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Sixth edition will be discussed by the author at a WSHPHS talk Jan. 13. Page 5

One-time studio of “Pop Art Nun” recommended to be an historic monument. Page 2

Real Estate Museums, Libraries Home & Garden

Fremont branch library namesake and his wife are subjects of a new book.

Page 8


Section 2




366 S. June St.| Hancock Park | $13,500,000 Exquisite 1928 French Chateau. 8Bd /10 Bas. Enjoy Life. Betsy Malloy 323.806.0203 CalRE #01293183

Martin Beck | Major Properties 323.314.7729 CalRE #01778125

201 S. Plymouth Blvd. | Windsor Square | $4,799,000 Beautifully remodeled & restored English just 1 block to Larchmont. 3 bed/3.5 ba+1 bed GH

440 S. Arden Blvd.| Windsor Square | $6,680,000 440Arden.com. 5 Bed /6.5 Ba + basement w/theater, new ba+gym, laundry. Pool/spa, guest house.

144 S. Rossmore Ave. | Hancock Park | $5,600,000 SOLD Represented Buyer. Off Market. 6 Bed + 6.5 baths, pool.

101 S. Norton Ave | Windsor Square | $5,299,000 Gorgeous Mediterranean w/4 Bdrms, 4.5 bas, bright airy rooms, stunning kitchen & 1 bed BH

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

530 S. Rossmore Ave. | Hancock Park | $4,625,000 SOLD. Resort–like 25,089 sqft lot. Pool/spa, 4Bed/2.5ba in main house+Studio Apt ADU. Magical!

330 S. Irving Blvd. | Windsor Square | $4,595,000 Stunning architectural with 2-story guest house, ideal for a family member, screening room or home office.

601 N. Larchmont Bl. | Larchmont Village| $4,550,000 What a fantastic opportunity to purchase a comm’l property. Two separate structures. Co-listed. Martin Beck | Major Properties Betsy Malloy 323.314.7729 323.806.0203 CalRE #01778125 CalRE #01293183

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

Erik Flexner 323.383.3950 CalRE #01352476

238 S. Norton Ave. | Windsor Square | $2,995,000 Family friendly Traditional on Norton with 5 bedrooms, 3 baths & newer kitchen plus large yard. Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

316 N. Rossmore #606 | Larchmont Village| $2,299,000 Penthouse w/ sensational NW west views of golf course. Largest 3BD + 2BA floor plan. 24/7 security+valet. Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

1556-1558 Ogden Dr. | Mid-Los Angeles | $1,575,000 Very Attractive duplex, well maintained & has great appeal. 3Bd / 1Ba each. Co-Listed.

637 Wilcox #1B | Hancock Park | $1,100,000 Rarely available 2Bd + 2.5Ba single level w/ terrace & golf course views. 24/7 security, community pool.

571 Cahuenga Blvd. | Hancock Park | $12,500/MO For Lease includes all utilities. Also for sale $3,099,000. All redone in 2018. 3Bd / 3Bas + studio apt, pool.

330 N Plymouth Bl. | Larchmont Village | $4,800/ MO Close to Larchmont Village, this sweet home has 3 beds/2bas. AC/heat. Hrdwd flrs. Garage.

Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

Barbara Allen 323.610.1781 CalRE #01487763

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

432 S. Lucerne Blvd. | Windsor Square | $3,895,000 IN ESCROW. Craftsman w/ 3Bd+4Ba. Large yard w/ pool & spa. Pool house. Seconds to Larchmont Village.

Betsy Malloy 323.806.0203 CalRE #01293183

Martin Beck | Major Properties 323.314.7729 CalRE #01778125

346 N. Gower St.| Larchmont Village | $1,936,000 In Escrow. Sparkling Spanish mere seconds from Larchmont Village w/3BD+2.5BA. 346Gower.com Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

COLDWELLBANKERHOMES.COM Hancock Park 323.464.9272 | 251 N Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004 The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Realty are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2020 Coldwell Banker Realty. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Realty fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. CalDRE #: 00616212




Larchmont Chronicle

Finding hope in small things that can hold greatness

Last month, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission recommended that the City Council designate the former print studio of Sister Mary Corita Kent, the “Pop Art Nun,” as an Historic-Cultural Monument — thus ending the year with a ray of hope. With all the challenges that our fair city has endured in the past year, be it the pandemic, economic collapse and social unrest, the declaration of such a humble landmark, altered, aged and standing in the way of development, showed that Los Angeles had not relinquished its duty to preserve and protect its heritage even as it continues to re-examine and broaden what that heritage is. The small building at 5518 Franklin Ave., just west of Western Avenue, a dry cleaning establishment for the past 30 years, was where Corita and her students made prints between 1962 and 1968. Corita Kent lived and created during a tumultuous time, the late 1960s, which informed her character and art in significant ways. A religious sister and part of a teaching order, Sisters of the Immaculate Heart, Kent was inspired by the changes

On Preservation by

Brian Curran

in the Catholic Church introduced through Vatican II. Her work melded American corporate advertising graphics with religious texts, social and — later — political messaging, in an effort to elevate common art and everyday graphics to transcendence. Theologian Harvey Cox is quoted as saying about her art, “She could pass her hands over the commonest of everyday, the superficial, the oh-so-ordinary, and make it a vehicle of the luminous … and the hope filled.” Kent’s work is highly respected and influential, and it is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. However, as a woman and a religious sister whose career was tragically cut short by cancer, Corita’s legacy as a Los Angeles artist and cultural figure is not as well known.

The designation of her former studio as a city HistoricCultural Monument will provide a tangible connection to her history, given that most of the structures associated with her at Immaculate Heart College are now lost. As a preservation question, the designation of this site is also remarkable in that the studio had been heavily altered over time. A functional and utilitarian building, even during Corita’s residence, her studio space subsequently became a health food store and ultimately the dry cleaner’s. This case demonstrates the challenge in landmarking non-residential sites, especially those associated with cultural figures as well as marginalized communities, because such heritage is often not grand or picturesque, but homely. Another such site is one designated in January of 2020, the Monday Women’s Club in Venice. Scarcely more than a deteriorating shack, that building is a rare remaining example of an African-American women’s clubhouse used at a time when Black women were unable to join white women’s clubs. The Greater Wilshire community received its own

New Listing

New Listing

212 N. Windsor |$2,850,000 4 Bed+6 Bath| Windsor Square

339 N. Irving |$1,495,000 3 Bed+2 Bath|Larchmont Village

New Listing 322 S. Rossmore| $5,995,000 5 Bed+5 Bath|Hancock Park

In Escrow

201 S. Rimpau| $5,795,000 4 Bed+4.5 Bath| Hancock Park

FORMER STUDIO of Corita Kent from 1962 to 1968 has been a dry cleaning establishment for the past 30 years.

humble landmark this year with the designation of the Sycamore Bungalow Court

(617-623 1/2 N. Sycamore Ave.), which is an increas(Please turn to page 4)


Image courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community

New Listing 137 S. Larchmont|$2,995,000 4 Bed+4 Bath|Windsor Square

Now Showing 2340 Nottingham| $7,995,000 5 Bed+7 Bath | Los Feliz

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Pete Buonocore

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Larchmont Chronicle




A quick trip through Los Angeles history with Wayne Ratkovich, Part II

By John Welborne Last month, the Larchmont Chronicle featured the first half of a talk that Windsor Square resident, and “famous real estate developer,” Wayne Ratkovich presented to the Auxiliary of the Hospital of the Good Samaritan in the spring of last year. Also last month, Wayne received another accolade, being honored on December 8 by the USC Architectural Guild as recipient of the Guild’s 2020 Distinguished Business Leadership Award. The award was presented at the organization’s 61st annual awards “dinner” — a Zoom gathering, of course. But back to last year’s luncheon. There, Wayne told the guests that he would “share some thoughts about Los Angeles including what I think are the agents of change in Los Angeles and in cities throughout our country and the world.” He said he would conclude those thoughts by recounting his own company’s “experience with historic preservation and what I have discovered about the importance of preservation over the past few decades.” As I noted last month, this talk took place in May of 2019, a year before COVID-19

arrived. But the talk covers a long stretch of Los Angeles history, a period that included the arrival and departure of the Spanish Flu, as well as other detours on the road to where our city is today and where it is going. Regardless of the coronavirus bump in the road, I find Wayne’s predictions for the future to be sound, and I believe readers will find this conclusion of his talk to be as interesting as the first part. [The first part of this talk, that appeared last month, covered the first two of three 50-year periods: 1900 to 1950 and, then, 1950 to 2000.] THE CITY Part II By Wayne Ratkovich 2000 to 2050 Just prior to the turn of the 21st century, Staples Center opened at the corner of 11th and Figueroa. Decades in the planning phase, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels opened in 2002, and the next year the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall made its debut. These very significant additions were the first signs that a new era for downtown had begun.

LUNCHEON SPEAKER Wayne Ratkovich and Jo Ann.

Staples opened with over 225 events each year, serving as the home court for the Lakers, the Clippers, the Sparks and the Kings, and as a venue for awards shows and concerts. In 2008, the Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG, opened L.A. Live. Now, between Staples and L.A. Live, there are over 300 live events each year. Anschutz went on to assemble 45 acres in the South Park area of downtown and did more to stimulate development in South Park than the city’s redevelopment agency had accomplished in 30 years. In one of those all-too-seldom moments, the city council of Los Angeles passed constructive legislation in 1999

called the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, a law that exempted historic buildings and other older structures from having to strictly conform to zoning codes and building regulations. Easing these regulations sparked a very significant amount of renovation and produced a wave of new housing for downtown. Millennials everywhere The most significant factor in the rebirth of downtown — at least in my view – is one of demographics. The “millennials” are the largest demographic cohort in our country today, outnumbering the baby boomers by over two million. This is the generation born after 1980. You see them everywhere, and their influ-

ence is profound. This is a generation that glories in technology and uses it at every step of life. It is the generation that is changing the way we dress, the way we work, the restaurants we dine in and the entertainment we enjoy. I view The California Club’s decision to allow male members and guests to enter without ties as a signal that times have truly changed. I confess that I showed up here this morning without a tie, hoping you would mistake me for a millennial! It is almost impossible to keep track of the number of restaurants and bars opening downtown — it seems like a weekly occurrence. Most (Please turn to page 9)

BOTTEGA LOUIE’S vibrant (and noisy) rooms — packed with people — are part of the newly-active DTLA.




Discover Griffith Park with author and blogger Casey Schreiner Discover Griffith Park with author and founder of the blog modernhiker.com, Casey Schreiner, at a virtual event Mon., Jan. 26 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with the Ebell of Los Angeles. Schreiner will give his perspective of the treasured park, and why it’s “the best dang city park in the country.” Part of the Ebell’s Speaker Series, the event is open to the public and free. A suggested donation to the Ebell is encouraged. Registration is required for the event at ebel-

lofla.com/club/club-events. Schreiner is the author of “Discovering Griffith Park: A Local’s Guide,” available for purchase at Chevalier’s Books, at its new location: 133 N. Larchmont Blvd. The guide was featured in the August, 2020 issue of the Larchmont Chronicle. That column was written by Larry Guzin, a longtime Sierra Club hike leader in Griffith Park as well as a Himalayan trekker and president of the Windsor Square Association. Visit: tinyurl.com/yd4swzbe

Larchmont Chronicle

Real Estate Sales

LOVE IS HARD WORK, 1985, serigraph. Corita Art Center.

Photo by Arthur Evans


SOLD: This home at 134 S. Windsor Blvd. in Windsor Square was sold in November for $3,838,000.

ingly rare type of Los Angeles housing once ubiquitous in the local urban landscape and, of which, approximately 350 remain citywide. A similar bungalow court was demolished on Norton Ave. in 2017 by the infamous Wiseman Residential development company that has a track record of unpermitted demolitions of historic structures including one in Hollywood earlier this year. 2020 has been a year of finding hope in small things. It is fitting that the city, in seeking to deepen and enrich its collection of historic resources, should find room to include such lowly structures as Sister Corita Kent’s studio, recognizing that sometimes the unremarkable can hold great significance and reflect hope for a better world. It brings to mind, especially at this time of year, another modest structure that legend has it served a purpose far greater than its worth — the manger of the nativity.

444 Muirfield Rd. 511 S. Arden Blvd. 324 Muirfield Rd. 134 S. Windsor Blvd. 524 N. Fuller Ave. 617 N. June St. 537 N. Gower St. 461 N. Highland Ave. 245 N. Plymouth Blvd. 464 S. Highland Ave. 843 Hauser Blvd. 850 S. Spaulding Ave. 530 N. Stanley Ave. 607 S. Orange Dr. 803 S. Highland Ave. 5156 Raleigh St. 623 N. Lucerne Blvd. 950 Muirfield Rd. 555 N. Irving Blvd. 423 S. Wilton Pl. 646 N. Gower St. 118 S. Wilton Pl. 534 N. Bronson Ave. 421 S. Wilton Pl. 634 N. Gramercy Pl. 974 3rd Ave. 5375 Edgewood Pl.

(Continued from page 2)

Single family homes

(Please turn to page 5)

$6,700,000 6,510,000 4,680,000 3,838,000 3,450,000 3,129,750 2,499,000 2,062,500 1,930,000 1,910,000 1,755,000 1,690,000 1,665,000 1,505,000 1,500,000 1,389,000 1,350,000 1,350,000 1,318,000 1,192,000 1,150,000 1,075,000 1,067,500 1,050,000 1,040,000 989,000 940,000

Larchmont Chronicle


Park La Brea Residents annual meeting Jan. 12 Park La Brea Residents Association (PLBRA) will hold its annual meeting Tues., Jan. 12 at 5 p.m. via Zoom. New officers and board members will be announced at that time. Much like life everywhere else, this year was a little

different when conducting meetings, accomplishing what needed to be done for residents at Park La Brea and also with holding the election for the new board, says outgoing president Susan Ferris. PLBRA has been making more use of email, so-

Planning seminar on draft ordinance is Jan. 13 A public information seminar on the City Planning Dept. draft of its proposed new Processes and Procedures Ordinance will be held on Wed., Jan. 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. The 700-page draft ordinance will act as the administrative guide for the New Zon-

ing Code, which is the first chapter of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. To be notified about the seminar and other events, visit planning.lacity.org/about/ email-sign-up. For more information on the draft ordinance, visit Planning4LA.org.

cial media and their updated website. “One thing that is very exciting is the engagement we have seen,” said Ferris. “With the updated newsletter and website we are seeing a lot of folks getting more involved.” “The other thing that is different is that we are voting for the new board via mail, and for the first time ever having a candidate forum for the PLBRA members so they get to meet and ask questions via Zoom,” she continued.


WSHPHS hosts talk on city architecture Hear about the some of the renowned architecture of Los Angeles in a talk by Robert Inman on “An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles” through the Windsor SquareHancock Park Historical Society Wed., Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Originally written 50 years ago by architectural historians Robert Winter and David Gebhard, the sixth edition of the book was revised and updated by Inman in 2018. Robert Inman will speak on the book

as part of a monthly series of Zoom programs being presented by the WSHPHS. Tickets to attend are $10, or $55 including an autographed copy of the book. For more information on this and other talks in the series, visit windsorsquarehancockpark.com.

Real Estate Sales (Continued from page 4)

Condominiums 5057 Maplewood Ave., #PH5 5601 W. Olympic Blvd., #202 333 S. Wilton Pl., #5 5764 San Vicente Blvd., #304 600 S. Ridgeley Dr., #207 5051 Rosewood Ave., #203 532 N. Rossmore Ave., #412

$940,000 885,000 775,000 771,000 710,000 596,000 439,500


INSTALLATION of exterior cladding around the rectangular windows at the new Audrey Irmas Pavilion at Wilshire Boulevard Temple is nearly complete.

Photo by Gary Leonard, December 2, 2020


Larchmont Chronicle



National Trust adds Ebell to list of places where women made history

By Helene Seifer In honor of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Saving Places division announced in January 2020 a crowdsourcing campaign to find 1,000 places across America where women made history. The response to collecting these largely forgotten or undervalued stories has been so enthusiastic that they decided to keep going past the original goal. To date their website includes over 1,100 entries. The Ebell of Los Angeles was named to that valuable roster in November 2020, having already been awarded a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. Under a photograph of the women’s club’s Wilshire Boulevard facade, the Trust’s Ebell description includes, “… founded in 1894 by a small group of women determined to advance women’s opportunities in education, civic improvement and ‘in every branch of culture.’” Ebell President Patty Lombard is proud that the club has earned a place in women’s history, stating, “We are simply thrilled to have the Ebell included on this important list

NOW: THE EBELL of Los Angeles makes women’s history.

and we will continue to make women’s history.” Women’s accomplishments large and small are represented in this compilation of places and faces, as Dennee Frey, one of the drafters of the Ebell application, notes. “What’s wonderful about the [National Trust website] is it includes very established places and some very modest places and homes that celebrate a particular woman.” Among the entries are the Rochester, New York home of suffragette Susan B. Anthony, along with information about the Anchorage, Alaska nurse and mountaineer Mary “Dolly” Lefever, who was the first woman to ascend the tallest peak on each continent. Also included are Virginia Glover Outley Ballou, a Black businesswoman responsible for creating a residential devel-

opment in Albuquerque, New Mexico for Black servicemen who were prohibited from using their G.I. Bill loans to purchase homes anywhere else in the city. Another entry is the founding of the world’s first all-woman flyfisher club in Claryville, New York. Locally, notable sites include artist and social justice advocate Sister Corita Kent’s Hollywood art studio, downtown’s Hotel Figueroa, established in 1926 as a safe haven for women traveling alone, and the West Adams home of Hattie McDaniel, the first African American woman to win an Academy Award. Many places commemorated by the Trust are only photographs and memories; others have been repurposed or turned into museums. Some, such as the Ebell, still operate with their original intent. Be-

THEN: THEATRICAL PERFORMANCE in the Ebell Lounge, 1930.

ing prominently included on the National Trust list could help increase visibility for much-needed fundraising to make certain the remainder of “herstory” doesn’t disappear. Ebell director of development Lorraine Spector affirms, “I think it is great for our visibility and will help us get grants in the future.” Grant writing is a recent endeavor for the Ebell, which only established a fundraising arm, the Friends 501(c)3, in

2019. In October, the Ebell received a $5,000 grant from the California Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to partially cover a safety and accessibility study for the 94-year-old building and its recently replanted courtyard garden, adding to the $30,000 given for that purpose in 2019. Also this October, the Charles H. Stout Foundation awarded $4,500 to begin implementing safety enhancements in the (Please turn to page 7)

May All Your Dreams Come True In This New Year!

366 S. June St. Hancock Park $13,500,000 Exquisite 1928 French Chateau. 8 Bedrooms / 10 Baths Enjoy life!

Betsy Malloy 323-806-0203 CA DRE: 01293183


SOLD 424 N. Larchmont Blvd. Hancock Park

$3,525,000 Co-listed

601 N. Larchmont Blvd. Hancock Park

1556-1558 Ogden Dr. Mid-Los Angeles



What a fantastic opportunity to purchase a commercial property. Two separate structures. Co-listed

Very attractive duplex, well-maintained & has great appeal. 3 Bd / 1 Ba each. Co-listed

Martin Beck 323-314-7729 CA DRE: 01778125

Larchmont Chronicle




Visit libraries online for a lot more than books Learn a language, share your poetry, and dabble in art at many of the online events offered for children, teens and adults by the Los Angeles Public Library. Several book clubs in various subjects and age groups are also offered. Bring your creative projects or be inspired by an art


NOW: OPEN HOUSE gathering in the Ebell garden, 2019.


(Continued from page 6) garden. Spotlighting women’s contributions to the American story helps reshape how history itself is defined. A quote from eminent historian and feminist Gerda Lerner on the National Trust website serves to summarize the project. “Everything that explains the world has in fact explained a world that does not exist, a world in which men are at the center of the human enterprise and women are at the margin ‘helping’ them. Such a world does not exist —

never has.” To read about these remarkable places and outstanding

JOHN C. FREMONT Online only

women, go to savingplaces.org, then search “where women made history.”

MEMORIAL Online only WILSHIRE Online only ASK A LIBRARIAN 213-228-7272 infonow@lapl.org

THEN: EBELL COMMITTEE MEMBERS in the garden circa 1929.


201 South Plymouth Blvd.~ $4,799,000 Beautiful English with 3 large bedrooms, 4 baths plus a guest house. Prime corner lot with room for a pool.


208 North Beachwood Dr.~ $1,995,000 Sold in one week for the asking price. Romantic Spanish with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and newer cook’s kitchen.

RICK LLANOS (C) 323 323-810 323-810 810-0828 8100828 (O) 323 323-460 323-460 460-7617 4607617 rllanos@coldwellbanker.com CalRE#01123101


HOURS *Library-to-Go at Fairfax and other select libraries: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Fri., Jan. 1 and Mon., Jan. 18. Visit lapl.org.

prompt at the Weekly Art Circle from Central Library online Wednesdays at noon for teens and adults. Visit lapl. org to sign up. Join a Yoga & Meditation class with Master John online from the Memorial Branch Library on Fri., Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. Email dmatthews@lapl. org to participate on Zoom. A Coding Class for Kids is Mon., Jan. 11 at 3 p.m. online from the Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library. Contact mrobinson@lapl.org for the Zoom link and more information.

Winter Reading Challenge at LAPL

The post-holiday slump has begun, and the pandemic has us all down, but the vaccine is on its way, and the Los Angeles Public Library has got you covered with the Winter Reading Challenge. The program, which runs through Sat., Jan. 9, is for all ages, and includes neighborhood science classes, sessions with makers of all kinds from near and far, as well as a coding challenge and the chance to win prizes from the Library Store. Visit lapl.org/winter.

GREAT 2021!

238 South Norton Ave.~ $2,995,,000 Family-friendly Traditional with 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, wonderful new kitchen and pool-sized lot.


527 North Cherokee Ave.~ $2,499,000 Charming fixer on a great block with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, guest house & pool.

101 South Norton Ave.~ $5,299,000 Gorgeous remodeled Mediterranean on a large lot with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths plus a guest house.


525 North Mansfield Ave.~ $1,199,000 Sold in one week with multiple offers and well over the asking price. Charming 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and newer kitchen & bath.





Larchmont Chronicle

Jessie, John Frémont: ‘She was the Better Man of the Two’

Few presidents who serve four years or less find an “enduring place in the popular imagination,” wrote Steve Inskeep recently in “The New York Times.” I think it is safe to say that far fewer failed presidential candidates find any place in history at all. Unless Steve Inskeep writes about the candidate, that is. In “Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War,” Inskeep, National Public Radio co-host, historian and writer of great narrative skill, tells the story of the Frémonts and their time in such a way that has moved the needle of my historical interests toward the layered complexity of 19thcentury America. It is no small matter that Jessie Benton Frémont’s name is first in the title of this joint biography of the mid-19th century’s original power couple. But more on Jessie in a minute. John C. Frémont — whose name has been given to at least 14 U.S. cities and towns, four counties, numerous geographical features, schools and school districts, bridges, streets, hospitals, and, of

Just Sold

Home Ground by

Paula Panich

course, the John C. Fremont Branch Library on Melrose — was the first presidential candidate of the newly formed Republican Party in 1856. Frémont was a national hero, known as the Pathfinder. He made four great expeditions into the unmapped regions of the Western U.S., including, famously, California, and as a result, settlers came rushing across the continent. These expeditions, “in terms of exertion, isolation, danger, and death, were much like going to war,” writes Inskeep. Jessie Benton Frémont, though, was the making of him. The country learned of every detail of his (sometimes foolhardy) bravery because Jessie was an organized and focused writer — they wrote books, long newspaper articles, all under John’s name. Some thought John was “as great as Jesus Christ.” Jessie was a brilliant promoter and used the mass media with

cunning and skill. (“She was the better man of the two,” wrote a contemporary.) Jessie Benton was the beloved daughter of Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, who served Missouri as one of its first two senators after statehood. He had been a lawyer and a newspaper editor (“Newspapers are the school of public instruction,” he wrote), and he had an outsize influence on the country in his 30-year tenure as Senator, anticipating, by close to two centuries, the role that trade with Asia would have on the U.S. Jessie was tutored in politics by her father as a son would have been, and she greased the wheels of national politics for John, whose expeditions fit perfectly with his father-in-law’s belief in Mani-

Prominent local writer, Catherine Coffin Phillips, penned a biography of Jessie Benton Frémont in 1935. It is still in print (just not the fine press John Henry Nash version pictured).

fest Destiny. Theirs was a heady mix of a marriage; Jessie and John were flawed and complicated people who lived in a turbulent time. Inskeep’s book tells the story of the Frémonts and what swirled around them — slavery, abolitionism, racism, immigration, vested interests, self-dealing, religious bigotry, financial gain and disaster, gold and more gold, war, phys- NEW BOOK brings Mrs. Frémont to the fore. ical violence in the Senate, cities on fire, cam- is a 165-year-old news flash: paign lies, a birther movement “The Latest News. Received — and the telegraph. by Magnetic Telegraph. PhilaI’ve read much of this book delphia, Oct. 16 – 2 ½ P.M. twice. Since we may well be at “The returns are so utterly home awaiting the vaccine for confused and unreliable that it a bit longer, it is a worthwhile is impossible to decide how the book that reflects on our own election has resulted. The city time. is full of forged returns from In 1856, prior to the na- different counties [which] are tional election, Pennsylvania being extensively circulated held its state elections. Below for gambling purposes.’”

Remarkable 1920’s Spanish Estate in Hancock Park


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Compass is a licensed real estate broker (01991628) in the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice.

Larchmont Chronicle


(Continued from page 3) notable among them is Bottega Louie at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue. The restaurant’s annual volume is an incredible $24 million, which must rank it number one in the city. I warn you about going to Bottega Louie — it is very noisy and filled with the voices of those ever-present millennials. You have all heard about the amount of residential construction underway downtown. One of the major residential developers recently completed a survey of downtown projects that he believed had strong sponsorship and were likely to be completed. The total he identified exceeded 7,000 residential units. So, what is one to make of all this? It seems to me that we are witnessing the return of the city and not simply the construction of office buildings and an occasional hotel. The opportunity for the 50 years stretching from 2000 to 2050 is one of building a true city, and it is a very big opportunity. Listen to the words of a recent article in “GQ Magazine” titled “America’s Next Great City is Inside L.A.” — “For decades Downtown has been the dark center of L.A.


… a wasteland of half-empty office buildings and fully empty streets. But amid the glittering towers and crumbly Art Deco facades, a new generation of adventurous chefs, bartenders, loft dwellers, artists and developers are creating a neighborhood as electrifying and gritty as New York in the 70s. [It is the] coolest downtown in America.” There are many reasons for the return to the city so let’s talk about a few. Urbanization In 1990, the American Institute of Architects, the AIA, polled its members asking them to rate a list of 10 trends that the organization had identified. When the survey was in, the number one trend by a healthy margin was “The urbanization of suburbia.” The architects were focused on the United States and they were right on. But what they spotted was a part of urbanization on a global scale. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. My source for the following is Oxford University’s website, ourworldindata.org. In 1900, 39 percent of the U.S. population lived in urban areas. By 1950, it was 64 percent, by 2000 it climbed to 79 and by 2016 it was 81 percent.


This trend was not limited to the U.S. In 1900, 16 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 1950, it

almost doubled to 30 percent, and in 2016 it almost doubled again to 54 percent. Let’s go to China. In 1900,

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(Continued from page 9) Socialization Certainly, one of the things we humans enjoy is one another. Socialization is one of the reasons for urbanization and certainly one of its benefits. In the early 1990s, did any of us really believe that a coffee company in Seattle was going to succeed in selling $4 cups of coffee to middle incomeAmerica? Today, Starbucks is a local hangout in nearly every community in our country — check that, in our world! Coffee drinkers come alone and bring their laptops or iPads and work away while their senior citizen friends simply gather at a nearby table to debate the world’s issues. A few years ago, Jo Ann and I treated ourselves to two

SOCIALIZATION is an aspect of urbanization.


tickets to “Hamilton” in New York City. We arrived early, found our seats and engaged in a conversation with a lovely lady who shared with us her interesting story. She and her husband raised their family in a suburb of New York City. Her children, now raised with families of their own, still live in nearby suburbs. When her husband died, she made a very big and bold decision — she moved to New York City! As a long-time tennis player, she found and joined a club in the city and made new friends. She imposed some rules upon herself. One was to never drink her morning coffee in her home — always out to the city and to new friends. Another was to ride the bus to wherever she may be headed, and now her closest city friend was a fellow bus rider. She came to love the theater and found a way to deal with the expense. She learned that for every show there is someone that has fallen ill, missed an airplane or had some similar misfortune that made their attendance impossible and their ticket available. She

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City of Columbia, Maryland; Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston; and Harborplace in Baltimore, once put it this way: “The only legitimate purpose of a city is to provide for the life and growth of its citizens.’’ If we accept the urbanization numbers as accurate, our cities must be succeeding in meeting Rouse’s standard. We share our lives together in the city in so many inspiring and helpful ways. Gifted musicians share their talents at the concert hall, actors in the theaters and on URBAN MEETING PLACES include theaters. the screens, artists in the muselearned that there is a sepa- ums, athletes on the fields, rate and usually quite short chefs in their kitchens, cops line for these tickets and she on the street, first respondalso learned that there was ers when we desperately need an “app” called “I will stand them, educators at schools for you.” At an affordable cost and universities, nurses and she was able to visit New York doctors at hospitals and ministheaters weekly. The night we ters in our churches. And that met, a granddaughter was her is just getting started. guest in a single seat a row or If we need or want sometwo away. I tried not to dwell thing, it will be found in the on how the cost of her tickets city. An author whose name I cannot recall once said, “If you compared to ours! want your hair dyed purple at The role of the city Cities play such an important three o’clock in the morning, role in our lives. In a “Time” you can find such a service in magazine cover story, James New York City.” Rouse, the developer of the The city presents us with an

opportunity to fill important and needed economic roles whether as an employee or as the owner of an enterprise. These economic opportunities provide the resources to live a full and good life as we explore and experience the richness of the city. It is inevitable that as we gather in the city, challenges do emerge. Today, cities seek to achieve sustainability, the desire to function fully, efficiently and independently while preserving the opportunity for future generations to do likewise. Cities also seek to achieve resiliency, a strategy to return to form from disasters of all types and from all sources. And let’s not overlook the dark side of cities — crime is an ever­ -present challenge in the city as the nightly news constantly reminds us. I won’t go down the list you already know too well, but I am compelled to make a reference to homelessness. Homelessness is a disease of the city and a serious and a growing one. You and I and everyone we know must urge our elected officials to do more than give speeches. It is time for them to take immediate and bold action or step aside for someone who will. The future of our cities is at stake. (Please turn to page 11)

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OVIATT LOBBY features restored René Lalique glass and serves as the entry to the restaurant in the former haberdashery.


(Continued from page 10) The preservation of historic buildings — buildings distinguished by their history or their architecture — connects us to the history of our city. And for those of us old enough to be the parents of millennials, they connect us to important memories of our own lives. How many of us remember shopping at Bullock’s Wilshire or boarding a train at Union Station? My developing After five years as a developer of industrial properties, I purchased the Oviatt Building in 1977. I bought it from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for $500,000, about $5 per square foot for the 100,000-squarefoot building. The property was priced expecting the

building would be demolished and the property would be more economically successful as a parking lot. We concluded that market conditions supported a renovation of the building. Just two weeks into our ownership, a lovely lady from the city came to our office to congratulate us with the news that the Oviatt Building had been named a historic-cultural landmark. We had no idea what that meant, but there was nothing we could do about it. We decided to make it part of our marketing of the building, and it worked magically. We got as much press attention as a million-squarefoot building on Bunker Hill, and tenants flowed into the building, attracted by its historic status. The building became the home of Rex, Il Ristorante, the most elegant restaurant in

Los Angeles and for 17 years one of its most successful. The experience with the Oviatt changed forever my role as a developer. I no longer had interest in factories and warehouses. I realized that my little company could make a positive difference in the city, and it was something I wanted to continue to do. I changed the mission statement of my company to read that our mission was “to profitably produce developments that improve the quality of urban life.” That remains our mission statement today. I felt so much more relevance in following this mission, rather than developing industrial buildings. The



CHAPMAN MARKET was a community marketplace on Sixth Street between Alexandria and Kenmore avenues.

industrial buildings offered no connection to the past or to the future, and they gave my life so little purpose. Susan Orlean,

author of “The Library Book,” said it best with this insightful bit of wisdom in her book: (Please turn to page 12)

CHAPMAN RESTORED has lively shops and is a popular Koreatown destination.




FINE ARTS BUILDING on Sixth Street in DTLA always has housed commercial offices.


(Continued from page 11) “If you see something that can be set down and saved, and if you can see your life reflected in previous lives,

FINE ARTS LOBBY has been restored to its original grandeur.

and if you can see it reflected in subsequent ones, you can begin to discover order and harmony. You know that you are part of a larger story that has shape and purpose — a tangible, familiar past and a constantly refreshed future.” From the Oviatt came the Wiltern Theater, the Pellis-

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sier Building, Chapman Market, the Fine Arts Building and the 11-building campus of the former headquarters for Hughes Aircraft Company in Playa Vista. My, how things have changed! A city once known for destroying landmarks now has the largest historic preservation organization in the nation, the Los Angeles Conservancy. Google — a company of 29-year-olds (only a slight exaggeration) — knows that its employees value their place in history. When they moved into a former Hughes Aircraft Company warehouse, they then purchased, decommissioned and installed a Hughes-made helicopter as an historic sculpture at the building’s entry.

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WILTERN THEATER, an early Ratkovich restoration success.

GOOGLE values history, as shown by the restored Hughes helicopter placed outside the new YouTube offices in a former Hughes Aircraft Co. warehouse in Playa Vista.




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Poker is like life — it takes skill, good decisions and a bit of gambling by

George Epstein cess and failure. Our first five columns in the Larchmont Chronicle have set you on the way to playing poker better than most of your opponents. With more study and experience, you still can do better. There are so many strategies and tactics to be learned and refined — just as in life. Many people would disagree. After all, isn’t poker a form of gambling where you trust to luck? Yes, but so is life. Gambling is taking risk to gain something of value. (It

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Visit cities around the world with ‘Virtual City Walks’

Join the Los Angeles Conservancy with “Virtual City Walks: International Edition” on Saturdays this month and next. The program mixes up historic and contemporary buildings and features six locations, starting with the Danish Architecture Center: “Copenhagen: Scandinavian Cool” on Jan. 23. Next up is “Chicago: City of Architecture” on Jan. 30. “Boston: Reinvented” is Feb. 6; “Prague: Old Meets New” is Feb. 13. “New York City: SoHo Cast Iron Historic District” is Feb. 20, and “Los Angeles: Vintage Cool” closes out the

program on Feb. 27. All six sessions will be held via Zoom and are only available as a package on eventbrite.com as Virtual City Walks.

40th awards deadline

The applications deadline for the 40th annual Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Awards has been extended to Fri., Jan. 8 at 5 p.m. The awards honor outstanding achievement in historic preservation and will be presented at a luncheon in 2021. A processing fee is $150. For more information, visit laconservancy.org.

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emotional confusion or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in becoming

George Epstein, a long-time local resident, is the author of three poker books and currently is writing “Win More in Texas Hold’em.”


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over-aggressive — and losing many more chips until he recovers or goes broke. That can happen in life, too. Be it poker or life, success comes to those who make those decisions that offer a gain higher than the risk and to those who know how to build the size of their pots. But there is one big difference. Can you guess?

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could be money.) We do that every day of our lives. Key to success in life, as well as in playing poker, is making the best decisions. Getting a good education helps — be it poker or life. In both cases, the more good information you have and the more you learn, the better your chance of succeeding. In poker, we seek our opponents’ tells, and we try to “read” their hands. That is routine for a salesman, but also a daily occurrence for all of us in our interactions with others. Poker players have learned not to invest their chips when tired; your thinking is impaired. So, too, in our lives, we want to be alert when we make important decisions. Psychology is important in both poker and life, as are good health and logical thinking. Do not depend on hunches. Money management — how you handle all aspects of your finances — is essential in both. Can you imagine a successful poker player who fails to use money management? He needs to sustain his stacks of chips while patiently awaiting worthy starting hands. Likewise, adequate capital is essential for the new business owner or when the unexpected occurs. Any amount can prove to be too little if you don’t have good money management skills. We take precautions to avoid going on tilt when we lose a huge pot we were so sure was ours. Tilt is a state of mental or




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As we begin another year, I thought we should take a break from our lessons on how to win more at the poker table. Instead, let us contemplate how much alike are the games of poker and life. Do you know who said: “Life is just like a game. First you have to learn rules of the game, And then play it better than anyone else.” It was none other than the famed Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein, who created the Theory of Relativity! If it is good enough for him, then I certainly must agree. . . After we become expert in the rules of the game, it takes a good mind and lots of effort to learn the skills that make the difference between a winner and a loser — between suc-


Larchmont Chronicle



Opening date moved to the fall for the Academy Museum By Suzan Filipek If you’re anticipating a visit to see the Bruce the Shark exhibit from the movie “Jaws” hanging over the escalators at the new Academy Museum, 6067 Wilshire Blvd., you will have to wait a little while longer. The opening date has been pushed back to Sept. 30. Originally scheduled to open last month, the opening was then moved to April 2021, before its latest move to the fall. Construction and installation work continues, however. During the first weeks of December, shiny large “ACAD-

EMY MUSEUM” letters were being installed adjoining the iconic gold mosaic “lipstick” design element at the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Fairfax Ave. To prevent street closures, workers had access from a swing stage lowered from the top-floor Wilshire Terrace of the historic former May Co. building. To date, finishing touches have been put on the museum’s exhibitions; the building has obtained LEED Gold certification; and a pre-opening fundraising campaign has been completed, Museum


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and continued restrictions on public gatherings in Los Angeles, we have decided to push back our opening to Sept. 30, 2021 to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff. There is just too much uncertainty to move forward with a

spring opening right now. “We know a new day is coming for us all, and when it does, the Academy Museum will be ready to offer our visitors the remarkable experience we have all been wanting.” Visit academymuseum.org.

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Pl. When the suspect arrived he produced a handgun and demanded the victim’s property including a mobile phone and car keys before fleeing on foot on Dec. 2 at 4:40 a.m. A victim was walking near the corner of Melrose and Western on Dec. 7 at 12:30 a.m. when three suspects approached and began to attack, striking the victim on the head and kicking him to the ground. The suspects grabbed the victim’s laundry bag and mobile phone before fleeing. ASSAULT: During a protest at the Mayor’s Getty House residence near the corner of 6th and Irving, an officer was assaulted after a suspect pushed the officer on the ground, removed the victim’s helmet and struck the officer on the back of the head with an unknown object on Dec. 6 at 9:45 a.m.

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‘Professor Know-It-All’ knew it all for 32 years at Chronicle

Police Beat

(Continued from page 14) an apartment complex by unknown means on the 700 block of S. Wilton Pl. and stole computer and office equipment on Dec. 1 at 1 a.m. A vehicle’s license plates were stolen while parked in a lot on the 900 block of S. Gramercy Pl. between Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. and Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. Jewelry, tools and a radio were among the items stolen from inside a home on the 100 block of N. Ridgewood Pl. on Dec. 5 at 12:01 a.m. after a suspect gained access to the home through a rear door. Unknown property was stolen from inside a home on the 100 block of S. Ridgewood Pl. after a suspect kicked open a side door to gain access on Dec. 6 at 10:30 p.m. A suspect smashed the front window of a UHaul parking facility off of Western Avenue and removed keys to a vehicle in the lot on Dec. 7 at 11:04. The suspect fled in the stolen vehicle. A suspect broke the pet entry door to a home on the 500 block of N. St. Andrews Pl. on Dec. 13 at 6:55 a.m. The victim found the suspect shoving a stick, and poking his head, through the entry. Officers responded and took the suspect into custody. BURGLARY THEFT FROM VEHICLE: A catalytic convertor was stolen from a vehicle parked in a lot on the 700 block of S. Western Ave. on Dec. 7 between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. GRAND THEFTS AUTO: A 2018 silver Kia Rio was stolen while parked on the 200 block of S. Norton Ave. between Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 2 at 5:30 a.m. A 2001 white Chevrolet van

thought the paper needed something lighthearted and fun. The two were attending a Larchmont Boulevard Association board cocktail party after the Larchmont Family Fair and began discussing what the column should be called. Someone nearby joked that Bentley thought he “knew everything,” which gave them the idea for “Mr. Know-It-All,” which quickly was stolen from the El Cholo parking lot on Western Avenue on Dec. 3 at 1 a.m. A 1999 grey Honda Civic was stolen while parked near the corner of Second Street and Gramercy Place between Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 10:30 p.m. A 2001 brown Chevrolet Silverado was stolen on Dec. 8 at 11 p.m. while parked on the street near the corner of St. Andrews and Eighth Street. December crime stats for Wilshire Division were not received before press time.

Professor KnewIt-All Bill Bentley

inally supposed to be masking tape for painting cars, but it was too expensive. When 3M Company tried to make it more affordable by moving the adhesive to only the edges, the result was a “fiasco,” said Bentley. Angry automakers called the company “Scotch,” or cheap. Even though 3M changed the tape back, the name stuck. At the end of that first column, Bentley asked readers to mail in their “burning questions” in care of the Chronicle. In 1988, by the end of the first year, the column had found a comfortable home in the back of the second section, where it stayed until the final

column last month. At an average of four queries per month, Bentley has answered approximately 1,520 questions over the past 32 years. The most complex question he’s answered was reprised in the July 2014 issue. It related to the history behind the term “charley horse” for a knotted muscle. The answer is a “knotty” twist of the amorous habits of England’s King Charles II, which led to a term for women’s breasts (at the time, “charleys”), the shifting of the definition to include “milk,” and the appearance of old horses (with knotted muscles, etc.) used to pull milk wagons. A screenwriter, Bentley said he needed to bid us adieu because he is working on a project with Quentin Tarantino for Netflix and a series that’s on the California Gold Rush. You can send your own thanks and good wishes to him at willbent@prodigy.net.

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morphed into “Professor Know-It-All.” Thus began Bentley’s first column, appearing on page 16 of the first section in the February 1988 issue. To solicit queries based on word and phrase history, Bentley wrote his first column on three questions he himself was curious about. 1) Why are there 18 holes in golf? Answer: That’s where a quart of malt liquor ran out when the committee to standardize the game of golf was measuring the course. 2) Why do we color code boy babies blue and girl babies pink? Bentley’s answer was that the color blue was believed to repel evil spirits and boys were considered more valuable than girl babies. Later on, pink was chosen for girls to show how much “happier and healthier” they were than boys. 3) Why is clear (or frosted) tape called “Scotch” tape? According to Bentley, it was orig-


By Rachel Olivier Last month was the final installment of William Bentley’s “Professor Know-It-All” column. Bentley has been answering queries regarding word and phrase etymology for Larchmont Chronicle readers for 32 years. Bentley first pitched the idea to Jane Gilman, founder and former publisher of the Chronicle, because he

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Marc appleton • Bret parsons • steve vauGht

ARCaA PPLETON• •B Bret RET p PARSONS TEVE AUGHT MM arc ppleton arsons• •S s teveVv auGht Book design by Lentini Design & Marketing, Inc.



Marc appleton • Bret parsons • eleanor schrader

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The "Master Architects of Southern California 1920-1940" series presents the fourth volume in the 12-volume set profiling the extraordinary Paul R. Williams, FAIA. The series was created by architect Marc Appleton and realtor Bret Parsons along with contributing writers Steve Vaught, Eleanor Schrader, and Stephen Gee. May we suggest that you secure your books through Chevalier’s Bookstore or AngelCityPress.com. Happy New Year!

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310.497.5832 bret@bretparsons.com DRE 01418010

310.600.0288 aaronmontelongo@gmail.com DRE 01298036

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. DRE 01866771. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate.

Profile for Larchmont Chronicle

lc real estate 01 2021  

los angeles, local news, larchmont village, real estate sales, gallery, theatre, movie reviews, professor know it all, religious news, obit...

lc real estate 01 2021  

los angeles, local news, larchmont village, real estate sales, gallery, theatre, movie reviews, professor know it all, religious news, obit...