Preserving Los Angeles history one building at a time

Broadway Arcade in DTLA, click to embiggen
Broadway Arcade in DTLA, click to embiggen

The good folks at Esotouric Bus Tour Adventures, Kim Cooper and Richard Schave do a lot more than give really nifty tours of the city.  They are historians with a major heart on for the city.  In the best way of course.

This weeks newsletter outlined the winners and losers in their efforts to help preserve the cities architectural history.  It outlines 25 things this year, good bad and ugly, that happened in terms of historic preservation.

The most exciting bit was the passing of city ordinance 13-1104 requiring public notification when any building more than 45 years is to be demolished.   Why does this matter?  It will give preservation groups around the city the chance to speak up and stop the destruction of those building with a history or architectural significane from being trashed in the name of progress and a new high density mixed use project.  Not all buildings need to be preserved that are that old, but many should as it is part of the texture and character of the city that shouldn’t be trashed for a new parking lot or apartment jungle.

Pic by me of the Broadway Arcade while on an iphone safari.  Click to embiggen

Raymond Chandler did an operetta…make its production a reality

ChandlerBy now most of you should know that I’m a complete and utter fool when it comes to Raymond Chandlers works. I’ve read so many of the books and loved how they incorporated Los Angeles history and places into their fictional story.

I caught wind of the operetta a few months ago at a LAVA meeting.  Its titled “The Princess and the Pedlar” and is co-authored with pianist Julian Pascal.  Sounds pretty cool and should be easy to bring to the stage, right?  Not so fast, the estate of Raymond Chandler say its insignificant and won’t grant release of the work.  It will have to wait until 2029 at the earliest when its released to the public domain.  Sad.

But all is not lost, Kim Cooper of Esotouric and author of the “The Kept Girl” isn’t taking that hard no as a final answer.  She has a petition on change.org asking the Estate to reconsider its position.  Please sign.  I have, its an important bit of the Los Angeles story by one of our own authors that deserves to be seen.

The Kept Girl and other bits of Los Angeles

Kim Cooper, author of The Kept Girl, click to embiggen

If you know me, by now you know  I’m a total fan of Raymond Chandler. Angeleno and author Kim Cooper has a wonderful book that stars him and and is set in 1929 Los Angeles. Its told in the tone of his books which makes it a very easy and entertaining read.  Its centered around the Great Eleven cult that was active in Los Angeles that year.  Its been historically researched and based on several characters that may or may not have met in real life.  For the sake of this piece of fiction they all crossed paths and their tale unfolds in “The Kept Girl“.

Kim Cooper and Richard Schave also run the Esotouric Tours.  These social historians research a topic or person then put together lively bus tours on that theme around historic Los Angeles.

This past Sunday was the monthly Sunday Salon presented by the Los Angeles Visionaries Association.  Kim Cooper was there to talk about her book.  Also present was the graphic illustrator Paul Rogers who did the cover art for The Kept Girl. Continue reading “The Kept Girl and other bits of Los Angeles”

1947project.com Becomes “In SRO Land”

My love for Kim Cooper‘s projects & collaborations is no secret, but this latest endeavor thrills me even more. Chronicling the glittering and ghastly history of LA’s Historic Core, centered around the footprint of the Downtown Artwalk/Gallery Row, the blog “In SRO Land” is only a week old but already is a treasure trove of info that’s left me utterly absorbed.

srolandEvery year Kim’s original blog, 1947project, undergoes a re-casting and covers a different year in Los Angeles history. But this year it becomes “In SRO Land,” named alternatively after the Single Room Occupancy hotels that are so prevalent in the area, and “Standing Room Only”–the common refrain of Broadway, whose golden era was a cavalcade of dancers and entertainers, criminals and movie stars, freaks and fans.

I am so stoked to have this new blog up and running, and I’ll be sure to check it every day. Welcome to the party, In SRO Land.

Also, a great big Congrats to Kim Cooper’s husband & Esotouric curator Richard Schave, the newly-minted Director of the Downtown LA Art Walk.

Photo by In SRO Land contributor Rob Clampett.