Hurray for Tom Gilmore (“Reclaiming the Badlands,” by Robert A. Jones, Oct. 3)! I hope he succeeds. I remember when Los Angeles was in its glory, before the flight to the suburbs (first Downey, then the San Fernando Valley and Orange County). L.A. was a great town for visiting, shopping, dining and entertainment.
My mother used to take me on the “J” streetcar every so often to shop and eat at the Bullock’s Tea Room or Clifton’s Cafeteria (my favorite). We saw the last of those entertaining vaudeville shows at the Orpheum Theater. The Philharmonic was close by, and there was Pershing Square when it was a park.
I can see Gilmore’s idea taking hold. I think our city is ready for revitalization.
Joanne Ingram Frost
Finally, someone has come up with the vision and pure courage to overcome all the negativity and small-mindedness of big business and recognize the potential of downtown Los Angeles.
Along with coffeehouses and loft apartments, is Gilmore planning to include soup kitchens and halfway houses for the human beings who were there before him? Just wondering.
Someone of Gilmore’s energy, imagination and courage is needed to help with redevelopment in Glendale, especially in the San Fernando Road corridor, where the Glendale Redevelopment Agency has begun its own search for a vision by proposing zoning changes in that bleak stretch that links Los Angeles and Glendale.
This long, mostly rundown thoroughfare is nestled between mountains and hills and bordered by the L.A. River (hopeful recipient of revitalization) and the railroad (now serviced by the restored Glendale passenger depot).
I dream of intermittent pockets of bistros, cinemas, coffeehouses and other eclectic attractions set in the industrial area, while the area’s obvious warehouse-district ambience is maintained--as it has happened in San Francisco’s South of Market area.
The point would be to avoid the trite, bland or unworthy while restoring period structures, embracing needs of current occupants and giving residents and workers in and near Glendale a place to enjoy unusual retail offerings, take a stroll or have coffee or lunch in view of the mountains.