvert 310-633-4117
Lore Hilburg 323-934-4443
Candy Wynne 323-735-3749
John Kurtz 323-481-1753
Legal Advisor 323-732-9536
Mark Malan & Glenn Ramirez
Harry Anderson & Terry Bible
Jeffrey & Patricia Baum
Barbara Bestor & Tom Stern
Paula & Paul Brynen
James Cain & Thomas Teves
Clare & Michael Chu
Rory Cunningham & David Pacheco
Art Curtis & Shelley Adler
Suzanne Dickson & Steven Stautzenbach
Tricia Dillon & Katherine Villarreal
Andrea Dunlop & Max Miceli
Robin Evangelista & Dieter Obeji
Sarah and Charles Evans
Elizabeth Fenner & Brian Robinson
Jean Frost & Jim Childs
Donald & Suzanne Henderson
Kim-Lai Jones & Jason Corsey
Patricia Karasick &
Kevin Keller & Marc Choueiti
Paul King & Paul Nielsen
David Kirkwood & Kristin Riddick
Adrienne & Blake Kuhre
Daniel Lockwood & Barrett Crake
Los Angeles Conservancy, Linda Dishman
Cassandra Malry & Thom Washington
Joseph McManus & Lara Elin Soderstrom
JoAnn Meepos & Steven Edwards
Vern Menden & Paulo Ribeiro
Gail D. Peterson
Mary Power & Librada Hernandez
Judy Reidel & Al Hamburger
Walter Rivers, Jr.
Donna Robertson & Mark Robertson, Sr.
Amy Ronnebeck & Alan Hall
Debbie & Stan Sanders
Yale Scott & Bobby Pourziaee
Mary Shaifer & Chris Murphy
Chris Taylor & Ansley Bell
Stephen Vincent & Jessica McCullagh
Ned Wilson & Carrie Yutzy
Transitioning from Paper to Digital
As you know, one of our major goals this calendar year is to transition the WAHA Newsletter from the printed document you’ve received in the mail to one you are able to read online. By now, most if not all of you have had a chance to review the digital version of the newsletter. This digital format is now the primary newsletter version and will be the source material for the printed version AND it includes FULL-COLOR photographs and many bonus features that the printed version will not have. The bonus content in the digital version includes:
The ability to link directly to other online content such as photographs, articles and websites for more content, including the WAHA website.
Click and enlarge FULL COLOR photographs for easy viewing or to see additional photographic content.
Download the newsletter to any device and take it with you wherever you go.
Allows printing of multiple copies of specific articles or the whole newsletter if you desire in FULL COLOR.
An interactive document that will allow members to participate and share information, events and resources.
This new digital format is much less expensive to produce and deliver to WAHA to members, both from a financial and manpower perspective. Every print copy of the newsletter costs roughly $1.70 to produce and about $1.50 to mail. Sending the newsletter in digital format saves the organization between $1,000 to $1,500 each month or approximately $13,000 per year. In terms of the total budget for the organization, printing the newsletter consumes approximately 70% or more of most members’ annual dues.
In addition to the financial cost, a considerable amount of volunteer labor and time are required to prepare, label, seal, stamp and mail each newsletter to members. The financial and man-hour savings by not printing the newsletter can be reinvested in preservation efforts, additional web site improvements, tours or events.
The Communications Committee is now consistently producing and sending the newsletter electronically to every member with an email address. If for some reason you’re not receiving the electronic format (Do we have your current correct email address?) or if you’d like to only receive the digital edition and opt out of receiving the paper edition, please contact me at email@example.com. As a reminder, you will receive the electronic format through a download email.
WAHA (and Friends) Calendar
Annual Membership Meeting and Board Election
Saturday, April 21 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Surfas Culinary Center at 3rd and Washington
After a brief business meeting for the election of board members, Ian, their fabulous cheese maven, will give an introduction to their delicious offerings. WAHA will be hosting wine and cheese. This is not a potluck. The store is open until 5:30, so there will be some time after for shopping. Parking is at a premium, so please park on the street or walk over, if possible.
West Adams Native Garden Tour
Saturday, April 28, 10:00 a.m -4:00 p.m.
If you want to volunteer for this tour, contact Lore Hilburg at Lore@hilburglaw.com or at 323-590-4748. You need not know native plants to volunteer.
Tickets: Early Bird: WAHA Members, $20, General Public, $24
All tickets purchased after April 22 or at the door, $30
Saturday, May 19, 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles hosts a lovely evening of vintage music and dancing on beautiful Catalina Island.