The 136-year-old Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights has turned brown and dry and mourners are pretty upset about it–the cemetery blames LADWP restrictions, County Supe Gloria Molina and others blame the cemetery. Molina calls it “a disgrace to the renowned people who have been laid to rest here – which includes historic figures, celebrities, as well as a significant Chinese day laborer population from the turn of the last century,” and she’s pushing for an improvement, which the cemetery is not super happy about (they say they’ll go to court over the matter). [Eastsider LA]
Posts Tagged ‘Final’
[Image via Eastsider LA]
Chickens: they’re not just for dinner, factory farms, and hipster backyards anymore. Eastsider has the heartwarming tale of the chickens of East LA’s Serbian Cemetery, and the mourners who love them. “It’s very natural for the chickens to be here. I love that the chickens have a safe place to roam and eat the grass. It’s fantastic. It’s like a sanctuary here,” said one woman who was there to visit her father’s grave. Another chicken fan and cemetery visitor, who often leaves food for the chickens, told the site that “the majority of people don’t mind because the chickens are making people feel welcome.” No one’s quite sure how the chickens-at-the-cemetery thing got started, but it’s been going on for years. And fear not, animal lovers: the chickens like the arrangement, too. According to the cemetery’s caretaker, “The chickens are happy living here. I feed them and take care of them because it’s not their fault they were left here.”
· Chickens and roosters turn East L.A. graveyard into barnyard [ELA]
In the twentieth century, Boyle Heights and East LA were LA’s version of Ellis Island–home to a wide assortment of immigrants and ethnic groups–and in the first half of the century in particular, the area had an enormous Jewish population (Canter’s started in Boyle Heights). There are almost no Jews left anymore, and today the LA Times introduces us to a depressing remnant of the old days: the Mount Zion Cemetery, originally opened in 1916 “by a burial society dedicated to provide free burials for poor Jews.” It’s chained up, its graves have been knocked over and vandalized, and no one’s even sure who owns it at this point. Here’s just a small roundup of sad things about this place:
– “Where other cemeteries featured vast expanses of trimmed grass, handsome columns and statuary, Mount Zion was mostly concrete and dirt.”
– “A sign stamped on a wall of bright bougainvillea on Downey Road asks visitors to call a neighboring graveyard if they want to go in. The phone number doesn’t exist anymore.”
– “hundreds of tombstones were on the ground, some lying like small, toppled Stonehenges. On one tomb, a vandal scrawled a cryptic graffiti: ‘Here lies Horse. RIP.’”
– “Throughout the cemetery, rounded, oval photographs set in enamel lay on the ground. The caretaker, Lupe Munoz, said vandals probably used rocks or screwdrivers to pry them off.”
– It’s home to the grave of Lamed Shapiro, a great Yiddish writer “of gruesomely dark stories of pogroms in Eastern Europe who died a pauper in Los Angeles in 1948. Shapiro’s tombstone, in the shape of an open book, had rolled to the ground like a decapitated head but, by a stroke of fortune, landed face-up.” Shapiro was known for his “stories bathed in hyper-violent acts of murder, rape and even cannibalism.”
– During Prohibition, “the cemetery hosted the funeral for a murdered ‘alcohol broker.’ ‘No big shots were at the funeral,’ it was reported in the Los Angeles Times, ‘although a number of lesser lights from the underworld appeared both at the undertaking parlors and the cemetery.’”
– In 1932, a 50-year-old man “shot himself in the head inside Mount Zion. A second bullet pierced his heart, apparently the result of a reflexive movement of his gun hand after the first pierced his skull.”
– “[Neighboring Jewish cemetery] Home of Peace and the Jewish Federation agreed to look after the cemetery many years ago, but neither organization knows who actually owns the property, and county records are inconclusive, listing the name of the apparently defunct burial society.”
– In the early ’90s, “the federation sent a letter to all known living heirs of Mount Zion’s dead. ‘They were almost all elderly people living on fixed incomes,’ [the president of the Jewish Federation] said. ‘Since then, they’ve all passed away….’”
– While Home of Peace Jewish cemetery has about 100 burials a year, Mount Zion hasn’t seen one in about six years.
· Jewish dead lie forgotten in East L.A. graves [LAT]
Curbed Cup voting is on hold for the holiday weekend as we ponder the week’s results and our final four contenders. There’s only one Downtown neighborhood left, but it’s a biggie (South Park); meanwhile, perennial favorite Hollywood is still in the running, but Atwater Village pulled out a massive upset over other perennial favorite Historic Core. And Silver Lake continues to be incredibly popular (while of course maintaining its veneer of indie cred). Whatever happens, no one’s going west of La Brea. The neighborhoods will battle it out next week amidst the Curbed Awards, our year-end tribute to the 2012 happenings in real estate, architecture, urban planning, and neighborhoods. Stay tuned!
· Curbed Cup 2012 [Curbed LA]
WESTWOOD: Target representative were out in the Village today passing out free canvas bags and announcing the July 29 opening of LA’s first CityTarget (DTLA gets one later this year). As you can see from the pic, the bullseye sign is up on the store’s exterior, while inside there’s a hive of activity. In case you’re wondering, CityTargets are simply smaller stores that the chain opens in urban areas. Even though it’s more petite (a touch under 100K square feet) than a typical Target (126K square feet), the company is still hiring 250 people to staff the Westwood outpost. [Curbed Staff]
SANTA MONICA: KCRW’s Frances Anderton would like to thank everyone who voted for her article on architectural writer and thinker Esther McCoy on KCET’s Artbound site, which picks two KCET articles every week and puts them to a vote by readers. Although Anderton’s piece was the editors’ pick, an article on OC pinball aficionados won the most votes. Either way, Anderton’s article gave some much-need attention to the Ocean Park-based McCoy, an influential figure in Southern California architecture for much of the 20th century. Once a draftsman for R.M. Schindler, McCoy is now the namesake of the USC School of Architecture Esther McCoy Award (which Anderton won recently). As a 40-year-old woman, McCoy, sadly, was discouraged from joining USC’s architecture school. [Curbed Inbox]
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission has finalized (but not yet passed) a lease that would put USC in control of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, aka Trojan football home turf. USC has been negotiating for a while now to take over in exchange for making much-needed improvements (read about an earlier version of the proposed lease here). Meanwhile, the Coliseum has been the subject of scandal after scandal; last month, “criminal charges were filed against three former Coliseum managers, two prominent rave concert promoters and a stadium janitorial contractor,” according to the LA Times, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The property is also losing money: $ 1.4 million in the last year. Here’s some of what’s covered in the deal with USC–it’s a bit complicated because the state owns the land under the Coliseum; the Coliseum Commission leases it from the state in a deal that will expire in 2054, and will sublease it to USC.
– The lease covers the Coliseum, the Sports Arena, and some of the parking lot parcels.
– Options to lease for up to 42 years, with the end of the lease coinciding with the end of the Commission’s lease on the state property, on December 31, 2054.
– USC is currently negotiating a deal with the state to control the property after 2054, for a total of 99 years.
– USC would have to pay about $ 1 million in rent annually.
– USC would also have to make significant renovations to the stadium–it’s said it’ll put about $ 70 million in.
– Large events, totaling more than 25,000 people, would be limited to 25 times year (according to the LAT, “state and county museums near the Coliseum have expressed concern that too many large events will overwhelm the parking lots”).
– The Coliseum Commissioners will get 90 free tickets to USC games, which is about half of what they get now. They’d also get premium parking and “access to a VIP hospitality area on game days.”
The new lease could be passed in early May.
· Coliseum unveils proposed lease with USC [LAT]
· Here’s What’s In the Potential USC-Memorial Coliseum Deal [Curbed LA]
The creation of a six foot tall wall at the pedestrian-popular intersection of Sunset and Sanborn remains a hot topic in Silver Lake. Councilmember Eric Garcetti’s office says that, following a complaint, the Department of Building and Safety is investigating the wall, part of an addition to Cafe Stella that the owner says is intended to keep children from seeing adults drinking. It’ll be discussed at a neighborhood council meeting tonight. Cafe Stella owner Gareth Kantner tells Eastsider LA that the wall will be more aesthetically pleasing once blue paint and vines are added–he provided this rendering to the blog. Meanwhile, he discusses even more of his plans (including Moroccan lamps, a possible community board, and lights on the corner) with Echo Park Patch. Will the additions mollify the neighborhood?
· Will blue paint and vines win over Silver Lake wall critics? [Eastsider LA]
· Complaint Filed Over Sunset Junction’s Big New Concrete Wall [Curbed LA]