Thursday, June 28, 2007
INTEGRITY OF CAMPO DE CAHEUNGA THREATENED - SO. CALIFORNIA'S MOST IMPORTANT HISTORIC SITE THREATENED.
American Historic Treasure Turned into a Mall Attraction
The following is a News Release from the Campo de Cahuenga Historical Memorial Association, the all-volunteer organization created by the Californians who saved the Campo site in the mid 20th century. What have long been suspected, the integrity of Southern California's MOST IMPORTANT HISTORIC SITE is at stake.
Can you imagine allowing fast food taco stands to be erected at the edge of the Alamo? Is the place where California became part of the United States being relegated to a mall attraction? Read this now. Consider the consequences and contact the Campo with your support.
NEWS RELEASE June 26, 2007
On June 25, 2007, a number of us from the Campo de Cahuenga Historical Memorial Association attended the Universal/Metro (Thomas Properties Group) Scoping Meeting at Van Nuys City Hall. The Project surrounds the Campo de Cahuenga Historical Site.
The proposed development located at the Universal Metro Rail Station will include a 315,000 sq.ft., 5 story Media Center with 4 levels of underground parking; a 24 story, 655,200 sq.ft. Office Tower; 25,000 sq.ft. of retail; and a 245,000 sq.ft. garage, 7 levels above ground and 3 levels below ground all in Phase 1. Phase 2 includes a planned 472,500 sq. ft. Office Building or a 897,600 sq ft., 400 Condos/300 Hotel Rooms Building directly across Lankershim Boulevard from the existing #10 Universal City Plaza and additional Parking Podium of 6 levels of parking above ground and 2 levels of parking below ground.
This Scoping Meeting was conducted by the City’s Planning Department to solicit comments on additional issues that should be studied and analyzed in the forthcoming Environment Impact Report (EIR). We were dismayed at the graphics that were displayed by the TPG team. In their attempt to depict the Campo de Cahuenga as a feature in an outdoor office mall, they showed the alteration and removal of “non-historic features” including the concrete block walls at the northern and western edges of the Campo de Cahuenga property and replanting numerous trees and bushes on the property. They referred to the existing adobe as a visitor center, not a museum of historical importance to the United States of America and California
They ignored the protective designation by the National Register of Historic Places granted to the Campo de Cahuenga.
To make matters worse, other graphics showed blinking supergraphics and other large scale animated signs designated for advertising oriented on nearby skyscrapers pointing at the Campo. It reminded those of us that saw the graphics of the worst of the Las Vegas strip at night.
As indicated by TPG’s own commissioned researched documents (dated December 14, 2006) the National Register designation includes “boundaries of Los Angeles City Park, including the existing buildings, landscape, and intact remains of the adobe foundation and floors”. Included are the surrounding concrete wall around the edge of the property and the large iron gated entrance. There is NO distinction of “Historic or Non-Historic features”. In fact, the first formal design for the grounds was prepared in 1927, revised in 1949 by the City’s Recreation and Parks Department. It retained the perimeter walls, central water feature, trees, and axial paths dividing areas of lawn. The drawing specified the number and location of plants appropriate to the mission.
What was shown at the Scoping Meeting was not covered in the Initial Study and will destroy the Campo Site. No longer will our association be able to plan fundraisers and other special events. Protection of the site will be impossible. The ambience and serenity as we know it today will be gone forever.
All of us who respect and protect our historic beginnings must SAVE THE CAMPO FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS.