Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

– Courtesy photo

Dear Editor,

Sadly, some vocal elements would like to delay, erase, demean or refashion the Citywide Historical Protection Ordinance to meet their narrow views. Will their attack succeed or will other residents step up and defend this proposed ordinance?

A lively diversity among the 11 districts, 188 historic resources & 12 non-building resources deserves respect as a community asset. Tour books for important cities have always distinguished different sections of a city with their differing qualities as good for business and civic pride.

Some residents who support the Historical Ordinance suspect that developers oppose it over fear of losing any control over profits. Will Arcadians speak up to protect our historical assets or will they stay remain quiet and absent from the discussion underway? Will “opting out” of specific districts be allowed by City Council members?

Nearby cities such as Monrovia, San Marino and South Pasadena have moved to identity and protect what remains of their historic assets.

Since buildings & resources must be 50 years or more to qualify, newer homes & buildings are omitted. There are narrow voices in our community that feel older or smaller older buildings have diminished importance and should be excluded.

I wonder if residents of homes less than 50 years old may feel offended by exclusion from the historical timeline and thus push to “opt out” of the fee yet to be set?

An example of a vocal & longwinded opposition can be found on NextdoorArcadian followed by six replies in favor of  the Historical Protection Ordinance. Among the many objections alleged by Mr. Chen (on NextdoorArcadian) are property losing value, teachers losing jobs and the unworthiness of “common old homes”. ARG (Architectural Resources

Group) are widely respected consultants to other progressive cities. Arcadia doesn’t need suggestions of delay or misinformation. This is long-overdue and progressive ordinance has been available to all for online inspection for well over a year.

A Chinese interpreter and a designated person in the Planning Dept. were made available to answer questions.

Fortunately, ARG identified the 60 E. Huntington (Chase Bank) as qualifying for city, state and national recognition.

Author Adam Arenson, Director of Urban Studies Program at Manhattan College has referred this 1960 location to the L.A. Conservancy to protect the sculpture, mosaic, stained glass and painting overseen by designer/artist Millard Sheets.

Mr. Arenson will be include this Chase location in his newest book, Banking on Beauty, Millard Sheets & Midcentury Commercial Architecture in America, to be published in February of 2018.

I defend the Citywide Historical Protection Ordinance and hope that valid concerns can be addressed and questions answered to promote acceptance.

 

Caroline Blake

November 16, 2017

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