Local News in Brief : Reprieve for Old Adobe

A 150-year-old adobe in Baldwin Hills, which for years has languished in obscurity and decay, has won a temporary reprieve from demolition because it has been proposed as a Los Angeles cultural and historical monument.

The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission on Wednesday voted unanimously to recommend that monument status be given despite the objections of the Consolidated Realty Board of Southern California, which purchased the property at 3725 Don Felipe Drive in 1972.

Harry Gipson, Consolidated's president, said his group plans to put up a five-story office and condominium complex on the 1.3-acre hilltop site.

"This property is too valuable to leave here like this in such a deteriorated state," he said. "It doesn't make sense."

Reginald Ballard, another Consolidated spokesman, agreed. "This is not a historical monument," he said. "It is a deteriorating building that is badly in need of repair. We are constantly getting complaints from residents in the area to do something about it."

The building includes part of the original adobe that once was the center of the 4,000-acre Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera owned by Vicente Sanchez, the alcalde or mayor of Los Angeles in 1830.

Alma Carlisle, an architectural associate for the city's Bureau of Engineering, told the commission that historical evidence indicates that the adobe was built in the 1840s. She also said that Indian artifacts found nearby provide evidence that humans lived on the site in prehistoric times.

The commission's recommendation will be submitted to the City Council's Recreation, Library and Cultural Affairs Committee for review next month.

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