LC Real Estate 05 2024

Page 1


Miracle on Wilton Place. Sad saga has a happy ending and original bricks. Page 2

What’s up on Upper Larchmont? Find out at these local Boulevard spots. Page 10

Real estate Design foR living MuseuMs, libRaRies HoMe & gaRDen Section 2 LARCHMONT CHRONICLE MAY 2024
TV CITY Controversy continues around modernization project proposed at Beverly and Fairfax. Page 13 VIEW

The Nightmare on Wilton Place reaches a happy ending

Three years ago, I had the sad duty to report on the “Nightmare on Wilton Place,” the willful destruction of the interior of 215 S. Wilton Pl., Historic Cultural Monument #568. As City Planning’s Office of Historic Resources’ Lambert Giessinger described it, “It was one of the most egregious cases of demolition I have ever seen.” It was a shock that struck at the heart of the community preservation values in the Wilton Historic District. What made the demolition even further of interest was that it was a violation of the property’s Mills Act Contract, which carried with it substantial penalties, which, to the city’s credit, the city moved quickly to enforce.

For Marita Geraghty, the former owner of 215 S Wilton Pl., who had sold it to buyers who she was assured would be respectful stewards of the home that she and her former husband had lovingly restored and maintained, it was an ultimate betrayal. Neighbors reported dumpsters full of century-old oak flooring, fine paneling, light fixtures and bricks. Pictures would later reveal that the first and second floors had been brought down to the studs, a complete erasure of the historic interi-

On Preservation by

or of a designated landmark.

Stop work

The damage was halted when the Office of Historic Resources, Council District 13 and the City Attorney jumped into action. A complete reconstruction of the lost interiors was ordered under the management of a preservation architect, and a subcommittee of the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission was formed to monitor progress. Work was slow and painstaking at the start, with the property owner slow to comply. But the architectural talent and diplomatic skill of preservation architect Michele McDonough, a specialist in Craftsman houses, got the project moving.

Marita Geraghty contacted me recently with some intriguing news: the restoration of the home was nearly complete. She had been given the opportunity to view the work of which she commented, “The story has as happy an ending as we could have

hoped for, considering how devastating the destruction was.  The firm brought in to do the detail work — extensive wood panels on the walls, all the moldings, recreating the pocket doors, rebuilding the fireplace and the original built-ins (many with leaded glass)…. It was a large, difficult job.  Having been to the home, I am feeling very grateful that almost all of it looks right. It doesn’t look exactly right, because old-growth wood was removed.  The wood looks new.  The floors don’t

have the amazing patterns that the original oak did, but, still, it’s a miracle that it got to this point.”

Intrigued, as I say, I wanted to see the work for myself. I reached out to Michele McDonough who agreed to meet me for a walk-through. When I arrived, Ms. McDonough greeted me with Roy Yun, the perpetrator of the original demolition, who looked rather sheepish. Entering the house is almost like stepping back in time or onto a movie

(Please turn to Page 3)

2 SECTION TWO MAY 2024 Larchmont Chronicle
ORIGINAL living room in 2021. DESTROYED living room in 2021.

On Preservation

(Continued from Page 2)

set. The work was superb and to a high standard — smooth, crisp and glowing, like new — as the house must have felt when first built.

Construction on the project was carried out by KC Restoration, under the direction of Steve Lehne. While some elements like the fireplace brick and the lighting could

be salvaged, almost everything else was new. Beautiful oak floors were installed on the first floor and maple on the second. Flat-sawn fir paneling stained dark as black coffee adorned the walls. The built-in furniture was recreated with new leaded glass. The project also included accommodation to modern living with the installation of a new kitchen and three new bathrooms. The kitchen reused

some original cabinetry with new cupboards, respectfully echoing the historic carpentry. The project team is still awaiting final sign-off from the Cultural Heritage Commission, but there is ample light at the end of the tunnel.

The level of craftsmanship and quality of the materials could not have made the cost

of this restoration anything less than astronomical. An enormous penalty has been paid for the damaging of a home that should have been treasured. This is the lesson that must be imparted to sellers, buyers and real estate agents for historic properties. An understanding of preservation regulations, benefits and

obligations must be shared by all parties to avoid preventable consequences. All must be made to know that a house is not merely being exchanged, but a torch is being passed, and a responsibility for stewardship is being assumed, and that the burden of a historic property is not light, but is always worthwhile.

© 2024 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHHS and the BHHS symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS. Buyer is advised Paul R. Williams, AIA, French Normandy masterpiece at 601 Lorraine is now available for the first time in almost 60 years. Originally built in 1932 for the William Collins family and acquired in 1966 by the Lee Chase family who still owns it today. The curb appeal is stately and undeniably Paul Williams. The classic entry showcases Paul’s signature winding staircase creating a dramatic and elegant impression that carries you back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. The banister looks as spectacular as it did in 1932 and is rumored to have been carved on-site during construction. The grand-scale living room has high ceilings, crown molding, and Paul’s famous indooroutdoor flow with double doors to the backyard. The library/den has the original paneling and a hidden bar accessed by a secret panel to hide spirits during prohibition. In 1967 the Chase Family wanted to remove a wall in the kitchen that separated the butler’s pantry. Mr. Williams assisted them in this endeavor. Offering almost 5000 square feet of living space with 5 bedrooms 5 bathrooms, and over an 18,000 square foot lot this stately property is ready to be restored, remodeled, or reimagined. Included in many publications, the Chase Residence was given a Landmark Award from the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society in 1994. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to own a true piece of Southern California architectural history. 601 Lorraine Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90005 5 BD | 5 BA | 4,893 sqft offered at $5,488,000 WINDSOR SQUARE TIM PERRY RICHARD BATTAGLIA Paul R. Williams, FAIA, French Normandy masterpiece at 601 Lorraine is now available for the first time in almost 60 years. Originally built in 1932 for the William Collins family and acquired in 1966 by the Lee Chase family, who still owns it today. The curb appeal is stately and undeniably Paul Williams. The classic entry showcases Paul’s signature winding staircase creating a dramatic and elegant impression that carries you back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. The banister looks as spectacular as it did in 1932 and is rumored to have been carved on-site during construction. The grand-scale living room has high ceilings, crown molding, and Paul’s famous indoor-outdoor flow with double doors to the backyard. The library/den has the original paneling and a hidden bar accessed by a secret panel to hide spirits during prohibition. In 1967 the Chase Family wanted to remove a wall in the kitchen that separated the butler’s pantry. Mr. Williams assisted them in this endeavor. Offering almost 5000 square feet of living space with 5 bedrooms 5 bathrooms, and over an 18,000 square foot lot, this stately property is ready to be restored, remodeled, or reimagined. Included in many publications, the Chase Residence was given a Landmark Award from the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society in 1994. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to own a true piece of Southern California architectural history. SOLD! SOLD!
RESTORED living room. DINING ROOM as sold in 2021.
RESTORED dining room window and cabinets. Larchmont Chronicle MAY 2024 SECTION TWO 3
DEMOLISHED historic dining room in 2021.

More responses re: Park(let)

In the April issue of the Larchmont Chronicle , we shared reactions from readers to the very preliminary ideas about a possible “Larchmont Central Park(let)” that were presented in the March issue (

These are ideas being considered by neighbors and the board of directors of the Larchmont Boulevard Association (LBA). The ideas were

expressed in concept drawings prepared for the LBA by Jeffrey Smith and his team at JMS Design Associates.

The LBA seeks to stimulate public discussion of the parklet concept and possible preliminary design approaches that might be used.

An additional response came from Larchmont Village Neighborhood resident Paul Nankivell, who wrote, in part: “Saw the article about the

potential for parklets in the middle of Larchmont and couldn’t be more excited.  ... I’ve had lots of ideas and hopes for the future of Larchmont, specifically regarding placemaking, parklets and community.

One thing I’d like to suggest about parklet furniture is to please consider different forms of wood parklets.

I’ve attached examples [one, from London, is shown here], but two things that I think these do versus traditional tables and seats is that they provide more seating and easily integrate plants and other greenery into the build.”

Discussing a possible Larchmont Central Park(let) will be a months- and years-long process, no doubt. The LBA continues to seek community feedback, positive or negative.

Windsor Square prepares for disaster: Are you ready for The Big One?

It’s impossible to live in California and not be aware of the very real threat that at any moment an earthquake could roil the land beneath our feet, toppling buildings, destroying freeways and causing fires. How many of us are ready for The Big One?


The City of Los Angeles Emergency Management

Dept. has addressed the lack of information about best ways to prepare for a disaster by establishing the “Ready Your L.A. Neighborhood” plan, or RYLAN. Lists of what a household or business needs in an emergency kit, which critical documents to gather (such as medical information and property records), and how to coordinate within a neighborhood or business

community can be found at Angelenos can also contact to sign up individually, or with friends or neighbors to take an in-person or Zoom RYLAN workshop.

Windsor Square

“The problem is RYLAN has a lot of steps and people wouldn’t do those steps,” says Windsor Square Association board member Steve Kazanji-

an. He notes that “Earthquake preparedness to me was the single most valuable thing we could do [as a board initiative] because it would save lives… The city has identified that the first 90 minutes [after an earthquake] are critical. Then, the first couple of weeks after The Big One, we’ll be on our own… Using RYLAN as the basis, we took the essence of it and created a streamlined program for Windsor Square.” They rebranded it Windsor Square Prepare.

Kazanjian and fellow WSA

board member Gary Gilbert have been working for a year to pilot the modified step-bystep guide using eight blocks in the roughly 70-block Windsor Square neighborhood. Gilbert is concentrating on refining lists to post on the Windsor Square Association website, such as the emergency kit supply list. Kazanjian is focusing on organizing the neighborhood. Although some preparedness information is posted on the website ( now, it

(Please turn to Page 11)

4 SECTION TWO MAY 2024 Larchmont Chronicle
WOOD PARKLET idea from London, England, shared by Paul Nankivell. Photo courtesy of Meristem Design POSSIBLE Larchmont Central Park(let) as seen in an aerial concept drawing. PARKLET concept shown in a view from inside the city’s central surface parking lot. Renderings by JMS Design Associates Please share thoughts with the chair of the LBA’s Beautifica- tion Committee, Romi Cortier, at:
Larchmont Chronicle MAY 2024 SECTION TWO 5

Academy Museum pays homage to city’s filmmaker founders

Learn about the early days of filmmaking in Los Angeles at the new exhibit, “Hollywoodland: Jewish Founders and the Making of a Movie Capital,” opening Sun., May 19, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

It is the museum’s first permanent exhibition since it opened in 2021.

Told in English and Spanish, the origin story tells how the studio system would go on to transform Los Angeles into a global epicenter of cinema.

“The American film industry began developing amid an influx of immigration to

the United States by Jewish émigrés escaping European pogroms and poverty,” curator Dara Jaffe said in announcing the exhibit.

Most of Hollywood’s founders were in this wave of Jewish immigrants who recognized that the industry didn’t enforce the same antisemitic barrier as other professions, Jaffe added.

“The stories told in ‘Hollywoodland’ bring the intertwined histories of Los Angeles and the Hollywood studio system to life and resonate with stories of immigrants from around the world,” added Academy Mu-

seum Director and President Jacqueline Stewart.

The exhibit explores the original eight “major” film studios in a segment called “Film Frontier to Industry Town, 1902-1929,” and will also include showings of the documentary, “From the

Shtetl to the Studio: The Jewish Story of Hollywood.”

Public programs

Opening day on May 19 will feature two public programs.

The first is a book signing with Neal Gabler, author of “An Empire of Their Own:

(Please turn to Page 7)

Ruscha discusses his first retrospective in 20 years

Artist Ed Ruscha and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan sat together on April 3 in front of two long acrylic-on-canvas panels — the artist’s 2007 work, “Azteca / Azteca in Decline.” The artwork crosses a BCAM gallery wall about 60 feet long, and it served as a colorful backdrop for a lively discussion for the assembled art aficionados.

The purpose of the conversation was to kick off “Ed Ruscha / Now Then,” the artist’s first retrospective in 20 years. It continues at LACMA through Oct. 6. It first was shown at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

Attendees on April 3 included Govan’s co-organizer of the exhibit, Christophe Cherix, the Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of

Drawings and Prints at MoMA.

The exhibit is a collaboration among the artist and Govan and Cherix and their curatorial colleagues.

Near the end of the conversation, Govan said of the retrospective exhibit, to Ruscha: “You said the other day

that it’s like going backwards on a roller coaster.” Ruscha responded: “Oh well, yeah; a look in the rearview mirror; it’s an avalanche of things from my past that’s kind of jarring in a way.” But Ruscha also was emphatic that he is not done yet. Visit

6 SECTION TWO MAY 2024 Larchmont Chronicle
DEDICATION of the Hollywoodland sign, Dec. 1923. ED RUSCHA talks with Michael Govan at LACMA on April 3. WARNER BROTHERS: Sam Warner, Harry M. Warner, Jack L. Warner and Albert Warner, undated. Photos courtesy Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Relive the glamour and Golden Age at Hollywood Heritage exhibit

See the costumes and glamour of Hollywood history in a new exhibit,  “Meet The Stars: 100 Years of MGM and the Golden Age of Hollywood,” at the Hollywood Heritage Museum.

The celebration of Hollywood’s golden era (1926 to 1960), with a special nod to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios’ 100th anniversary, features vintage costumes, rare photographs and more — all culled from more than 20 private collections.

The exhibit is open weekends through June 16 at 2100 N. Highland Ave.


Highlights include a Judy

Me in St. Louis,” as well as clothes worn by a Golden Age all-star line-up that includes: Greer Garson, Hedy Lamarr, Marion Davies, Clark Gable, Eleanor Powell, Cary Grant, Ann Miller, William Powell, Mae West, Dorothy Lamour and Shirley Temple.

Besides clothing, rarely seen photographs and personally owned items will allow visitors to humanize the stars of the silver screen from yesteryear.  Memorabilia, more

Among the items on display is a Technicolor camera that filmed “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the Wind.” Rare memorabilia related to the 1932 feature “Grand Hotel” feature a guest register signed by Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Louis B. Mayer and Cecil B. De-

Mille. The display also includes premiere programs and photos.

Across from the Bowl

The museum is housed in the legendary Lasky-DeMille Barn across Highland Avenue from the Hollywood Bowl. The Barn is where the first feature-length film was produced in 1912. The 1901 barn-turned-studio was designated a California Historic Landmark in 1956.

According to Museum director and co-curator Angie Schneider, “This is the first time the Hollywood Heritage Museum has done an exhibit on this scale.”

Curator and longtime movie memorabilia collector Darin Barnes says, “It’s been so gratifying connecting with fellow collectors around the country to bring these one-of-a-kind

items together in one space.” Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m weekends. Parking is adjacent. Check ahead to confirm days and times. General admission is $10. Visit

the 1948 feature “Let’s Live a Little” are among items on display in the legendary Lasky-DeMille Barn.

Academy Museum

(Continued from Page 6)

How the Jews Invented Hollywood,” 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Ted Mann Theater Lobby.

Following that at 6 p.m. in the Ted Mann Theater is a “Curator Conversation”

where Gabler will talk with curator Dara Jaffe. Jacqueline Stewart will moderate.

The exhibit is in the LAIKA Gallery at the Academy Museum on the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire at 6067 Wilshire Blvd. Learn more at

Larchmont Chronicle MAY 2024 SECTION TWO 7
Right: A 1938 PAINTING of Hedy Lamarr by actor Reginald Gardner titled “The Scorpio” and a gown she wore in Garland costume from “Meet OPENING DAY of the exhibit last month drew a crowd. THE ORIGINAL WIG used by MGM to change Lucille Ball’s hair color to its famous red. ON THE SET of “Ben Hur” (1925). Photo courtesy Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Burroughs Middle School modernization on track as cost rises

Cost projections for the John Burroughs Middle School Modernization Project have been on the upswing since it was first announced.

In the earliest days of the approval process, 3 to 5 years ago, the total cost was estimated at $208 million. The figure was adjusted after the project was bid and awarded to a contactor in 2021.

A large sign in front of the school states the cost is $263 million, which was the estimate when the sign was made.

The actual figure today?

It is approximately $270



161 S. Gardner St.



6121 Melrose Ave.



4625 W. Olympic Blvd.



149 N. St. Andrews Pl. 323-957-4550


Mon. and Wed., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tues. and Thurs. noon to 8 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Libraries will be closed Mon., May 27 for Memorial Day.

million, according to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

When the project is complete in 2027, the nearly 11-acre campus at Sixth Street and McCadden Place will have new buildings, 27 new classrooms (making the total number 71), improved handicapped accessibility, strengthened security and improved parking, according to the Project’s Final Environmental Impact Report.

Resident responds

One resident across from the school took issue with many of the points in a recent Larchmont Chronicle article (“Modernization on track at Burroughs School,” April 2024), including the article’s quoted cost (explained above).

The resident continued in

an email to the Chronicle, “I would be interested in knowing how LAUSD’s plan to relocate the buses to the JB parking lot will solve the problem of cars driving on the wrong side of the street of S. McCadden Pl. going north during dismissal because the cars in the carline are double parked? How will relocating the buses stop the cars from blocking neighbors’ driveways? The carline should have been relocated, not the buses.”

The LAUSD spokesperson responded: “The relocation of the buses off of McCadden Place will not solve the entire traffic problem, but it will significantly reduce it. It will also improve student safety and traffic flow on McCadden during student drop-off and pick-up.”

June vs. McCaddden

As for the reader’s claim that McCadden Place residents were being ignored in favor of June Street residents — “that is simply not the case,” wrote the LAUSD representative.

Several examples were given by the district:

“In response to a neighbor complaint, we installed an 8-foot sound attenuating blanket on the inside of a construction perimeter fence across the street from that neighbor’s home on McCadden Place.

“In response to a complaint from a McCadden Place neighbor, we explored and lowered the construction vehicles’ reverse alarm beeping to the lowest volume allowed by law.

“In response to a McCadden Place neighbor’s complaint

Operation brings sparkle to Miracle Mile

The Saturday morning clean-up on April 13 was nothing if not efficient. Many

hands indeed made light work, and there certainly was a strong turnout of hands from Miracle Mile residents

regarding idling construction vehicles, we instructed workers waiting at the entrance gate to wait away from McCadden Place.

“We strive to be good neighbors by addressing the concerns, issues and complaints raised with each of our projects, but construction is such a complex undertaking that it is impossible to avoid or remove every inconvenience — that is why we maintain communication with neighbors, parents and other stakeholders throughout. Ultimately, we hope that the purpose of this or any school construction project — which is to better serve our students and communities — will make the temporary inconveniences worth it in the long run.”

and business people.

It was a joint effort of the Miracle Mile Residential Association (MMRA), the Mid City West Neighborhood Council and Wally Marks and his housing project, The Mirabel.

Assisting and available for community interaction were Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky and Wilshire Division LAPD representatives.

8 SECTION TWO MAY 2024 Larchmont Chronicle
OPERATION SPARKLE organizer and MMRA vice president Samantha Friedland (left) talks with clean-up volunteer Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky. MIRACLE MILE’S Andrew and Vicki Sussman with just a bit of the trash collected in mid-April’s Operation Sparkle.
Single-family homes SOLD: This home at 516 S. Norton Ave. in Windsor Square sold for $2,625,000 in March. Condominiums 819 S. Citrus Ave. $2,700,000 516 S. Norton Ave. $2,625,000 326 N. Van Ness Ave. $2,195,000 146 S. Arden Blvd. $2,155,000 129 N. St. Andrews Pl. $2,140,000 307 N. Windsor Blvd. $1,850,000 942 S. Rimpau Blvd. $1,810,000 1015 S. Citrus Ave. $1,250,000 862 1/2 S. Wilton Pl. $1,100,000 308 N. Sycamore Ave., #108 $1,550,000 412 S. Wilton Pl., #404 $1,020,000 901 S. Gramercy Dr., #206 $865,000 532 N. Sycamore Ave., #532B $742,090 320 S. Gramercy Pl., #102 $510,000 445 1/2 N. Sierra Bonita Ave. $510,000 620 S. Gramercy Pl., #431 $460,000 Real Estate Sales* *Sale prices for March.

Design for Living

Local interior designer lives, works and plays in Larchmont

“If you can build a small community within the large city of Los Angeles,

that’s wonderful,” says local interior designer Sarah Shetter. And that’s just what she’s done.

Shetter lives in Hancock Park, has an office on Larchmont Boulevard, and frequents the Boulevard for meals with family and friends as well as vendors for her projects. She tries to keep it local. “It’s hard to spend less than 40 minutes on the Boulevard because of all the people you run into.”

Shetter started her design education at USC and then went to the Pratt Institute in New York for graduate school. While finishing her thesis, she worked at a New York design firm where she met Kate Brodsky, the late Suzanne Rheinstein’s daughter and former resident of Windsor Square. After finishing graduate school, Shetter headed back

to Southern California and was introduced to Suzanne Rheinstein.

“Rheinstein was a champion for young designers. She was always so giving, kind and helpful,” says Shetter. Shetter was not only charmed by Rheinstein, but also by her neighborhood and wanted to live nearby someday.

Shetter started her Hancock Park journey living on the sixth floor of the El Royale Apartments on Rossmore Avenue. “It’s a magical place, beautiful building, great views of the city lights, and my husband, my children and I had lots of friends there. I loved it,” reminisces Shetter. But she thought she should be responsible and buy a home, in the neighborhood, of course.

So they moved into a 1924 Mediterranean on Lillian

(Please turn to page 12 )

Larchmont Chronicle MAY 2024 SECTION TWO 9 560 N. LARCHMONT BLVD 310-570-0084 WWW.MASSUCCOWARNER.COM As seen in House Beautiful, Luxe, Elle Decor, Traditional Home, HGTV & Architectural Digest MASSUCCO WARNER INTERIOR DESIGN
THE ORIGINAL WOODEN molding frames the entrance to the dining room at a home on Plymouth Boulevard. A PORTRAIT OF interior designer Sarah Shetter.

Is North Larchmont becoming a new hub for the design industry?

Staff at this newspaper began noticing a slight influx of design firms occupying spaces near our offices on North Larchmont Boulevard. Perhaps this is a trend that will continue, and maybe the area will become a satellite for West Hollywood and La Brea Avenue showrooms. Who knows?

Massucco Warner

Melissa Warner, a partner in the interior design firm, Massucco Warner, says “this is the only place I wanted an office,” when referring to her space at 560 N. Larchmont Blvd. She’s been there for 10 years. She lives just blocks away, walking distance to her office, in Windsor Square.

With her work on Larch-

mont and her home so close to Larchmont, she spends her free time on the Boulevard, shopping at the Sunday

Farmers’ Market, lunching on weekdays or picking up a hostess gift. She plainly states, “I love the Boulevard.”

Old Flames

Pop art for the MODERN home Old Flames

interpreting vintage matchbook and album art

Tom Hofer


Commissions welcome! •

With an undergraduate degree in business and a graduate design degree, Warner is very conscientious in keeping her projects on time and on budget. Additionally, “I like to make the project fun, enjoyable and exciting for my clients.”

One of her favorite parts of projects is highlighting what she refers to as forgotten spaces, a nook or a pass-through hallway, and making it a surprise star.

She can be reached at

Walnut Wallpaper

The Willy Wonka of artisan wallpaper has come to Larchmont. The newest design showroom on the Boulevard, Walnut Wallpaper, opened in October 2023, and it carries scratch and sniff, glow in the dark, Disney, modern art and wallpaper recreating old scenes from the 1800s, just to name a minute sampling. The showroom is a feast for the eyes.

Norinne DeGal started the business in 2004 after transitioning from journalism. While working at design and fabric stores around town, she noticed some very cool and interesting, small-scale wallpaper manufacturers. With her journalistic instinct, DeGal dug deep and found some very underground product being manufactured. At the time, big companies were staying away from wallpaper. All of her friends and col-

leagues thought she was crazy when she decided to open a wallpaper store. Twenty years later, she’s still in business with a loyal following of trade and retail customers.

When asked about her most recent move, she shared how she loves being on the Boulevard. She finds it quiet and offering pretty much everything you need. DeGal especially likes that she doesn’t need to get in her car for much of anything once she’s at her store.

She also quickly noticed how tight-knit the community is here. “It’s like somebody cares and is watching out for others.”

(Please turn to Page 11)

10 SECTION TWO MAY 2024 Larchmont Chronicle
SURROUNDED by saturated emerald and gold wallpaper is Melissa Warner, at a home she decorated in Windsor Square. MASSUCO WARNER design studio at 560 N. Larchmont Blvd.
WALLPAPER SELECTIONS abound in Walnut on Larchmont.
WALNUT WALLPAPER owner Norinne DeGal poses in front of some artisan wallpapers at her store.

North Larchmont

(Continued from Page 10)

Studio AR&D

Perhaps you’ve seen the amazingly giant, 17’ window on the remodeled building at 424 N. Larchmont Blvd. That is Studio AR&D Architects.

This company first came to the Boulevard in 2007 and occupied 507 N. Larchmont Blvd. As the firm grew, it needed a bigger space. Studio AR&D bought its current location, a fixer a block south of its original location, and gutted and remodeled it and, in 2021, it became the firm’s new space.

The company’s focus is high-end custom homes. That means a minimum $3 million construction budget. Most of the projects are ground-up as opposed to re-models.

Despite being in Los Angeles, the company started in Palm Springs, and most of its work is still in the desert. However, principal owner, Sean Lockyer, would like to add more Los Angeles clients to the firm’s portfolio.

Check out for more information.

Windsor Square Prepare

(Continued from Page 4) is expected that, by the end of 2024, finalized Windsor Square Prepare lists will be posted and other blocks in the Windsor Square neighborhood engaged.

Contact info

The pilot program is gathering contact information for the residents: names, phone numbers, addresses and skills each possesses that could help in an emergency. On each block, two locations get identified: an outside gathering site, or command center, where everyone initially meets after a disaster for assignments; and an indoor care center, the neighborhood triage center. Teams are created: communications, care and sheltering, utility, and safety and neighbor wellness. “The most important thing is to get people to know where to go and what to do,” says Kazanjian. Windsor Square residents who are interested in becoming an earthquake preparedness block leader should reach out by using the “Contact Us” page at Those not living in Windsor Square are welcome to use the same contact to seek material to help create a modified RYLAN program in their neighborhoods. “It’s super easy,” says Kazanjian. “Let’s save lives together.”


Larchmont Chronicle MAY 2024 SECTION TWO 11
STUDIO AR&D REMODELED the building at 424 N. Larchmont Blvd., above. Notice the giant window in the remodeled building, at right.


(Continued from Page 9)

Way, within walking distance of her workplace at 606 N. Larchmont Blvd. Her office has grown to include a total of three designers and a full time architect, Kate Christensen, who is instrumental in many of their design projects and remodels.

“The whole design process is enjoyable,” says Shetter, who continues that she particularly likes “making homes for people to live in and function well in with kids, dogs, cats, etc.”

Everyone at her office cares deeply about the projects they do and loves the old houses in this neighborhood, Shetter told us. “The homes speak to us. We don’t want to do them wrong.” She adds, “Given the choice, we would always only

choose projects in the Hancock Park area.”

Not only do many of her clients live in the area, but she also frequents many vendors nearby. One is L7, for light fixtures and furniture, and another is Plug Lighting. Both sell only to the trade and are located on Melrose Ave-

nue at Larchmont Boulevard.

Shetter’s clients are loyal and some return for work on multiple homes across the country. They seek her out when moving from one part of the neighborhood to another.

Shetter can be reached at

Lighting • Vintage & New • Accessories • Fine Art Liz’s Antique Hardware 453 S. La Brea Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 939-4403 www.LAHARDWARE.COM www.THELOFTATLIZS.COM Present this ad for a 10% discount upon purchase! 12 SECTION TWO MAY 2024 Larchmont Chronicle LIVING ROOM at a Las Palmas Avenue home.
FLORAL WALLPAPER adds to the décor of a home on Van Ness Avenue. DINING ROOM in a home on Van Ness Avenue. LIVING ROOM in Van Ness Avenue home. BEDROOM in a home on Van Ness Ave.


TV City expansion reduces size a bit, but not controversy

n Hearing is May 15

While members of a community group note some positive changes in the recently revamped development project at the site of CBS Television City at Beverly and Fairfax, the proposed development is still too large for prime time, they say.

Increasing the size of the production studio is not the issue. They support that, the project opponents say. What they do not support is the surplus 550,000 square feet proposed for new general office and retail use unrelated to the studio and not of benefit to the community.

The development proponents for the Television City property released an updated proposal last month. If approved, it would permit up to 1.7 million square feet of stages, production support, production offices, general offices and retail uses, according to the proposed Specific Plan.

The opponents see the proposed new general office spaces as the problem.

The updated application to the Los Angeles City Planning Dept. eliminates 150,000 square feet of office space by removing a 15-story west tower. The proponents assert that this would result in a reduction of 5,000 daily car trips. The revision also adds other benefits to the community, developer Hackman Capital Partners said in a statement.

“While it’s a positive step forward, it’s not enough,” according to Danielle Peters and Shelley Wagers, co-chairs of Neighbors for Responsible TVC Development.

“The project is still 92 percent of the size of the original proposal — still roughly the size of two Staples Centers crammed into the middle of modestly-scaled homes, apartments, and businesses.”

In a telephone conversation last week, the co-chairs said, “The biggest issues for all the communities surrounding Television City is that there is still too much density… We feel it has very, very serious impacts on traffic, quality of life and public safety.”

The corner of Beverly and Fairfax now — with the existing 750,000-square-foot TV studio plus The Grove and the Original Farmers Market — already is associated with comments of: “Oh my god! The traffic,” they told us.

Imagine, the co-chairs say, adding 20 years of stop-andgo construction to the area, as the developer seeks.

Other concerns include emergency vehicles, and that

“the proposed Sign District includes digital signage with unclear impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods.”

A spokesperson in Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky’s office said she was grateful the developer responded to some of her concerns in the newly released documents. The Councilmember is, however, waiting until after community meetings before commenting.

Public hearing May 15

A virtual public hearing is scheduled for Wed., May 15 at 9:30 a.m. The meeting agenda will be provided no later than 72 hours before the meeting at Virtual meeting instructions will be provided on the agenda.

Hackman Capital said its “refinements are a result

(Please turn to Page 18)

©LC0523 606 N. Larchmont Blvd., Ste. 106 5312 Valley Blvd., L.A. 90032 • “Your Neighborhood Plumbers” Since 1931 323.469.2395 Zeb and Bob Vacca Owners Residential & Commercial Installations & Repair Celebrating 48+ Years Serving the Larchmont Community under the ownership of the Vacca family Licensed & Insured LIC.# 481793 Just a phone call away! All Major Brands
Larchmont Chronicle MAY 2024 SECTION TWO 13
AERIAL VIEW LOOKING SOUTH, published in an “erratum” issued in April 2024 to “clarify and refine the EIR, and provide supplemental information for the City decision-makers and the public.” The document says that “within the conceptual aerial renderings provided... several of the building layouts have been refined.” Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning


Hancock Park GC was host to 68 western gardening leaders

A masterpiece of planning and execution was the just-completed Garden Club of America (GCA) Zone II Regional Meeting held in Los Angeles. Hostesses and organizers were the members of the local GCA group, the Hancock Park Garden Club (HPGC) — founded here in 1962.

Per its website, the local organization “furthers the knowledge and love of gardening for its membership and contributes to the beautification of the greater Hancock Park area through community projects.”

HPGC is one of the 199 garden clubs that are members of the GCA, which is a nonprofit national organization founded in 1913, with nearly 18,000 individual members. The GCA is composed of 12 regions, with Hancock Park being in Region XII, which includes 18 garden clubs, from Colorado west to Hawaii and from Washington State south to Los Angeles and Pasadena.

“Urban Oasis”

The logistically complicated, educationally stimulating, and socially memorable April 16-17 gathering in Los Angeles was titled “Urban Oasis” and was led by HPGC cochairs Flo Fowkes, of Windsor Square, and Gina Brandt, of Hancock Park.

They and their fellow ladies

of the local garden club had a total of 68 guests from other western United States GCA clubs. Each of the Region XII clubs was allowed to bring its president and one delegate. Additionally, the heads of the Zone XII committees (conservation, publications, legislative advocacy, etc.) were invited. Also attending were national leaders of GCA, including Marilyn Donahue, from Rye, New York, the current GCA president. For the Urban Oasis events,

the local HPGC members — other than president Michaela Burschinger of Brookside — did not attend; they just worked! The HPGC members were busy, per Fowkes, “staffing the meeting and executing the meeting’s details.”

Early arrivals

And the details were myriad, from presentations to tours to entertaining the visitors. Some of the out-of-town attendees did arrive early for optional events such as visits to the Academy Museum and the Magic Castle, a trip to Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills, and more. There was a Sunday supper at the Fremont Place home of member Shar Penfold following Frank Lloyd Wright Ennis House tours arranged by HPGC member Priscilla Chase.

Robert Rock, ASLA

The official conference kicked off on Tuesday, April 16, at the home of member Jennifer Fain. The full contingent of guests gathered there for a backyard talk by Chicago landscape architect Robert Rock,

(Please turn to Page 15)

Open Mon-Fri: 9 am-5 pm, Sat 10 am-5 pm • Closed Sunday Website: ISWFABRICS.COM 323-653-6453 • 8347 BEVERLY BOULEVARD • Custom Window Treatments & Slipcovers • Creative Reupholstery • Free Estimates • Comprehensive Decorating Service • Outstanding Selection of Sunbrella Fabrics ©LC0524 20% OFF Entire Stock of Drapery, Upholstery Fabric & All Custom Made Orders Including Labor (with mention of this ad) INTERNATIONAL Family-Run Over 60 years Your Neighborhood Choice Custom Area Rugs to Custom Installations Staff Experts Provide Personal Service to Select the Ideal Flooring for Your Home A Family Flooring Business Built on 3 Generations of Experience Call: 323•934•7282 7815 Beverly Blvd. • Carpet • Linoleum Hardwood • Vinyl ©LC0523 14 SECTION TWO MAY 2024 Larchmont Chronicle
HPGC MEMBER Carolyn Bennett leads a group of visitors up the sidewalk from one Plymouth Boulevard house to the next. URBAN OASIS opening session in the Jennifer Fain back yard was a presentation by Chicago landscape architect Robert Rock (at left, out of picture) about the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing.


(Continued from Page 14)

who designed the local Annenberg Wildlife Crossing over the 101 Freeway near Agoura Hills Valley, and who described the how, why and where of the project and the progress made to date.

Six gardens

That completed, HPGC workers acted as guides to groups of 18 visitors who walked to six gardens, five of them on Plymouth and Windsor boulevards in Windsor Square, and one in Hancock Park.

In Windsor Square, the attendees saw: the Curran / MacLellan garden (where Larchmont Chronicle columnist Brian Curran spoke briefly about the preservation of the historic O’Melveny House), the Han / Park garden, the Miller garden (where HPGC member Pat Benner spoke about her design for that garden and the nearby Fischer garden) and the Rheinstein Garden.

The one Hancock Park garden was the Yust garden, where the late Clara Yust’s daughter, Allegra, gave tours of her mother’s expansive Italianate grounds.

Back in Windsor Square, and in the tradition of “exiting through the gift shop,” the next-to-last Windsor Square garden was that of Oona Kan-

ner, where there was a boutique shopping opportunity.

Carlotta Keely and Edie Frere spearheaded the al fresco boutique that featured: Windsor Square jewelry designer Olivia K; an umbrella designed by New Yorker (and Suzanne Rheinstein’s daughter) Kate Brodsky; totes and towels and flower-related paper goods from Landis Gifts and Stationery; needlepoint from

A Stitch in Time; and the Kilte cashmere collection. Proceeds support HPGC community projects. (Learn more at

Drinks and dinner

The last stop before dinner was the Windsor Square garden of Leah Fischer for a brief cocktail party hosted by HPGC members Marge Graf and Shelley Schulze, where the visitors were served hors d’oeuvre by

HPGC tray-passers including Daryl Twerdahl, Mary Pickhardt, Janet Loveland, Diane McNabb and others.

And then, it was off to eight local homes for HPGC member dinner parties in honor of the visitors. (Most of the outof-towners were staying at the Short Stories Hotel on Fairfax Avenue, right across from the Original Farmers Market.)

The Tuesday night din-

ner venues were the homes of HPGC members: Melanie Boettcher, with co-hostesses Wendy Guzin and Maggie Kuhns; P.J Clark, co-hosted by Rosie Juda, Annie Johnson and Anne Mansour; Pam Clyne; Elizabeth Debreu, co-hosted by Edie Frere and Julie Grist; Susan Humphreville, co-hosted by Susanna Funsten and Marla Ryan; Lisa Hutchins,

Come see the largest selection of Floors We understand your needs and deliver promptly. Vinyl, Hardwood Floors, Linoleum, Tile, Laminate Floors, Cork, Carpets, Area Rugs and Artificial Turf Professionally Installed or Do-It-Yourself Put some S pring in your step on a new floor! LifeTime by “OVER 66 Years on Route 66” LINOLEUM CITY ® 4849 Santa Monica Blvd. (323) 469-0063 ©LC054
SHOPPING ASSISTANTS (and HPGC members) Caroline Labiner Moser (left) and Michaela Burschinger (right) stand with Olivia Kazanjian, proprietress of Jewelry by Olivia K at the Urban Oasis Boutique set up in the Oona Kanner garden.
Larchmont Chronicle MAY 2024 SECTION TWO 15
THE ONE HANCOCK PARK GARDEN on the tour was the Italianate one of Larry Yust, through which his daughter, Allegra, toured groups of Garden Club visitors. VISITORS VENTURE up the driveway to see the Han / Park back garden. The front yard is mostly xeriscape, and the back yard is green.
SIDE YARD “garden room” is next on the tour of the Han / Park Garden.
(Please turn to Page
16 SECTION TWO MAY 2024 Larchmont Chronicle
Public officials and the press gathered next door to the Petersen Museum on April 2. The purpose: Celebrate the recent completion of tunneling a ninemile subway extension from Western Avenue to the Westwood Veterans Administration campus. Work continues to complete the seven new subway stations. The event allowed members of the press to explore the mezzanine and track levels of the Fairfax Station. SMALL WORK CARS travel on the tracks, carrying workers and materials. TUNNEL extends to Westwood. LOCAL PRESS covering the Metro event included, from left, John Welborne, Larchmont Chronicle; Liz Fuller and Patty Lombard, Larchmont Buzz; and Ed Folven, ParkLabrea News / Beverly Press. MAYOR BASS celebrates completion of the two D Line (formerly Purple Line) nine-mile tunnels from Western Avenue to the VA campus in Westwood. STATION GLASS CEILING at Fairfax will be atop the stairs and escalators.
ALAKAZAM UPHOLSTERY & DRAPERY Every Style • Sofas, Chairs, Slipcovers • Replace Weather-proof Lining • HIGHEST QUALITY WORKSMANSHIP Call Rosie for FREE Estimate 310-491-8409 • West Hollywood Broad Selection of Fabrics Draperies & Roman Shades ©LC0523 Your local roofer at the same location for over 98 years. 323-469-2981 • 1015 N. Gower St., 90038 © LC0424 Lic.#386172 Residential & Commercial Customer satisfaction will bring you back to our FULL SERVICE Company “Experience does make a difference.” DESIGN FOR LIVING Nine-mile Metro D Line tunnels to Westwood are complete
Right: ESCALATOR AND STAIR connect the mezzanine level to the track level. VISITORS learn about the track level of the Fairfax Station.

Anderson Munger YMCA hosts Olympic LAPD coffee with captain

Capt. Aaron Ponce of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic Community Police Station addressed a crowd of about 50 residents at the Anderson Munger YMCA on April 11. He stressed the importance of community and working together at the Coffee with the Captain event.

Capt. Ponce told the crowd


he has reinvigorated a volunteer program. He recently has recruited eight young adults to help with language translation. This makes it easier for the officers to help the residents and makes the residents more comfortable talking to the police. Ponce added to those assembled at the Y, “We can use your help.”

Ponce also mentioned that

is on the rise in the area because of a repealed state code

Readers of the Larchmont Chronicle have noticed an uptick of “ladies of the night” in the neighborhoods flanking Western Avenue from Beverly Boulevard to Sixth Street.

For many years, this was a chronic problem in the area, according to police. Early morning walkers would see the aftermath of the evening and early morning activities thrown to the ground. However, more recently, neighbors have worked to curb these illegal trysts on family residential streets.

For example, when the late Councilman Tom LaBonge was in office, he worked with the Los Angeles Dept. of Transportation to install “no turning” signs on Western Avenue for

the hours between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The signs enable officers to pull over drivers who violate the restrictions.

Ridgewood-Wilton installed streetlights to make evening

(Please turn to Page 18)

the Olympic station is implementing the Citizens Academy again this year. Last year, about 45 people participated in the Academy. It’s a program where neighbors take a peek behind the magic curtain of the LAPD. They see firsthand how the station operates, learn about 911 calls and go on field trips. It’s a free, 12-week course that meets for three hours once a week.

Along with the captain, several senior lead officers spoke. They reiterated the captain’s message of encouraging community involvement with the LAPD and emphasized how much they need help and support.

SENIOR LEAD OFFICERS at the event were Joe Pelayo, Dan Chavez, Lucy Bermudez, Eric Millinedo and Dikran Melkonian.
Larchmont Chronicle MAY 2024 SECTION TWO 17
NO TURNING signs were installed on Western Avenue to help alleviate the problem.

Burglar triggers alarm by breaking glass; multiple cars stolen POLICE BEAT OLYMPIC


BURGLARY: A burglar triggered a home’s alarm by smashing the glass of the rear door while the victim slept. No property was stolen on the 200 block of South Norton Avenue, April 7.


Two 2023 Chevrolet Silverados were stolen from the street on April 2. One from the 500 block of North Irving Boulevard and another from the 200 block of South Manhattan Place.


TV City

(Continued from Page 13)

of input from and collaboration with residents and stakeholders in the Beverly / Fairfax community and direction from LA City Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky.”

Hackman Capital reemphasized that its “extensive community outreach program” included nearly five years of studio tours, open houses, focus group sessions, distribution of over 100,000 mailers, hundreds of door-


Furnished by Senior Lead Officer

Joseph Pelayo


Twitter: @lapdolympic

A victim at a multi-unit building confronted a suspect about broken screens on the 500 block of South Gramercy, April 5.

to-door conversations, and face-to-face meetings with nearly 3,000 neighbors.

“Television City has increased its commitment to getting employees and visitors out of their cars by making its transportation and mobility program one of the most robust in the City. These refinements — when taken together — will eliminate approximately 5,000 daily car trips from local streets,” the developer stated in its April 5 release.

Proposed as the city’s first all-electric studio, the TVC


Furnished by Interim SLO




Twitter: @lapdwilshire


BURGLARY: A burglary occurred in a home on the 100 block of South Citrus Avenue on April 2, at 2:30 p.m.

Project would use renewable energy under the new design from the new architecture team of Foster + Partners, Adamson Associates Inc. and RIOS.

“Television City is committed to being a good neighbor for the long-term, which starts with listening. We are grateful to all Project stakeholders for their participation in our outreach process…” said Michael Hackman, Founder and CEO of Hackman Capital Partners.

Operating since 1952, the iconic studio was the home of “All in the Family,” “Sonny and Cher,” and more recently “Dancing with The Stars” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Supporters of the Project include the Mid-City West Neighborhood Council, Park La Brea Residents Association, Fairfax Business Association, Melrose Business Improvement District, West 3rd Street Business Association, Holocaust Museum LA, Los Angeles Conservancy, Los Angeles Parks


(Continued from Page 17)

parking brighter and less desirable at night. Additionally, the city was more responsive to residents requesting tree trimming near the residential streets where prostitutes would direct their customers’ vehicles.

So why, suddenly, has prostitution increased? The Chronicle found that — as of Jan. 1, 2023 — California


Furnished by Interim SLO

Hebel Rodriguez

(213) 793-0715

Twitter: @lapdwilshire

GRAND THEFT AUTO: A car was stolen between April 3 at 3 p.m. and April 4 at 9 a.m. from the 700 block of South Sycamore Avenue.


FROM VEHICLE: A car was stolen near Citrus Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard on April 3, at 4 a.m.

ROBBERY: A street robbery occurred near La Brea Avenue and First Street on April 5 at 2:50 p.m.

* The Wilshire Division is working out the kinks of a new RMS (Records Management System) and apologizes that it is unable to provide more details before press time.

PROPOSED Television City main vehicle gate on Beverly Boulevard opposite Genesee Avenue.

Courtesy of Foster + Partners and Television City Foundation and FilmLA.

Others who join Neighbors for Responsible TVC Development in seeking further reductions to the proposed project include the A. F. Gilmore Co. (owner of the Original Farmers Market), Caruso (owner of The Grove), Miracle Mile Residential Association, Beverly Fairfax Community Alliance and the Park La Brea Impacted Residents Group.

Penal Code Section 653.22 (PC 653.22) “loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense” was repealed. It was replaced with Senate Bill 357, which Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco sponsored. His bill passed and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law, repealing the restrictions long in effect.

According to Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Senior Lead Officer Joe Pelayo, speaking of the increasing problems near Western, “the Vice Division of West Bureau is aware of the situation and they are on it.” Vice is con-

“We absolutely don’t oppose the total project. We support reinvigoration of the industry and expansion of the studio. But [this project] is out of scale [with the character of the neighborhood], and the 550,000 square feet of office space has no relation to the studio,” the Alliance co-chairs said.

The city’s website with the documents for the proposal is:

ducting monthly operations, Friday through Sunday, in the area, says Pelayo.

However, he says that — with old PC 653.22 no longer in effect — officers cannot question or arrest individuals for loitering on the street. Officers have to catch the perpetrators in the act. That takes a lot of police power and, simply put, LAPD is short-staffed.

To try to mitigate the situation, Pelayo urges residents to keep areas near their homes well lit, to install motion detector lights and to trim trees so parking areas aren’t as dark and inviting.

Sun’s Out.... Now’s the Time to Repair Your Gutters and Downspouts! Local Hancock Park resident for over 35 years, specializes in gutter cleaning and repair. Brian Brady (213) 910-0980 © LC 0717 Handyman Services, too! B Gaddy ElEctric since 1978. Residential • Comme RC ial Call Bill 323-462-1023 Local References Service & Repairs Licensed & Insured LIC #700914 • Upgrades • Landscape • Pool Lights • Phone & Computer Lines • Security & Emergency Lighting ©LC1010 SERVING THE LARCHMONT AREA FOR OVER 60 YEARS! SERVING THE LARCHMONT AREA FOR OVER 60 YEARS! ©0424 1551 E. 25th St., LA 90011 License #768437 Lynn Shirley (323) 463-9201 FAX (323) 463-1259 Since1959 • COMMERCIAL • RESIDENTIAL PLOTKE Plumbing Inc. 18 SECTION TWO MAY 2024 Larchmont Chronicle

Humor is a funny thing, especially in Gabrovo, Bulgaria

Last fall I visited Bulgaria. I knew the country was famous for several treasured exports: rose oil from Kazanlak just south of the Balkan Mountains, wine from the country’s five distinct viticultural regions and, perhaps most notably, yogurt.

But the export of one city, Gabrovo, puzzled me. “Oh yeah, it’s the city of humor and jokes,” a local man in the capital city, Sofia, responded when I told him Gabrovo was one of the stops on my road trip through the central part of the country. “How does a city become known as a center for something as intangible as humor?” I wondered.

Humor itself is a funny thing. The word originates from the Latin “umor,” meaning “body fluid,” a reference to ancient times when Greek and Roman physicians believed that the body was made up of four vital substances called humors — blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile — and that any physical malady was caused by an imbalance of the four. The theory, called “humorism,” was the dominant system of medicine in the Western world until as recently as the 19th century. This use of “humor” leaves its imprint still today — while

one definition is “something designed to be comical or amusing,” the word is also used to describe one’s mood or temporary state of mind, as in “ill” or “good” humored.

The definition of “comedy” has also shape-shifted over the centuries. To the Greeks and Romans of antiquity, a comedy was simply a stage play with a happy ending. The sense is reflected in the formation of the word, from the Greek “kômos,” meaning “revelry, carousal or merrymaking,” and “oide,” the Ancient Greek word for a singer or poet.

The ancient Athenian playwright Aristophanes made his derisive commentaries on politics and philosophy through caricature, or a distorted or exaggerated portrayal of a subject. The name of this “inflating” comedic device evolved from the Italian “caricare,” meaning “to load,” which itself originates from the Latin word for a twowheeled wagon, “carrus.”

Caricature is a form of mockery, itself defined as insulting action or speech that highlights one’s unflattering characteristics. “Mockery” is thought to come from the Vulgar Latin “muccare,” or the blowing of one’s nose as a scornful gesture. Take a sim-

Garden Club

(Continued from Page 15) with co-hostesses Ginger Lincoln and Gill Wagner; and Marnie Owen, co-hosted by Stacey Twilley and Shelley Schulze.

David Rubin, FASLA

The next day was a business meeting and awards luncheon at Wilshire Country Club. The Wednesday keynote speaker was another national heavyweight in the landscape field, David Rubin, FASLA. From Philadelphia, Rubin had been the 2010-2011 recipient of the GCA’s Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture. His prominent firm emphasizes “socially-purposeful design strategies … landscapes that create positive change.”

Understandably exhausted after all was said and done, Fowkes still wanted to point out that, “Of course we did our own floral arrangements”

ulated sneeze too far and you get the Latin “mucus,” the origin of the Vulgar Latin word which translates to — you guessed it — snot.

Adding to the list of ways to elicit a laugh at another’s expense is sarcasm, a concept clearly designed to inflict pain. The word originates from the late Greek “sarkazein,” a verb literally translating “to strip off the flesh.” It shares a common root — “sarkos,” meaning “flesh” or “piece of meat” — with the word “sarcophagus.” While “sarcasm”

devastates through ironic speech, the above-ground coffin used by Egyptian pharaohs was said to be made from “flesh-eating stone.”

The humor capital

When I finally arrived in Gabrovo, I made my first stop the Museum of Humour and Satire in the city center. The museum’s permanent collection tells the history of Gabrovo humor, which became part of the local culture when the city developed into a major industrial center during the 19th century. As the manufacturing of textiles and leather goods flourished, local merchants would convene in large openair markets and while away the hours chatting and gossiping. Humor — and particularly jokes about Gabrovans’ alleged stinginess — became a new, native vernacular.

As I continued to browse the museum, some of the most beloved of these jokes appeared as visual symbols: a bronze sculpture of a cat with a cut-off tail (based on the lore that the citizens of Gabrovo are so frugal they cut the tails off their cats so that when they let them outside they can close the door more quickly to save on heating costs); a large ceramic egg outfitted with a tap (a whimsical ode to thrifty cooks who make do with just a fraction of an egg’s contents); and a clock with a tethered minute hand (quipping that Gabrovans stop their clocks when they go to sleep to save the clocks’ cogwheels from wear and tear). Gabrovo’s ephemeral export — just as cherished as any other — is a tradition of joyful self-deprecation, all done in “good humor.”

(spearheaded by member Christine Lowry with her committee of Rosie Juda, Mary Pickhardt and Anne Mansour).

ADT Security Services Let us be your 1st Responder. • Response • Patrol • Alarm • Monitoring Four decades serving Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles ©LC1218 Please call now for a special offer for new customers who sign up for patrol or response services. For more details, contact Mike Ball 818-435-3179 Lic. # PPO 120288
Larchmont Chronicle MAY 2024 SECTION TWO 19
Word Café by Mara Fisher GARDEN CLUB OF AMERICA guests in the garden of Leah Fischer were served hors d’oeuvre by HPGC passers. Shown in this photo are servers Daryl Twerdahl, Mary Pickhardt, Janet Loveland and Diane McNabb.
20 SECTION TWO MAY 2024 Larchmont Chronicle

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.