Cultural Heritage Commission
THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2007, 10:00 A.M.
200 N. Spring Street
Room 1010, City Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Re: Support Cultural Historical Monument Designation for 1635 N. Spring Street
Dear Members of the Commission:
The City Project and the Alianza de los Pueblos del Rio (which includes the William C. Velazquez Institute, Mujeres de la Tierra, Anahuak Youth Sports Association, and Remap-L.A.) support designating the building at 1635 N. Spring Street as a Cultural/Historical Monument.
Prof. Fabian Wagmister, a UCLA professor and director of Remap-L.A., and Dara Gelof have owned the triangular building for four years. He uses it as a classroom where he teaches digital media technology. Now that plans are in place to create the new Los Angeles State Historic Park across the street, he wants to turn the space into a community center. "Dreaming about this building has changed our whole view of Los Angeles," according to Prof. Wagmister. "We really care about the building and hope that it can play that same role for other people."
The 1890 edifice, sometimes referred to as the flat-iron building, or the Charles Raphael building after its architect, is one of the oldest industrial structures in the area. It once housed the California Ice Company, which provided cold packing for goods carried by trains coming into the nearby station. Later it was the New York Suspender Company and, eventually, a glass company.
The building will be a part of the Heritage Parkscape. The Heritage Parkscape will unite the rich cultural, historical, recreational, educational, and environmental resources in the heart of Los Angeles. The Parkscape will link the Los Angeles State Historic Park at the Cornfield, El Río de Los Angeles State Park at Taylor Yard, the Los Angeles River, El Pueblo Historic District and Olvera Street, with 100 other resources, including the building. Public art projects including murals, photo exhibits, and installations on the ground and on the web, school art projects, oral histories, and theater will be part of this living legacy. Public transit will take children and their families and friends from the Heritage Parkscape to the beach, forests, mountains, and other wilderness and recreation areas. The Heritage Parkscape will serve
as a "family album" to commemorate the struggles, hopes, and triumphs of the Native Americans, settlers, and immigrants who entered Los Angeles through this area.
We support designation of the building at 1635 N. Spring Street as a Cultural/Historical Landmark.
The City Project