Sam Hall Kaplan's column on the Pan Pacific Auditorium mess ("Pan Pacific Should Rise From the Ashes," June 18) was eloquent and accurate. The neglect and subsequent partial destruction of the landmark is a disgrace to Los Angeles and a textbook example of the results of political foot-dragging by timid elected officials.
The good news is that the fire has brought the fate of the Pan to the attention of many who are interested in seeing this most significant of structures restored.
Though state-owned, the ultimate fate of the Pan rests in the hands of county Supervisor Ed Edelman.
A Los Angeles developer was well on his way to renovate the Pan for an ice skating rink, cineplex and assorted shops when the devastating fire hit.
The developer has stated the fire would actually give them a bit more latitude with the renovation plans, while respecting the historic fabric of the building in a dignified manner. But Councilmen John Ferraro and Zev Yaroslavsky, as well as Edelman, have publicly stated the developer should abandon plans to renovate. And opponents to the Pan have heard Councilman Yaroslavsky comment that now plans can commence for soccer fields.
The Pan Pacific Auditorium has a chance to be saved from the growing list of other significant L.A. landmarks carelessly decimated over the years. The significance of the Pan is far beyond detractors' perceptions. Hopefully this is not the case with Supervisor Edelman. He has a golden opportunity to leave a monument to his good judgment and farsightedness by allowing plans for the Pan Pacific Auditorium to commence.