Readers React

L.A. and preservation: a sad history of architectural atrocity

To the editor: There's nothing fuzzy about it, contrary to what the article on battles over architectural landmarks like Norms on La Cienega Boulevard suggests: It is quite clear that L.A. has no preservational conscience. ("Bulldoze first, apologize later: a true L.A. landmark," Jan. 16)

I have lived here a long time and have cried over not just the recent demolition of the Ambassador Hotel, but also the Brown Derby, the Garden of Allah, Beverly Park and Ponyland, the Red Car and so much more.

What's next? Grauman's Chinese Theatre? The Hollywood Bowl?

I strongly beg to differ with prize-winning architect Thom Mayne's statement that architecture shouldn't be considered permanent (maybe they should demolish the Parthenon). We can enjoy innovation in modern design and architecture, but we should also have the integrity to preserve the iconic gems of Los Angeles history.

Sherry Stevens, Santa Monica

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To the editor: The director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University's Indianapolis campus defends Mayne's demolition of the Bradbury house in Cheviot Hills by suggesting that Bradbury and Mayne "really share that same mandate, to move ahead and be original."

That might be the case for Bradbury's literary visions of the future. But considering that Bradbury lived in the same house for more than 50 years, it seems that he felt differently about his home.

Manny Rodriguez, West Hollywood

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To the editor: If a property is worthy of historic designation, interested entities should take steps to protect it as soon as that worthiness becomes evident. That way, any prospective buyer has actual notice of any development restrictions.

What's wrong in L.A. is the timing. Waiting until the new buyer of the Bradbury home spends significant dollars to purchase it and create redevelopment plans, and then expecting government to come in and turn that expenditure into waste, is inappropriate.

Historic preservation is good. Saying "gotcha" after purchase is unfair.

Theda Snyder, Sherman Oaks

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