Architectural historian Nathan Marsak loves Los Angeles, and hates to see important buildings neglected and abused, whether by slumlord owners or the savage public. Follow him on his urban adventures as he sees something that looks like crap, opens his yap and spontaneously lets you know exactly why this place matters.
Episode 23 finds Nathan on the 700 block of South Normandie, where his wee L.A. Preservation Imp has lured him to see the greatest interbellum street in all of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, this gorgeous landscape of elegant apartment houses, one of the most popular filming locations in town, is currently threatened by an enormous modern tower by Koreeatown mega-developers Jamison Properties. Only landlords, and none of the thousands of people who rent in the neighborhood, were notified of Jamison’s plans.
Discovering the fast-tracked project when it was nearly a done deal, longtime residents Carolyn Zanelli and Spencer Jones filed a CEQA challenge. When their councilman, Herb Wesson, refused to meet, neighbors picketed his office and got on the evening news. Carolyn and Spencer have a lot to say about their special Little New York Street, and they want you to fall in love with it, too.
So take a time travel trip to a place that is teetering between the twin poles of its current timeless perfection and the arrogance of checked out politicians and their rapacious developer-donor pals. Can Angelenos fight back and Save Normandie together? With the Cranky Preservationist, his imp, Carolyn and Spencer, and YOU on the case, it’s very possible!
If you like these Cranky Preservationist videos, you’ll probably like Nathan’s R.I.P. Los Angeles blog, too, so check it out!
Where will the Cranky Preservationist turn up next? Stay tuned!
Get Jamison Services off Normandie! Not only do they want to take the space indicated in this segment, they also want to erect luxury apartment buildings on the other side of 7th Street. There is no need for luxury apartments in our neighborhood. This project is just a way for Jamison Services to create a Tax Shelter.
Keep at it! I’ve been trying to save buildings my whole adult life – even back when they were trying to tear down Farmer’s Market (which the developer after lauded’saving’). Are you in touch wit LA Conservacy? I’m involved and they’re great advocates.