Los Angeles City Councilman Marvin Braude on Monday proposed declaring a Pacific Palisades mansion that served as a gathering place for German intellectuals during World War II a city landmark to protect it from possible demolition.
Braude said the landmark status would give the 22-room house and its 36,000-volume library a one-year reprieve from destruction, giving preservationists time to raise money to buy the building or persuade its current owners--USC--not to sell it.
Braude said he would introduce a motion to the City Council today, requesting that the mansion be declared a city cultural and historic monument.
The Spanish-style mansion was home to expatriate German novelist Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife, Marta. It was a gathering place for many of the anti-Nazi writers and intellectuals who fled their native Germany. Among those who visited the home, known as Villa Aurora, were playwright Bertolt Brecht and novelist Thomas Mann.
Lion Feuchtwanger died 29 years ago and Marta Feuchtwanger died last October, leaving the house in her will to USC. The university has decided that the house built in 1927 is too expensive to rehabilitate and have said that they want to move the library's contents to the campus and sell the home.