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Readers React

Los Angeles, the land of paper stadiums

To the editor: Another stadium proposal for Los Angeles? You have got to be kidding me. ("Expansion L.A. soccer team plans new stadium on Sports Arena site," May 17)

I couldn't help but notice in the picture with the article that there is another, existing stadium alongside the proposed one for a new soccer team. That would be the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Really, two stadiums within a mile? How about some housing for people who can't afford to live in this city anymore? Or parks or even community gardens?

L.A truly is a community of developers, by developers and for developers. Even labor unions in this city just roll over when these developers wave the "jobs" flag.

Chamba Sanchez, Silver Lake

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To the editor: Before we demolish the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, we should recognize the architect — Welton Becket & Associates — and the role the firm played in creating the iconic structure.

In the 1950s, with construction coming in over budget, Welton Becket was brought on and asked for a new design. It was decided that form should follow function, and an oval building was designed to house the oval interior. The cost was only $6 million.

However, the excavation was already there, so the Sports Arena was placed into the excavation with bridges leading to the entries.

How well I recall the dedication on July 4, 1959, when Vice President Richard Nixon did the honors. I was there the next year, in 1960, when the Democratic National Convention took place in the arena and John F. Kennedy received the nomination amid the protests of others such as Eleanor Roosevelt, who sat in front of me and supported Adlai Stevenson.

I was also there when John Wooden's UCLA basketball team defeated Houston in the NCAA semifinals, and when the Ringling Bros. circus was in the arena.

The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena will always have a special place in the hearts of older Angelenos.

Martin A. Brower, Corona del Mar

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