Tuesday, December 01, 2009

West Adams Heritage Association Holiday Tour

It's that time of year again: WAHA's Annual Holiday Historic Homes Tour & Progressive Dinner: Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th.  This year's staging ground: Country Club Park, a pending Historic Preservation Overlay Zone, featuring a melange of pre and post World War One house styles.  Courses, one to be served at each exquisitely restored property, include grilled cheese bites, creamy corn bisque, eggplant parmigiana, chicken with lemons and olives, and old-fashioned apple crumble. 
Log onto www.WestAdamsHeritage.org for more information, to PAY ONLINE and/or to print/download the invitation flyer. Tickets are: $85 per person for the Progressive Dinner Tour, and $30 for the food-less, self-guided walking tour Sunday afternoon from noon to three pm.
The Holiday Tour & Progressive Dinner lasts about three hours. Please, no high heels.
(I'll see you at the Soup House!)


Friday, September 04, 2009

Living History Tour 2009

The Angelus Rosedale Cemetery celebrates its 125th anniversary, with the West Adams Heritage Association Living History Tour on Saturday, September 26th.

Tour goers will canvas the scenic grounds, between graveside portrayals of famous Angelenos including:

Jean Goldkette: a prominent jazz bandleader of the 1920's and 1930's.
William H. Shores: the first African American employee of the Security Trust & Savings Bank founded in 1889.

Katharine Putnam Hooker & Marion Osgood Hooker: mother-daughter explorers and travel writers.

Remi Nadeau: member of a pioneering, land-developing, Los Angeles family.

Everett Sloan: actor of radio, tv, and movie fame, who enjoyed a long professional relationship with Orson Welles.

For information on tickets ($25 general), visit www.WestAdamsHeritage.org.
Tour times begin at 9 am, and every 25 minutes thereafter till 12:20.
Tours are projected to last 2 - 3 hours, so don appropriate footwear and bring water.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Book Club

A new Arts & Crafts style book is in the works.  Penned by Tina Skinner for Schiffer Publishing, with photographs by Steven Whitsett, numerous West Adams area interiors are to be featured.

While authors Jane Powell and Paul Duchscherer have mined the rich West Adams vein, typically the territory is bypassed for Pasadena, owing to laudable civic promotion, masterworks by the Greenes, and likely a bit more "whiteness."

Los Angeles though boasts nearly ten times the number of Craftsman residences as Pasadena, and excepting those vanguards the Greenes, as many exceptional works.  West Adams, get ready for your close up!

Stay tuned for a release date. 


Monday, June 01, 2009

West Adams Heritage Association Spring Tour

Saturday, June 6 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Last ticket sold at 1 pm)

WAHA is back with another self-guided, driving/bicycling tour, featuring a radical array of monuments, big and small, churches, mansions (the Italianate Guasti Villa, see top image), farm houses, multi-units, from Victoria Circle to University Park, and neighborhoods in-between.  Nine stops at latest reporting, for a measly $30.

For more information and check-in location, visit www.WestAdamsHeritage.org

I'll be holding court during the afternoon docent shift at the Queen Anne on Bonsallo (image below).


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

20th Annual Bungalow Heaven Home Tour

Bungalow Heaven, Pasadena's first Landmark District, a ballyhooed collection of Arts & Crafts era residences, holds their annual home tour on Sunday, April 26th, from 10 am to 4 pm. The 2009 sampling includes 8 houses, and a "Living History Home," wherein costumed performers will portray family life typical of the period.

Tickets are available in advance for $18 (BHNA Home Tour, P.O. Box 40812, Pasadena CA 91114-7812); or, for $20 on day of tour (available at McDonald Park at Mar Vista Avenue & Mountain Street).

For more information call 626-585-2172 or visit: www.bungalowheaven.org


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Obituary, Martin Eli Weil

Architect Martin Weil, champion of Los Angeles preservation, founding member of the LA Conservancy and the West Adams Heritage Association.

Weil, 68 years old and originally from Montana, lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years, and contributed to the restoration of many LA buildings, seminal and vernacular. Especially renowned for his analysis of finishes, Martin would carefully crater through sometimes multitudinous layers of paint to reveal the color history of a surface, often pro bono, in service of a preservation cause, or as a gesture of friendship to a neighbor or interested home owner.

Martin's house is the only known extant Greene & Greene building in the city of L.A., preserved--thanks to Martin's stewardship--after years of insensitive use.

A personal memory:

In recent years, residents of Martin's Harvard Heights neighborhood have hosted informal gatherings to welcome new house buyers. At one such event, Martin complimented the living room fireplace. "It's so Chicago," he exclaimed delightedly. The comment, accessible and charitable, uninfected by snobbery or self-importance, settled over the room with a charming warmth.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays 2008

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays 2008

This is my 400th submission, beginning March 31, 2006.

Thanks for reading Recentering El Pueblo. See you in 2009.

Adam Janeiro


Friday, November 28, 2008

Holiday Tour

The 22nd annual West Adams Heritage Association historic architecture tour and progressive dinner will be held Saturday, December 6, and Sunday, December 7.

This year's tour neighborhood, the West Adams Avenues, is a long, narrow slip between Arlington & 13th Avenue, Adams Avenue and the 10 freeway, originally part of the Arlington Heights Township laid out in 1887 and largely developed between 1905 - 1919.

On Saturday, docent led tours through six houses depart on the half-hour, from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 3:30 to 5:45 p.m.
On Sunday, a food-less, self-guided walking tour is available from noon to 3 p.m*.

A fund raiser to benefit preservation advocacy and programs in West Adams, tickets are $85 (*$30 for the self-guided Sunday option sans grub) and must be purchased in advance. For more information, e-mail: wahaholiday@aol.com, or call 323-732-4223.

On Saturday I'll man my usual post, front porch docent at the "Soup House," pictured top.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

18th Annual Living History Tour

Saturday, September 27th at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery.

Every year, the West Adams Heritage Association presents a Living History Tour, featuring graveside portrayals at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery. Amongst the historic personages due for dramatic disinterment in 2008:

Monroe Salisbery, notable leading man of silent cinema.

Rev. Ashael Morgan Hough, one of U.S.C.'s founders.

Edward Lee Baker, Jr., a Buffalo Soldier in the Indian campaigns of the West and in the Spanish-American war.

Francisca de Paula (Dominguez) Alexander Fleming, great granddaughter of Juan Dominguez, the land grantee.

Valentine Wolfenstein, proprietor of L.A.'s first successful photography studio.

Ernestine Wade, radio performer and pioneering black actress.

Tickets are by advance reservation only, and tourgoers are assigned to specific, timed tours with guides. Tour takers are advised to wear walking shoes, as it will be necessary to travel over somewhat uneven grassy surfaces, and prepare for potentially hot weather with sunscreen, hats, and water. The tour lasts approximately three hours.

Tickets: $25 general admission, $20 WAHA members, paid by September 15th. After September 15th, pending availability, tickets $30. Children under ten years of age are free.
To order tickets send a check payable to WAHA to:

WAHA Cemetery Tour
2209 Virginia Road
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Please include an e-mail address or phone number for confirmation. For more information, or to confirm reservations, please call the WAHA Reservations Hotline at 323-732-4223, e-mail tours@westadamsheritage.org, or visit www.WestAdamsHeritage.org

The Angelus Rosedale Cemetery is located on Washington Boulevard near Normandie Avenue.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spring Tour Part One

Founded in 1983, the West Adams Heritage Association celebrates its 25th year of preservation advocacy with a blockbuster tour, "Landmarks of West Adams," June 7th.

My paltry contributions to this dynamic event, includes photography of the seven disparite landmarks. (First image, Villa Maria, a 42 room Tudor revival manor built in 1908, and now owned by the Brothers of St. John of God.)

To order tickets in advance ($30/$25 for WAHA members), send a check payable to WAHA, to 2209 Virginia Road, Los Angeles, CA 90016.

(Second image: Engine Co. No. 18, a 1904 Mission Revival firehouse designed by City Hall architect John Parkinson.)

For more information, please call the WAHA reservations Hotline at 323-732-4223, or e-mail tours@westadamshertiage.org. Volunteers should write to the web-site address as well.

Tickets will also be available on the day of the event (for $35) at the check-in house, 2468 South St. Andrews Place (located between Adams and 24th ST).

(Final image, the work of architect John C. Austin and a most sophisticated North University Park Craftsmen.)


Saturday, May 03, 2008


Sunday schedule: 2892 W. 15th ST.
Open 2 - 5 pm

This might be my final Sunday open for this property, given the high interest level and anticipated offers.


Friday, April 11, 2008


Open House, Sunday, April 13th 2035 W. 29th Place 2 - 5 pm.
Tomorrow I'll profile the property with pictures and vitals.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Four photographs of the 12th annual Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Light Festival.

This year the festival, laid over a one-mile segment of Crystal Springs Drive, switched to LED (light emitting diodes) lighting.
While the route is open to all forms of transportation, walking only nights were scheduled this year between November 21 - 25.

More images on Boxing Day. The festival runs through December 30th, from 5 to 10 p.m.
Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Great Weekend

Today and tomorrow (December 1 & 2) the West Adams Heritage Association is holding its annual holiday tour. The fancy-smancy progressive dinner tour, showcasing six fabulous homes in the West Acres tract (part of the Adams-Normandie neighborhood) is sold out. But Sunday afternoon's self-guided walking tour still has tickets available, at $30. Reservations are necessary, and more information is available at WAHAholiday@aol.com.

I'll be manning the porch at 1656 W. 25th St. on Saturday, and shepherding the final tour on Sunday. My assignment Saturday, at the soup house, is a particularly savory one, an early commission of S. Tilden Norton, whose fingerprints are on some of the most spectacular L.A. buildings of the late 1920's - early 1930's. I'll write more about Mr. Norton later this week.

Sunday morning (beginning at 10am), we'll hold the Mission-style furniture sale on 31st Street, just West of Arlington. Bob Gangl of Carol Eppel Antiques in Stillwater Minneapolis will open his trailer of merchandise unsold at Pasadena's Craftsman weekend. Bob typically carries high and mid-level antique pieces, some name makers, and truly unusual pieces from the American Arts & Crafts era.


Sunday afternoon from noon - 4pm, I'll hold 2361 W. 20th St. open. If you're headed to and fro the holiday tour, stop in. If you need a place to watch the game, stop in. (One interested party called during the last showing to ask if I'd have Pats-Colts on.) We've lowered the price to $759K, and won't be open next weekend, and only once more this year (December 16th).

Here's a black & white rendition. Julius Shulman eat your heart out. (I could've used a ND grad on the sky....)


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Living History Tour

Sunday, September 29th, the West Adams Heritage Association presents the 17th annual Living History Tour at Angelus Rosedale Cemetary (1831 W. Washington Boulevard).

The Angelus Rosedale Cemetary, one of the city's oldest, was founded in 1884. The Living History tour features graveside actor portrayals of famous L.A. personages. This year's luminaries include: John Marcellus Stewart, an early California gold miner; silent film era actress Louise Glaum; "The American Apostle of Termperance", Francis Murphy; radio personality Bubbles Whitman, film director Marshall Neilan; and, Eliza Griffin Johnson, an artist and wife of a Confederate General.

Tickets are available in advance only, for $30 per person (children under 10 free). Checks may be sent to:
WAHA Cemetary Tour
2209 Virginia Road
Los Angeles, CA 90016

For more information, or to confirm reservations, please call the WAHA reservations hotline (323-732-4223), e-mail tours@westadamsheritage.org, or visit www.WestAdamsHeritage.org

I took most of the photos involved in the promotion of this year's tour, including director Marshall Neilan's star (located outside the Pantages Theatre). A large star-shaped cut-out will be used to mark Marshall's headstone-less site. I'll likely be milling around, perhaps acting as the chapel greeter, maybe just parking cars.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Western Heights Home Tour

Six Blocks of History: Western Heights Homes Tour
Sunday, September 9
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You're invited to "Six Blocks of History, " the Western Heights Neighborhood Association (WHNA) Homes Tour. A self-guided walking tour through this preeminent "streetcar suburb" and eight, docent-staffed, historically significant homes, (including my listing at 2361 W. 20th St.).

Located just north of the Santa Monica Freeway between Western and Arlington, Western Heights is an architecturally diverse enclave filled with custom-built homes from the turn of the century, and the early decades of the 20th century. A staggering array of styles including Craftsman, Queen Anne, Monterrey, Spanish and Mediterranean revival. Many were designed by prominent architects, such as John C. Austin, Myron Hunt, George Rector, Elmer Grey, Sumner Hunt and Paul Williams.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of the tour. Check in at 2173 W. 20th St., where the final ticket will be sold at 3:30 pm. (The tour houses close at 5 p.m.) Please try to avoid wearing high heels, or shoes that might blemish hardwood floors.

You can still purchase tickets online. Log onto www.WesternHeightsonline.com, and "click here to buy tickets online." You will be prompted through PayPal. Questions? E-mail westernheightstour@mac.com, or contact yours truly.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Monday Tidbits

West Adams Heritage Association officers called me yesterday," have you a nominee", they hectored, "for the Fourth of July Picnic paint colors competition?"
"Accomplished recent paint jobs, " I pondered, "loads of 'em--the Rutherfords on 30th, Marina & Steve also on 30th, a stain job no less, Louis and Lisa...."
"Kaput", they commanded, "send us photos and a narrative--jetzt!"

Here then is my nomination of Louis & Lisa's house on 31st, a most remarkable reclamation:
American Stuccalow Transformed! As detailed in their popular fanzine, Louis Marchesano and Lisa Auerbach have eliminated metal fencing, hand rails, and security bars. They revealed the wooden porch floor beneath a four-inch layer of concrete. Vinyl windows set into the eyebrow dormer have also been expelled (and are awaiting wooden replacements). The coup de grace, battleship grey stucco removed, and glorious siding--of alternating widths--painted a luscious dark brown. Hooray!

The 4th of July picnic is a WAHA institution, held this year at the home of Jim and Janice Robinson (27 St. James Park), from 1 - 4 p.m.. Paint jobs will be judged, potluck enjoyed, hot dogs hawked for a buck.

Elsewhere, it's kitty season. Everybody's got kittens. If anyone wants a kitten please call or write, as I've several clients who've rescued/taken in babies from feral mommies.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Important Community Notice

There will be a public hearing:

Monday, February 12 @ 1:30 pm.
Los Angeles City Hall
200 North Spring St. Room 1050

Statement from the Jefferson Park Preservation Coalition:

Do you want this to happen in your backyard?
Please help us protect out historic neighborhood

We believe the Department of Building and Safety erred and abused its discretion in allowing a 3-story addition to a 1-sotry single family residence in a predominantly 1-story R1 neighborhood. This has a great effect on the value and integrity of our neighborhood. We need your help to show that the city erred in allowing this to be built. Please join us at the hearing on Monday. If you are not able to attend the hearing, we urge you to support out community by submitting your comments to City Hall. You may mail a letter to the above address, fax it to 213-978-1334, or email it to jppcla@hotmail.com. You must include the case number: DIR 2006-9632 (BSA). We appreciate your efforts. You may contact the Jefferson Park Preservation Coalition at jppcla@hotmail.com

I took these digital images this morning between 8 - 9 am. They fail to accurately depict the gross breach of scale, particularly from the rear. The property in question is located on the 2000 block of 29th Place--conspicuous at a great distance!
It is amongst the most egregious, neighborhood-damaging alterations of recent vintage in the low-lying West Adams neighborhoods.

For past posts on this issue, see the Masonification of Jefferson Park


Sunday, December 24, 2006

So Long 2006

Peanuts creator Charles Schultz grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, another community noted for it's Craftsman-era architecture. (Try google-ing, Twin Cities Bungalow Club.)

Hmmm, this Charlie Brown and I have a lot in common. (I never was much good with kites either.)

Thank you everyone for reading, and commenting on, Recentering El Pueblo. I will return in 2007 with more, more, more.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Y Tu E-mail Tambien

Thanks everyone for the complimentary e-mails, it's always a good feeling to reach people outside my obvious, immediate referral network. It's also a bit of the point, really.

The billboard entries drew strong response (coming soon: The Ugliest Block in Los Angeles).

Also, a sprinkling asked about other plumbing supply options.

Martin Plumbing Supply Company, at the corner of James M. Wood and Hoover, gets my nod. (Warning hot sauce enthusiasts: it's tantalizingly close to El Taurino.)

Keep your eyes peeled for Harvard Heights neighbor/free-lance writer Danny Miller's upcoming piece in the Los Angeles Times real estate section, potentially titled When Upgrades are Downgrades. Danny keeps an entertaining blog, chock-full of house histories and histrionics: www.dannymiller.typepad.com


Friday, April 28, 2006

Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs, celebrated urban theorist, died Tuesday at age 89. Jacobs' most influential work, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities", was published in 1961. Espousing theories about urban life and city form that were largely unfashionable at the time (and even some that continue to be today), Jacobs was an opponent of large, sweeping renewal projects and development forces that often sought to clear and rebuild. A powerful activist presence in New York in the 1960's, Jacobs ultimately relocated to Toronto, where she continued to campaign for, and write about, cities. Always endowed with a strong anti-bureaucratic, anti-establishment bent, many of Jacobs' proposals for maintaining rich, variegated, urban life, have found acceptance and even implementation.