Archive for May, 2012

Save Plummer Park!

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

HOLLYWOOD PRESERVATION

The effort to Save Plummer Park!

 

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Plummer Park, which is located at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. has been a part of Hollywood/West Hollywood history officially and unofficially for as long as 90 years. The land that the park now sits on plus an additional 97 acres surrounding it was at one time the home of Senor Eugene Plummer (more about him in a future article).

 

Now the City of West Hollywood has approved more than $41.3 million for the Plummer Park Master Plan Phase I Project. Preservation groups are fighting the plan and are claiming the following:

 

  • The construction of an underground parking structure (which will only net an additional 69 spaces) will necessitate demolishing historic WPA buildings, Great Hall/Long Hall as well as the destruction of 54 heritage trees, some of which are over 100 years old.
  • The planned ultra-modern façade of Fiesta Hall is out-of-line with the charm and architecture of a block that includes seven landmarked buildings. Given the character of the street a modern design is inappropriate.
  • This project will require the complete closure of a majority of the park for almost two years with heavy construction, noise, pollution and increased traffic in an already congested area.

 

The City of West Hollywood denies most of these claims and states the following is true about the trees:

  • 76 trees of the existing 210 trees will remain in place.
  • 80 trees will be carefully boxed, save and replanted.
  • 90 new trees will be added, each will be a minimum of 72” boxed trees, all large trees one day.

 

There are seven trees in Plummer Park that are considered to be of significance: three will be saved (two will be protected in place and one will be boxed, saved and replanted): three will be removed but will not be replanted due to poor health as determined by the project arborist and one tree will not be able to be saved due to size and location of the tree.

 

 

 How many trees will be saved?

 

If this is true, perhaps the reports are not as bad as first thought. However I have problems trusting government bureaucrats. Hopefully the West Hollywood city council are true to their word and can be trusted.  We will see.

 

But the part of the plan  I am against, and what, as my mother would say, “really burns me up,” is the loss of another historically important building in this city. The proposed plan involves the demolition of the Great Hall/Long Hall. They admit that the demolition is not insignificant, but claims it is integral in meeting critical community and project objectives including the creation of more parkland/green/open space, and a gain of more than 14,000 square feet.

 

 

 SAVE Great Hall/Long Hall

 

What they don’t mention is that the Great Hall/Long Hall was built by the Workers Progress Administration (WPA) and is the only WPA building remaining in West Hollywood. Historically significant buildings in Los Angeles are constantly being destroyed for the sake of progress. The major changes suggested by the city for Plummer Park could be an asset, but not at the cost of losing our history. Yes, I’m a tree hugger, yes I’m a preservationist. Hey West Hollywood, find a way to save the Great Hall/Long Hall.

 

 

 

 

There is much more to this fight than I can list here so please, for more information click on the following links:

 

City of West Hollywood’s Plummer Park Master Plan

 

Protect Plummer Park Now!

 

The Grass Roots Effort to Save Plummer Park

 

AND–Tell the City Council to STOP the project and to develop an alternative plan that we can all support. GO TO:

 

Protect Plummer Park (if you are concerned, please sign the petition to let them know how you feel!)

 

In a few days I will post the story of Senior Eugene Rafael Plummer, after who Plummer Park is named, which incidentally there is only one plaque at the park which mentions his name. They should do something to memorialize his memory, but that is another story.

 

 

The only connection to Senor Eugene Plummer is this one plaque (I guess we should be luck there is that!)

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Robin Gibb Obituary

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

OBITUARY

Robin Gibb dies at 62; rose to pop fame as one-third of the Bee Gees

 

 

Robin Gibb and his brothers, Maurice and Barry, produced a string of memorable hits and were at the forefront of the disco era with their iconic ‘Saturday Night Fever’ soundtrack. Robin Gibb was diagnosed with cancer that spread from his colon to his liver last year.

 

By Claire Noland
Los Angeles Times
May 20, 2012

 

Robin Gibb, a singer and songwriter who joined two of his brothers in forming the Bee Gees pop group that helped define the sound of the disco era with the best-selling 1977 soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever,” has died. He was 62.

 

Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Robin Gibb

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Donna Summer Obituary

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

OBITUARY

Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, dies at 63

 

 

 

Associated Press
May 17, 2012

 

Disco queen Donna Summer, whose pulsing anthems such as “Last Dance,” “Love to Love You Baby” and “Bad Girls” became the soundtrack for a glittery age of sex, drugs, dance and flashy clothes, has died. She was 63.

 

Click here to read the Los Angeles Times obitary for Donna Summer

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Keystone Centennial

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

FILM HISTORY

Fort Lee celebrates centennial of Keystone studio, where film comedy was born

 

 

 

By Jim Beckerman
Staff Writer
THE RECORD

 

It was 100 years ago that movie comedy made its grand entrance – slipping on a banana peel and dodging a pie as it came through the door.

 

This was due mainly to one studio: Keystone, Mack Sennett’s pioneering slapstick factory, where such talents as Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Mabel Normand and Charlie Chaplin himself took their first pratfalls.

 

What most people don’t know is Keystone’s keystone. The first building block in Sennett’s media empire was an office or small studio – no one’s really sure which – in Fort Lee, which Sennett opened in the spring of 1912.

 

“It was around Kaufer Lane, at the intersection of Lower Main Street, but we really don’t know much about it,” says Tom Meyers, executive director of the Fort Lee Film Commission, which honors cinema’s little-known pre-Hollywood roots in Bergen County.

 

This is a banner year for them: In addition to Keystone, Universal Studios and the long-defunct Solax USA (important because it was the home base of film’s first major female director, Alice Guy-Blache) got their start in Fort Lee in 1912.

 

But Keystone is the key – because it’s the fount from which flowed all modern movie comedy, from Jim Carrey to Zach Galifianakis. To celebrate the big year, the film commission is spearheading several events. A production of “Mack & Mabel,” Jerry Herman’s 1974 musical about the romance of Sennett and his leading lady, Normand, is being staged Friday and Saturday by students of Fort Lee High School, with $10,000 in funds raised by the commission. And the “Reel Jersey Girls” exhibit at Fort Lee Museum on Palisade Avenue, continuing through July 1, contains a whole section devoted to Normand and the Keystone comedy universe she helped to create.

 

“This was all new,” Meyers says. “Before this, there was no pie-throwing in movies. They were all very staid affairs, almost like a stage play. Mack Sennett’s only message was laughs. He reached out to the audience, grabbed them by the lapels and shook them. Not subtle. He was about as subtle as an atomic bomb.”

 

Although most people these days haven’t seen a Keystone film, many probably have a rough impression of what these frantic early comedies were like. There were chases, falls into mud puddles, kicks in the rear end. There were fat men, thin men, cross-eyed men, pop-eyed men, men with walrus mustaches and baggy pants. There were pies in the face, of course, usually blackberry pies, not custard ones (blackberry photographed better). There were pretty girls in bathing suits. All this, plus the famous, bumbling Keystone Kops.

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Tom Mix Residence

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

CELEBRITY REAL ESTATE

1920s Mediterranean Owned by Silent Movie Star Tom Mix and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Carpenter

 

 

 

According to its listing, this 1927 Mediterranean in the Hollywood Hills was once the home of cowboy/silent film star Tom Mix. And according to public records, it’s currently the home of carpenter/actor Paul DiMeo, who spent nine seasons building houses in a hurry on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Located in the Cahuenga Pass at 3456 Floyd Terrace, the 3,994 square foot abode consists of a four-bedroom, three-bath main residence on the upper level plus a two bedroom apartment with kitchen, bath, and separate entrance below. The property’s features include arched doorways, beamed ceilings, hardwood and Saltillo tiled floors, a formal dining room, two-story living room with fireplace, and a sound/recording studio. Last sold for $1.29 million, it’s now listed at $1.135 million. [LA Curbed] By Pauline O’Connor

 

 

 

 3456 Floyd Terrace, Hollywood (PLEASE NOTE: This is a private residence, do not disturb the residents)

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George “Goober” Lindsey Obituary

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

OBITUARY

George Lindsey dies; ‘The Andy Griffith Show’s’ Goober Pyle

 

 

The character actor played Mayberry’s genial auto mechanic, the cousin of naive gas station attendant Gomer Pyle. He also was a regular on ‘Hee Haw.’

 

By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
May 7, 2012

 

George Lindsey, the Southern-born character actor who played dim hayseed Goober Pyle, the genial gas station auto mechanic on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Mayberry R.F.D.,” died early Sunday morning. He was 83.

 

Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for George Lindsey

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Patricia Medina Obituary

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

OBITUARY

Patricia Medina dies at 92; Briton was ’50s Hollywood leading lady

 

  

Patricia Medina began her film career in her native England in the 1930s and after World War II arrived in L.A., where she was initially signed to MGM. In 1960, she married Joseph Cotten.

 

By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
May 2, 2012

 

Patricia Medina, a British-born actress whose Hollywood career as a leading lady in the 1950s spanned the talking mule comedy “Francis” and Orson Welles’ crime-thriller “Mr. Arkadin,” has died. She was 92.

 

Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Patricia Medina

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