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Saturday, February 2, 2008

SAVING THE HISTORIC WEDDINGTON HOUSE FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

SAVING THE HISTORIC WEDDINGTON HOUSE FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY


Dear concerned residents of the San Fernando Valley.

I am writing to you on an urgent matter. The priceless old Weddington Home, the mother-house of North Hollywood and Toluca Lake is about to be moved miles from the Valley to the Arroyo Seco off of the Pasadena Freeway.
It is our understanding JSM Capital, LLC, a responsible Valley area developer who owns the property on which the house presently stands, plans to pay for its removal, a new foundation and reasonable restoration. The house was moved years ago to its present site, therefore the land on which it stands does not have historic significance. We salute JSM Capital for its respect for our community's heritage. However, moving the Weddington House from the San Fernando Valley is a tragic mistake.
Over 1,800,000 people make their homes and living in the San Fernando Valley. Unfortunately little regard has been demonstrated to the preservation of our history until recent years. The Museum Community believes that with so very few historical homes left in the Los Angeles suburbs in the Valley, that important structures such as the Weddington House must be preserved and left in the places where their historic impact was made.
The Weddington House is the last surviving original farm house, and the last surviving building owned by a great family who contributed so much to the creation and success of our community. The family of Wilson C. Weddington established North Hollywood, Toluca Lake and impacted the development of the entire San
Fernando Valley. They opened our first banks, post office, and helped develop the North Hollywood Fire Department as well as North Hollywood Park.
Valley school children, teachers and other residents should have access to the Weddington house. The structure should be relocated near where the Orange Line Busway and Red Line Subway meet.
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley is prepared to step forward to manage the Weddington House in exchange for the structure's accessibility to the public for cultural and historical exhibits and a headquarters from which to plan and develop a great museum of history and culture to serve the entire San Fernando Valley. However, irrespective of the Museum's possible stewardship of the house, we believe that it should remain where it belongs in the NoHo district of Los Angeles.
We understand the urgency that the developers feel about getting their investment project underway. But, now is a "how to" time, rather than "why we can't do it" time. The house can still be moved in a timely manner, (actually saving the developer money, if it is moved locally) at the unused edge of a local park or other city-owned land.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Gerald R. Fecht Ph.D.
President The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
21031 Ventura Boulevard
Suite 419
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

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