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:
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!)