To the editor: The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was built because USC law professor Judge William Bowen was determined to clean up what was called “Agricultural Park” in the late 19th century from unsavory activities such as cruel animal racing activities, gambling and carousing. (“The $69-million Coliseum naming-rights deal between USC and United is in limbo,” March 30)
Bowen embarked on a mission to build a coliseum, dedicated to World War I veterans, and hold legitimate sports and other community events. He engaged the father and son architecture team of John and Donald Parkinson to design the coliseum. With great zest he rallied William Garland, real estate mogul, and Harry Chandler, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, to build a consortium of bankers to finance construction.
The Parkinsons designed or were part of teams that built multiple landmark structures, including Los Angeles City Hall. The former Telephone Building in downtown Los Angeles, renovated for subsidized housing in the late 1970s, was renamed 740 South Olive Street Apartments. The history of the building is lost.
Los Angeles should respect its history by preserving all historical landmarks with their original names.
Carla Bollinger, Newbury Park
To the editor: Like many, I believe rechristening the Coliseum with the name of a corporate sponsor is problematic. However, why wasn’t the same concern expressed over the replacement of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena with a soccer stadium?
It was fabled as the first home of the Lakers and the Kings, and it hosted the 1960 Democratic National Convention that nominated John F. Kennedy for president.
It wasn’t renamed — it was demolished, with the name “memorial” lost forever.
Cary Adams, North Hollywood
To the editor: USC said its Coliseum naming-rights deal with United Airlines will allow it to fund wider seats and more legroom at the aging stadium.
Solution: Give United back its money so it can fund wider seats and more legroom on its planes.
John Hendry, Van Nuys