On a street replete with gorgeously maintained vintage homes, one house of 1911 vintage was soooooo lovely...
....that it made the YIMBYs spit out their coffee. "Pffffttt," came the latte shooting from their collective nostrils, and then, sputtering, exclaimed "this will upset our unholy dark god Wiener! The man who said he would end homeownership because it is immoral!"
Yes, he actually said that, and then got to work ending homeownership (hardly surprising, his being owned by his big-donor real estate corporations). Newsom signed Wiener's anti-homeowner bill, tossing California zoning laws out the window, allowing real estate speculators to demolish anything and build high-density apartments anywhere and everywhere, because (and in another case of yes, he actually said that) Newsom stated that tearing out California's lawns and trees and little houses with their stored carbon footprints, and replacing them with new super high-density modern construction apartment complexes will "address the problems of climate change."
Note: the rendering above is actually Leeor Maciborski's 2021 version of the project, when it was a mere three stories. It's much taller now. Which is funny, since the name of the designing firm is Taller.
So, say goodbye to 1807 N Van Ness—and anywhere else—with box beams, white oak floors, and leaded-glass built-ins:
"HA HA HA HA HA!" cackle the YIMBYS. "Soon the work of evil Edwardian-era single-home-builders will be nothing but a memory. This offering will please our dark god!"
The YIMBYs dance around the fire, tossing Victorian spindlework on the flames. The eldest of them snorts and spits out a bit of Edwardian porch railing on which it was chewing, and intones: "Lord Wiener shall be pleased indeed! He shall be as pleased as when our puppet Newsom bathed in the blood of the World's Cutest House two doors down at 1821 Van Ness. Replaced by...LUXURY TOWNHOMES! BA HA HA HA HA! Newsom has delivered on his promise to silence communities, destroy democracy, enrich developers, and piss on those who actually need housing! HAIL VICTORY!"
1821 N Van Ness, built 1917, and 1821 N Van Ness, built 2017. Above shot: not green. Below shot: green. Thank God developers are saving the planet.
Of course, California is bleeding people, a half-million in the last couple years—so many we lost a seat in the House of Representatives for the first time in history (plus lost sway in the electoral college, and a ton of federal money). Nowhere is losing more so than Los Angeles County: July 2021-July 2022, for example, saw a greater-than 90,000-person loss of LA County restidents...not only the largest decline in California, but the largest decline in the country, and that's saying something, considering how many people are fleeing New York and Illinois.
Developers aren't rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, they're building the deck chairs. But what company doesn't need a good loss carryforward on the books? Good for them! And who does it harm, anyway?
About Nathan Marsak
NATHAN MARSAK says: “I came to praise Los Angeles, not to bury her. And yet developers, City Hall and social reformers work in concert to effect wholesale demolition, removing the human scale of my town, tossing its charm into a landfill. The least I can do is memorialize in real time those places worth noting, as they slide inexorably into memory. In college I studied under Banham. I learned to love Los Angeles via Reyner’s teachings (and came to abjure Mike Davis and his lurid, fanciful, laughably-researched assertions). In grad school I focused on visionary urbanism and technological utopianism—so while some may find the premise of preserving communities so much ill-considered reactionary twaddle, at least I have a background in the other side. Anyway, I moved to Los Angeles, and began to document. I drove about shooting neon signs. I put endless miles across the Plains of Id on the old Packard as part of the 1947project; when Kim Cooper blogged about some bad lunch meat in Compton, I drove down to there to check on the scene of the crime (never via freeway—you can’t really learn Los Angeles unless you study her from the surface streets). But in short order one landmark after another disappeared. Few demolitions are as contentious or high profile as the Ambassador or Parker Center; rather, it is all the little houses and commercial buildings the social engineers are desperate to destroy in the name of the Greater Good. The fabric of our city is woven together by communities and neighborhoods who no longer have a say in their zoning or planning so it’s important to shine a light on these vanishing treasures, now, before the remarkable character of our city is wiped away like a stain from a countertop. (But Nathan, you say, it’s just this one house—no, it isn’t. Principiis obsta, finem respice.) And who knows, one might even be saved. Excelsior!””
Nathan’s blogs are: Bunker Hill Los Angeles, RIP Los Angeles & On Bunker Hill.