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Tamale-shaped building at center of preservation dispute
Tamale-shaped building at center of preservation dispute

Fernando Alarcon doesn't dwell too much on what it means to be the filling of a tamale. For four years, Alarcon has worked in a dental laboratory in East Los Angeles on Whittier Boulevard inside a giant green tamale squished between two buildings. Every so often tourists step off a bus holding smartphones and cameras, expecting Alarcon, 42, to regale them with stories about the tamale. He makes sure to shut the door. Alarcon doesn't really have a strong opinion about the tamale. He's jaded about its contours. "Everyone wants to see it, everyone asks about it," Alarcon said, befuddled. "To me, it's normal." Built in the 1920s, the building has...

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