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FINANCE

BRIDGE HOUSING

WALK THE MILE

CEO retires after four decades at POLAM Federal Credit Union.

Dormitory-style, emergency temporary shelter opens at Lafayette Park.

Take a short tour July 29 and meet your neighbors in the Mile.

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Page 3

Real estate MuseuMs, Libraries HoMe & Garden

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VIEW

Section 2

LARCHMONT CHRONICLE

AUGUST 2021

HANCOCK PARK • WINDSOR SQUARE • FREMONT PLACE • GREATER WILSHIRE • MIRACLE MILE • PARK LA BREA • LARCHMONT

165 N. Las Palmas Ave. | Hancock Park | $4,499,000

Staycation Paradise! 5Bd/4Ba up + GH bed & 1.5 bas Media rm, SAVANT HSE control sys w/ sec cameras.

228 S. Hudson Ave. | Hancock Park | $6,495,000 Stunning 2 sty hm on Golf Course. 4 Ensuite bds, mds & bth, 1bd 1ba GH w/kit. Recently Renovated. Elevator.

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

Cecille Cohen 213.810.9949 CalRE #00884530

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

505 S. Rimpau Blvd. | Hancock Park | $8,995,000

274 S. Muirfield Rd. | Hancock Park | $6,999,000

Intriguing History, Architectural Splendor & Impeccable Provenance! Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

IN ESCROW. Stately English Tudor on a beautiful treelined st. 5Bd / 4.5Bas, covered patio, large pool.

135 S. Alta Vista Blvd. | Hancock Park | $2,595,000

335 S. Orange Dr.| Hancock Park | $1,975,000

574 N. Lucerne Blvd. | Hancock Park | $1,649,000

807 N. Cherokee Ave. | Hollywood | $1,515,000

2 Story character Spanish 4/3.5 + guest house. Appx. 3,100 sq.ft. 7,400 sq.ft lot.

SOLD. Multiple Offers—Over the Asking Price. Character English w/3beds, 2 baths and redone.

Cecille Cohen 213.810.9949 CalRE #00884530

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

Beautifully renovated 3 b/2 ba traditional style home. Pool & Spa. Fully operational rec room perfect for ADU. Erik Flexner 323.383.3950 CalRE #01352476

Sold. Off market Sale. Private compound w/ 3 unattached sep houses. Each has own private garden. Barbara Allen 323.610.1781 CalRE #01487763

122 S. Kingsley Dr.| Mid-Wilshire | $1,449,000

2196 Century Hill | Century City | $1,399,000

IN ESCROW. Gorgeous Craftsman restored with new kitchen & baths. 3 beds, 2 baths & full of charm.

IN ESCROW. Situated in a prime location. Renovated townhouse offers bountiful space & quiet serenity. Jonathan Dintzer | John Winther 310.486.1022 | 310.704.5885 CalRE #02085056 | 00820369

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

160 S. Windsor Blvd. | Hancock Park | Leased $17,500 Represented the Tenants. Stately Windsor Sq. classic in a great location near Larchmont.

Lease-Lrge Studio unit. Frplce, granite kitch, walk-in closet, balcny, pool. Mve-in cond. Clse to sbwy, LACMA

103 S. Arden Blvd. | Hancock Park Sold off Market and Represented the Buyers. Character Spanish w/ 3 beds, 3.5 baths & large yard

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

Cecille Cohen 213.810.9949 CalRE #00884530

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

645 Wilcox Ave. #2D| Hancock Park | $519,000 1 Bed 1.5 bath 2nd floor unit. Hardwood floors. Hillside & Hollywood views. Priced to sell! Cathie White 323.371.3152 CalRE #02088625

611 N. Bronson Ave. #7 | Hancock Park | 1,100,000 Architecturally significant penthouse w/2 bedrooms, 2 baths, views and lots of light.

6151 Orange St. #104. | Miracle Mile | $1,950/MO

8712 Gregory Way #206 | Beverly Hills Adj | $725,000 Wonderful Beverly Hills adjacent location one block from Robertson. 2Bd + 2Ba. Pool. 8712Gregory.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 ©2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. CalRE #00616212


2

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

Sick of homeless on our streets? Support housing in your neighborhood The seemingly endless dogfight over housing in Los Angeles shows no signs of abating. Los Angeles has one of the lowest rental vacancy rates in the country, driving up the cost of renting. That lack of rental inventory is now one of the most significant drivers of homelessness in Los Angeles. We need to build more housing as this situation becomes increasingly desperate. Neighbors fight tooth-and-nail to stop rezoning and/or development anywhere near them. My opinion: This has become increasingly unconscionable. Our history of limiting the number of multifamily units only ensures more people will fall into homelessness. Who are the unhoused? There are two groups of people living on our streets: the chronically homeless and those with lower incomes — the working poor through moderate or “missing middle” earners (including citizens we depend upon for our essential services, lower paid professionals and the elderly). The chronically homeless have lived on the street for more than a year. As each day passes, they become sicker, making it more difficult to help them. People like

Giorgio, (the unhoused man who has frequented Larchmont and the pages of this paper) are suffering because of the limited availability of services and housing. We’ve allowed the problem of inadequate funding to grow and the increasing number of the chronically homeless has overwhelmed the limited resources available. Whether they were initially unhoused because of mental health, a calamity, or addicThe working poor and those who earn low-tomoderate incomes make up much of our newly unhoused population due to high rents and low wages. tion, the chance of developing additional serious mental or physical health issues increases each day they’re on the street. It’s not their fault. We all lose the ability to think rationally when we are in survival mode and the care we desperately need is not available. The working poor and those who earn low-tomoderate incomes make up much of our newly unhoused population due to high rents and low wages. A family of

In Escrow 3849 Bledsoe| $1,795,000 3 Bed + 2 Bath |Westside LA

to understand that people want help, and they can and do overcome addictions and mental health issues. If a supportive housing building is in your neighborhood, you would have no idea the people living there had experienced homelessness. They make great neighbors who are thankful to have their lives back and a place to live. No one can improve, much less heal, in survival mode while living on the street. A person has to be housed. Housing that is available at 30 percent of take-home pay is Affordable Housing. Affordable housing in Los Angeles is scarce and desperately needed (the lottery for a new building in Westlake received 2,500 applications for 93 units). Neighborhood opposition to building affordable housing (or changing zoning to build it) has significantly impeded the creation of these desperately needed units. We can add to the housing supply by building auxiliary dwelling units (ADUs) on our property or renting an existing guesthouse to a formerly unhoused individual, a local teacher, or an elderly person. If we own rental units, we can accept Universal Hous-

The NIMBY Diaries by

Marilyn Wells four renting a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles needs to make $55 an hour to keep the percentage of their income going to rent to 30 percent. Few low income or moderate income workers make anything close to that, and they regularly spend 60 percent of their take-home pay on rent — leaving little for food, clothing for their children, other necessities or unforeseen calamities. Add the pandemic to the lack of available affordable housing, and you get an estimated 365,000 local renters at risk of eviction in the near future. What types of housing do we need? Chronically homeless individuals are often older and have mental or physical disabilities. Their severe state requires Supportive Housing. The chronically homeless can heal and become good neighbors and productive citizens. We need

ing Choice Vouchers that allow tenants to pay rent based on their income with the remainder of the rent paid and guaranteed by the government. With the fewest homes per capita of all major American cities, we can’t ignore that our shortsighted housing policies have led to more people living on our streets. Without an adequate rental inventory, housing will continue to be out of reach for many, and the number of homeless will continue to grow. There is no solution to our homeless crisis that doesn’t involve all of us joining together to support affordable housing and supportive housing in our neighborhoods and the zoning changes to allow this housing to be built. Guest columnist Marilyn Wells, Psy.D. is a resident of Hancock Park and an advocate for people with lived homeless experience. Beginning this past March, her six “NIMBY Diaries” columns have explored the critical issue and different ways that local residents can assume an active role in helping to solve the problem. She is the co-founder of storiesfrontline.org.

In Escrow 8826 Lookout Mtn| $1,895,000 3 Bed+2 Bath| Hollywood Hills

IN ESCROW

635 N. Martel | $1,995,000 3 Bed+3.5 Bath| Melrose Village

Sold 6277 Del Valle| $1,650,000 3 Bed+2 Bath| Carthay Circle

Sold 581 N. Plymouth| $2,265,000 3 Bed+2 Bath| Larchmont

EXPERT SERVICE exceptional results

Sold 222 S. Plymouth| $3,782,000 4Bd+ 3Ba+GH| Hancock Park

NEW PRICE

Sold 319 S. McCadden| $4,054,000 4 Bed+3.5 Bath| Hancock Park

322 S. Rossmore | $5,250,000 5 Bed+5 Bath| Hancock Park Pete Buonocore

pete@coregroupla.com

www.coregroupla.com

323.762.2561

DRE #01870534

DRE #01279107


Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

3

Emergency housing opens at crucial time — crisis within a crisis By Suzan Filipek An emergency temporary shelter has opened at Lafayette Park, providing a roof, a bed and a hot meal to up to 72 people who were living on the nearby streets. Lafayette Bridge Housing is the 18th project in the city program to open during the pandemic and the 26th in the 30-site program, Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a recent virtual grand opening. Bridge Home shelters are designed with moveable, stackable modules to be built quickly, but this site’s completion was stalled by the pandemic, Garcetti said. Men and women live in separate buildings in this triangular-shaped, dormitory-style housing set in a portion of a former tennis court complex at Lafayette Park at S. Lafayette Park Pl. and Wilshire Blvd. Beautification improvements south of the site are in the works, and plans are underway also to add more parking spaces. Councilman Mark RidleyThomas, chair of the City Council Homeless and Poverty Committee, described the emergency shelter as “a refuge. But it’s also to be viewed as a point of transition to that which is

HOPE ON LAFAYETTE features temporary dormitory-style housing. Photos by Oscar Islas

greater and more stable. “It cannot be opening at a more urgent moment than we find ourselves today. We are opening in a crisis within a crisis,” Ridley-Thomas said in reference to the pandemic. “A right to housing in a democratic society, in my view, is fundamental,” he added. Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member Holly Mitchell agreed. “We all know there are far too many Angelenos who are unhoused for a variety of reasons.” As of June 2020, there were 66,436 people in Los Angeles County experiencing home-

lessness, according to LAHSA (Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority). The Lafayette shelter was a group effort paid for with state (Homeless Emergency Aid Program) and city funds. The Salvation Army is the service provider. “This facility is truly a team effort…” said Major Osei Stewart, general secretary for the Los Angeles Salvation Army, at the opening event. “People are in need now more than ever, and the crisis that is homelessness needs action, and today more action is being taken.” The site’s three buildings

each has 24 beds, with three bathrooms and three showers. Covered outdoor, lighted dining is offered on landscaped grounds. Residents have access to a case manager who will connect them to mental health care, job training, substance abuse programs and other support services. On-site laundry, storage and security is provided at the petfriendly site, and three meals a day are served. Also involved in the project was Aedis Real Estate Group, and the stackable modules were made and installed by HBG Modular. The Lafayette

site features a tower at the northwest corner with an image of HBG Modular founder, the late fashion designer Max Azria. LAHSA officials and City of Los Angeles Engineer Gary Lee Moore were also at the virtual ribbon cutting. Moore said he could think of “no higher calling” than designing this project. The parkland is available for three years, after which time the lease can be renewed, or the modules can be picked up and moved to another location, chief architect Peter De Maria said in an earlier interview.


4

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

After 44 years, Boulevard-based CEO says ‘See you along the way!’ By Suzan Filipek After 44 years at the Polish American (POLAM) Federal Credit Union of Southern California, CEO Christopher Hiller has retired. During his tenure, he met with former Polish President Lech Walesa and Oscar award-winning filmmaker Andrzej Wanda. He also oversaw multi-million dollars worth of loans at the credit union based on Larchmont Boulevard. When Hiller was hired as the general manager at 26, the office was equipped with rotary telephones and adding machines. “Our resources and range of services were modest, but our spirit and determination

POLAM is at 589 N. Larchmont Blvd. CHRISTOPHER HILLER oversaw multi-million dollars worth of loans at the neighborly nonprofit.

were unstoppable, fueled by a feeling of optimism and solidarity within the Polish Community,” Hiller wrote in his

parting remarks in the company’s spring newsletter. “The 1970s and 80s were a magical time to be living in

Southern California with its abundance of economic opportunities,” he continued. By the late 1980s the credit union’s assets had grown from $1 million to $20 million, under Hiller’s guidance. At that time, Hiller “initiated the idea of purchasing a somewhat dilapidated building on Larchmont from the Armenian Benevolent Society.” The building, at 589 N. Larchmont Blvd., was renovated, and the credit union continued to grow, joining the Financial Services Network, giving members access to 5,000 shared branch locations nationwide. Under Hiller’s stewardship, POLAM was a benefactor of Polish art and culture, and people of all socioeconomic backgrounds were represented within the ranks of its membership. “It is a friendly place,” he told the Chronicle in a 2019 interview on the occasion of POLAM’s 50th anniversary. Its nonprofit status makes the local credit union much more amiable than the megabanks and corporate world of today, he observed. POLAM was founded in

October 1969 out of a garage, and it soon moved to offices on Wilshire Boulevard, where Hiller, a recent UCLA graduate, started with a team of volunteers. In 1984, POLAM moved to 588 N. Larchmont before purchasing its current property right across the street. Hiller and his family immigrated in the 1950s from communist-era Poland. The Eastern European country was a bleak place at the time, he recalled. But that’s all changed, with the country’s status today as the sixth largest economy in the European Union, he added. By 2019, the credit union had funded loans valued at close to $250 million. The sold-out 50th anniversary celebration at The Athenaeum at Caltech was one of the most memorable events in the community’s history, Hiller noted. He looks forward to traveling, visiting with friends and family and getting involved in a number of causes that “are near and dear to me.” In parting, he says, “Do zobaczenia po drodze!” “See you along the way!”)


Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

5

Everything is coming up Cézanne with serendipitous finds

I first came to the painter Paul Cézanne through words. Though I had twice visited Aixen-Provence, the French town where he was born in 1839, worked in for much of his life, and where he died in 1906, it was a slim volume of letters that set me on fire, so to speak, about this painter who quickened the development of 20thcentury painting. A year after Cézanne’s death, what the painter’s biographer, Alex Danchev, has called “the most consequential exhibition of modern times,” opened in Paris in October 1907. It was a retrospective of Cézanne’s paintings, 56 of them, “more Cézannes than anyone had ever seen,” writes Danchev. The exhibit ran for three weeks. Some people went almost every day; among them was the poet

Home Ground by

Paula Panich

Rainer Maria Rilke. Rilke returned to his room and wrote a series of letters on the astonishment he felt on looking at Cézanne’s paintings to his wife, the sculptor Clara Westhoff Rilke. “Letters on Cézanne,” edited by Westhoff Rilke, was published in German in 1952, the first American edition in 1985. Artists of all sorts are drawn to the little book. Rilke could see that Cézanne had remained at the center of his work for 40 years, and that without such singular focus, an artist would earn only accidental success. Rilke writes of the “enormous aid the work of art brings to the life of the one who must make it …: that it is his epitome; the knot in the rosary at which his life ENVELOPE addressed by Paul Cézanne to says a prayer …” It is as if this his son, 1906. Douglas Whitneybell Collection

book, a breath under 100 pages, is a distillation of two great spirits animating the essence of art for all who came after them. Cézanne’s visual magnetic energy reached out to grab me one day in a former LACMA gallery: “Still Life with Cherries and Peaches,” (1885-1887). The peacock blues in the background drew me into infinite space. There. I had seen it for myself. The magic of Cézanne. Energy alive in every part of the composition. I wasn’t looking for it — it was spontaneous combustion. Right now, here in summer 2021, it seems everything is coming up Cézanne, set in motion by a small framed object in my partner Doug’s office. When I took it down to investigate, it was revealed to be an envelope addressed by Cézanne to his son, another Paul Cézanne. Doug bought the authenticated envelope at auction decades ago. We took it out of its frame and studied it. Serendipitous finds can often send one into rich and meaningful directions. Reviews are popping up of the current show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, “Cézanne Drawing” (closing

“STILL LIFE with Cherries and Peaches,” Paul Cézanne, 18851887. Courtesy Los Angeles County Museum of Art

on September 25). I am reading Alex Danchev’s excellent biography “Cézanne: A Life,” and also his translations of Cézanne’s letters; and the photographer Joel Meyerowitz’s brilliant visual study of the objects in Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence has taken on new meaning and urgency. “Cézanne made a living thing out of a teacup,” wrote the artist Kandinsky in 1912, “or rather in a teacup he realized the existence of something alive.” I believe I can see a faint date on Doug’s envelope:

24-7. If this is the correct interpretation, there is a letter, translated by Danchev, written on this date, July 24, 1906, to his son. Mon cher Paul, Yesterday the ghastly Abbe Gustave Roux got a carriage and came to see me once more at Jourdan’s. He’s a leech. I promised to go and see him at the Catholic college. I won’t go, you have time to send me a reply and give me your advice. A hug for you and maman. It’s very hot. Your old father, Paul Cézanne

WHERE DREAMS COME HOME

122 SOUTH KINGSLEY DRIVE - $1,449,000

611 N. BRONSON AVE., #7 - $1,100,000

5885 CLINTON ST. - FOR LEASE $3,750/mo.

Represented the Buyers

In Escrow

Sold Over Asking

103 SOUTH ARDEN BOULEVARD

165 N. LAS PALMAS AVE. - $4,499,000

335 SOUTH ORANGE DR. - $1,975,000

Glorious restored 1909 Arts & Crafts Craftsman bungalow 3 Bedrooms + 2 Baths

Majestic Mediterranean, Sold off-market 3 Bedrooms + 3.5 Baths

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

Dramatic 2-story penthouse full of light and walls of windows 2 Bedrooms + 2 Baths

Character English on a great block 5 Bedrooms + 4.5 Baths + Pool.

Location, Location, Location! Spacious townhouse next to LATC 3 Bedrooms + 2.5 Baths

Sold in 4 days with multiple offers 3 Bedrooms + 2 Baths


6

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

Real Estate Sales

SOLD: This home at 581 N. Plymouth Blvd. in Larchmont Village was sold in June for $2,265.000.

Single family homes

Clint Lohr

Realtor®, GRI, CNE, SRES 818-730-8635 rholcwl@pacbell.net clintlohr.kw.com

KELLER WILLIAMS® LARCHMONT 118 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90004 Each office is independently owned and operated

Donating clothes for the homeless? Please call me!

100

100 years

TH!

In celebration of

100 Years of Larchmont Village

5078 W. Fourth St. 524 Lorraine Blvd. 171 S. McCadden Pl. 445 N. Fuller Ave. 534 N. Alta Vista Blvd. 222 S. Plymouth Blvd. 359 S. Sycamore Ave. 242 S. Rimpau Blvd. 909 S. Curson Ave. 150 S. Vista St. 128 N. Plymouth Blvd. 581 N. Plymouth Blvd. 525 N. Stanley Ave. 335 S. Sycamore Ave. 545 N. Poinsettia Pl. 751 S. Windsor Blvd. 448 N. Martel Ave. 331 N. Martel Ave. 565 N. Arden Blvd. 250 St. Andrews Pl. 318 S. Sycamore Ave. 814 Third Ave. 949 S. Highland Ave. 602 N. Gardner St. 259 S. Gramercy Pl. 602 N. Detroit St. 957 S. Windsor Blvd. 642 N. Cahuenga Blvd. 1047 Third Ave.

Condominiums

316 N. Rossmore Ave., #200 845 S. Plymouth Blvd., #PH5 421 S. Van Ness Ave., #25 333 S. Wilton Pl., #3 4568 W. First St., #305 326 Westminster Ave., #105 600 S. Ridgeley Dr., #207 962 S. Gramercy Dr., #202 733 S. Manhattan Pl., #504 4568 W. First St., #108 358 S. Gramercy Pl., #211 533 S. St. Andrews Pl., #402 102 S. Manhattan Pl., #302 532 N. Rossmore Ave., #103 525 N. Sycamore Ave., #418 620 S. Gramercy Pl., #334 533 S. St. Andrews Pl., #316 620 S. Gramercy Pl., #311

$7,916,610 6,435,000 6,300,000 4,295,000 3,800,000 3,700,000 3,465,000 3,300,000 2,600,000 2,297,000 2,280,000 2,265,000 2,230,000 2,160,000 2,219,000 2,150,000 2,065,000 2,050,000 2,030,000 2,010,000 2,000,000 1,950,000 1,825,000 1,800,000 1,725,000 1,612,000 1,535,000 1,425,000 1,350,000 $1,675,000 895,000 890,000 785,000 780,000 775,000 749,000 715,000 678,000 675,000 549,000 549,000 520,000 485,000 463,000 459,000 450,000 390,000


Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

7

5G, the next generation, is here! Now all it needs are users

By Talia Abrahamson For consumers using any device older than an iPhone 12, the 5G network can feel like an abstract mystery. 5G is the fifth iteration of technology for broadband cellular networks, but it goes unused for most people, whose devices connect only with 4G LTE, 4G or 3G technology. Stimulated by a query from an interested reader, the Larchmont Chronicle looked into local access to the burgeoning 5G networks. Even though it is still being rolled out across the country, all three major wireless carriers –– AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon –– offer 5G to network users in the Chronicle readership area. Vice president and general manager at AT&T Wireless, Terry Stenzel, said that AT&T customers in Hancock Park began receiving access in February 2020, when the company’s 5G cell sites were being widely deployed across Los Angeles. Stenzel said the benefits of a 5G network come down to three things: faster speed, greater connectivity and lower latency (which describes the difference between action and response time). Speeds are 10

er the same surface area. One of Stenzel’s responsibilities is making sure new cell sites are put in the right place. The City of Los Angeles requires cell towers to be hidden, so Stenzel works with communities on camouflage designs, like fake trees. Although the technology is here, 5G is generally an

BENEFITS OF A 5G network come down to three things: faster speed, greater connectivity and lower latency.

times faster than 4G and are expected to increase as the network builds up. This could mean experiencing less lag time as a gamer, downloading a movie in 20 seconds or having a smooth video conference call. “When I first moved to LA a number of years ago, everybody had a Thomas guide in their car, and you had to match up coordinates if you’re trying to figure out how to get somewhere,” Stenzel said. “Today, I hit the microphone on my phone; I say the address out loud and hit the directions button to start; and because of 5G and the speed and the low

latency, there’s no buffering. It just quickly gives you the address, and away you go.” Considering that the 5G network is built up only in select regions, customers with 5G-equipped phones still can fall back on immediately preceding cellular network generations. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are shutting down most of their earliest 3G networks in 2022, however. In order to achieve faster speeds, 5G cells operate with higher frequency waves. Consequently, cell sites reach a smaller radius, which means more cells are required to cov-

untapped resource that is waiting for users to upgrade devices and connect. Companies are constantly racing to make improvements so that the 5G network becomes even faster. “You can’t over-complicate it — it’s the next generation. It’s the evolution of wireless,” Stenzel said.


8

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

Well-heeled hero wanted to free Wright’s tarnished treasure When Harriett Freeman deeded her home in the Hollywood Hills to the University of Southern California in 1984, she must have thought that she had taken an action to ensure its preservation and protection. Built in 1924, the rare architectural treasure was designed for Samuel and Harriett Freeman by none other than America’s most renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. For USC, it was the opportunity to add to the university’s collection of architectural icons that included Greene and Greene’s craftsman masterpiece Gamble House in Pasadena. Barely 40 years after the Freeman House passed into USC’s hands intact, the building is now forlorn, plundered and decrepit, and it is on the market looking for a “conservation minded buyer,” according to the online real es-

TRANSPARENT diagonal corners are a prominent Freeman House feature.

On Preservation by

Brian Curran

tate site The Real Deal, “who can properly rehabilitate and maintain” the historic home. Harriett must be spinning in her grave. The Freeman House is one of four “textile block” houses that Wright designed and built in Los Angeles between 19221934, the others being the Storer House in Hollywood, the Ennis House in Los Feliz and the Millard House in Pasadena. In his attempt to find a simple and cost-effective method for ordinary people to build their own homes, Wright conceived the “textile block” system of modular construction using pre-cast concrete blocks made from sand taken from the site itself, and tied together with steel rebar. He even embellished the blocks with swirling Art Deco designs which provided ornamentation on the façade and in the interior. In conjunction with Wright’s architectural massing, square columns and dramatic spatial arrangements, the result was miniature “Mayan Revival” temples rising out of the landscape. 1994 earthquake USC’s stewardship of the Freeman House started out

FREEMAN HOUSE on Glencoe Way, overlooking Hollywood and Highland.

well, but tragedy struck with the 1994 Northridge Earthquake that severely damaged the house. USC School of Architecture Dean Robert Timme threw himself into the stabilization and restoration effort spearheading a campaign that secured nearly $2.5 million from FEMA, as well as grants and donations from individuals and charitable organizations such as the Getty Foundation. Work began in 2000 and stabilization was complete by 2005. With the death of Timme that same year, work slowed, and USC’s interest in the house waned, which led to “LACurbed” in 2008 to ask “Freeman House Restoration: What the Hell Is Taking So Long?”

Despite minor restoration work and utilization as a residence for USC architecture students and the completion of exhaustive studies, the Freeman House continued to deteriorate through the 2010s. Faced with increasing criticism over the neglect of the house, lack of leadership,

declining funds and mounting costs, USC listed the house briefly in 2016 for an undisclosed amount, only to take it off market soon after. USC’s disastrous management of the house was further highlighted in 2019 when the “Los Angeles Times” reported that three (Please turn to page 9)

GLENCOE WAY in Hollywood is the front of The Freeman House.

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Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

9

ISOMETRIC DRAWING of the Freeman House, drawn by Jeffrey B. Lentz in 1969.

On Preservation (Continued from page 8)

pieces of custom furniture designed by Wright for the house — potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars — were stolen from a South Los Angeles warehouse, with the theft going unreported for six years. One of the textile blocks from the house also ended up on Ebay and later sold at auction for $5,000. So now, after years of mismanagement and neglect, USC is finally throwing in

the towel. Battered by recent scandals and the pandemic and massive financial losses totaling $1 billion, the university is being forced to shed assets. It has already unloaded the USC president’s mansion, the Seeley Mudd Estate, and is now listing the Freeman House for $4.25 million. Any private buyer of the house will be taking on a Herculean restoration effort, to the tune of millions. It took billionaire Ron Burkle buying the largest of Wright’s textile block houses, the En-

nis House, for $4.5 million in 2011 to ultimately preserve that masterpiece. Burkle sold the house in 2019 for $18 million after having spent $17 million on its restoration. Whoever the knight in shining armor is, perhaps his or her most heroic act will be rescuing the Freeman House from the institutional decline of USC. Then, perhaps, the ghost of Harriett Freeman finally can be at peace. Inquiries: Deasy Penner Podley: tinyurl.com/emec4swu

Featured Listings for the Month of August by

June Ahn

ACTIVE

621 S Mansfield 69 Fremont Place | Offered Avenue at $8,000,000 5 Beds/6 bas. Living space with permit **6,521S.F. = ** 5,138/main Listed at $3,199,999 house + 1,333/GH w/1 bed & 1ba, full kitchen & laundry inside.

3223 W. 6th St. #206 Leased $3,500

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Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

Hot topic: keeping cool by greening our communities By Helene Seifer It’s not easy being green, but the hot topic was addressed by the nonprofit Westside Urban Forum (WUF) at a panel discussion on July 21 — “Private Trees, Public Benefit: Fortifying L.A.’s Disappearing Tree Canopy.” Panelists effectively made the case for keeping cool by greening our communities. WUF regularly invites land use professionals to consider issues that affect our urban experience. The tree canopy, the “umbrella” function of a tree to shade the ground below, was addressed in this forum because it is a critical tool for climate regulation. In this age of unprecedented temperatures around the globe, adequate shade can lower the temperature of the ground by 20 degrees. Those of us who live in MidWilshire, one of the more verdant sectors of the City of

ABUNDANT TREES on a Santa Monica street.

Los Angeles, might not realize that great swaths of Los Angeles have lost as much as 55 percent of their tree cover — in the last ten years — due

to rampant construction and the mansionization of our communities, replacing back yard trees with saleable square footage. Even Mayor Villarai-

gosa’s Million Trees initiative was a failed response to the need for trees. Many of those plantings died because there was inadequate infrastruc-

ture to support their care and maintenance. So what can we do? The five WUF panelists, who included developer Milan Ratkovich, a native of Windsor Square and Hancock Park, stressed that Los Angeles doesn’t place enough value on trees or have a master plan to guide tree work. One stated that we need to start thinking about it as infrastructure, “a green infrastructure that gains value over time, not just an expense.” Another panelist said that we tend to think of trees as amenities, but in fact, “they are living partners.” Ratkovich pointed out that his company has found that its commercial clients value having outdoor green space. Models around the globe Panelists were quick to point to existing tree initiatives, in cities around the world, which can provide inspiration. Paris is in-filling its tree canopy, planting hundreds of trees along city boulevards and adding 200 new miles of bike paths. Barcelona has faced searing heat spikes, and city leaders have designated “superblocks” to become the green space “lungs” of the city. Barcelona also implemented Cool Walks, an app that guides pedestrians to the coolesttemperature walks based on time of day and where they’re going, even providing information on public water fountains and places to shelter from the heat. Panelist and landscape architect Scott Baker, PLA, ASLA, explained that — closer to home and 25 years ago — Dallas utilized a maze of underground tunnels as a means of beating the heat. Subsequently, that city invested in a street plan of tree plantings and parks and turned itself into a pedestrian city. Said Baker: “If we want to be a flagship city, we need to lead!” During the Zoom program, the panelists and attendees suggested other approaches, including: assessing a fee to home buyers who destroy trees during a renovation, with the funds received being used to plant trees elsewhere; working with developers to try to preserve existing mature trees on site; and offering creative ways to replace holes in the tree canopy. Lower-income hot spots When considering the best ways to add to our urban green space, panelists emphasized addressing the issue of inequities. By far the biggest hot spots are in lower-income neighborhoods, where parking lots flourish and existing street trees aren’t nurtured. Panelist Professor Eric (Please turn to page 11)


Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

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11

Seeds-to-trees discussed Activists honored at LANLT Garden Party Tracy at plant life webinar July 29 The ByLosCaroline Angeles Neighbor-

City Plants and StreetsLA host free quarterly webinars on biodiversity and the urban forest. There is a session Thurs., July 29 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — via Zoom. The virtual discussion will cover ways to document and identify urban plant life, and it also will kick off the public comment period for the City of Los Angeles draft street tree species list. Last month, City Plants became a “My LA2050 Grants Challenge” winner, obtaining a $50,000 grant to support the Commonwealth Nursery in Griffith Park. In addition, City Plants is working with Los Ange-

Tree canopies

(Continued from page 10) Strauss from Loyola Marymount said that, in Los Angeles County, some of those underserved areas have as little as 2 percent tree canopy, compared to Pasadena, for example, which has 80 percent. Panelist Wister Dorta, the urban forest supervisor for the City of Santa Monica, noted

les Dept. of Water and Power, Koreatown Youth and Community Center, TreePeople and others to launch a ninemonth community organizing effort, the “Tree Ambassador Program.” In ten training sessions, participants will learn how to build connections in their communities and to advocate to plant more trees. For more information, visit cityplants.org. that residents of wealthier communities tend to ask the city for more trees, whereas those from poorer areas might not even know they are able to make that request. He added, “How do we ensure that neighborhoods that lack shade now are part of the decisions?” Similar issues are addressed in Los Angeles by City Plants, and further information is available at cityplants.org.

hood Land Trust (LANLT) recently honored local residents Winston and Julie Stromberg at its annual Garden Party. The event consisted of a live auction and inspirational videos detailing the organization’s efforts to increase green space in underserved areas. The Strombergs were recognized alongside community gardener Maria Reyes and The California Wellness Foundation. The virtual party, hosted by Jessica Elaina Eason (“The Babysitters Club”), took place against an artful garden backdrop and featured interactive programming and video content. Event organizers said they exceeded their goal and raised $115,000. Each of the honorees had the opportunity to address party guests / viewers with both live and recorded messages. The Strombergs, formerly of Windsor Village and now Brookside residents, shared the story of how they became involved with LANLT. Julie had worked with the City of Los Angeles to improve conditions at the local Windsor Village park, Harold Henry, and she became inspired to help other com-

WINSTON and Julie Stromberg speak to members and guests of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust during its 2021 Garden Party.

munities in their greening efforts. Julie lauded LANLT for all it has accomplished (creating almost 30 urban parks and community gardens across the city) before encouraging even more involvement from viewers, saying “the work is never done.” Winston, a lawyer at Latham & Watkins, has served as a LANLT board member since 2017 and on the executive committee for two of those years. “Winston and Julie have been amazing partners and supporters not only of the Neighborhood Land Trust, but of park equity in Los Angeles,” said Michele McRae, development director, LANLT. “Their

dedication to the organization over the past few years has made it possible to keep our parks and gardens open and running through the pandemic, allowing our residents to return to safe, healthy spaces.” For more information, visit lanlt.org.

Meet ‘Better Luck’ author August 25

Meet local author, Julia Claiborne Johnson, at a virtual event on Wed., Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. Her novel, “Better Luck Next Time,” is about divorce, marriage and everything inbetween. Visit windsorsquarehancockpark.com for more information.


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Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

Enjoy longer summer hours on Fridays at NHM

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) has extended summer hours for two more Fridays, July 30 and Aug. 6, until 8 p.m. Visitors can enjoy an evening with live DJs in the Nature Gardens, do-it-yourself activities for the family, and food and beverages at the NHM Grill. The ground and first floors of the Museum will remain open, including the Butterfly Pavilion, Nature Lab, Dinosaur Hall, 3D Theater, and the iconic diorama halls. NHM’s two newest exhibitions, “Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of L.A.” and “Rise Up

L.A.: A History of Votes for Women,” are on view in first-floor galleries.   Advance timed-ticket reservations are no longer required, and walk-ups are welcome. However, reserving general admission, special exhibition tickets, OTIS BOOTH PAVILION entrance to the Natural and theater History Museum from Exposition Boulevard tickets in advance of your visit is encouraged. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit  NHM.org/nhm-extendedhours.  for almost 50 years The Natural History Museum is at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles.

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WALK THE MIRACLE MILE on July 29 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

With Councilmember Raman:

Walk the Mile from LACMA to Candela on July 29

Meet your neighbors, local businesses, museum heads and your city councilmember, Nithya Raman, on a walk in the Miracle Mile on Thurs., July 29 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The walk will begin in the Museum District in front of the “Urban Light” outdoor sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd. From there, stroll east-

ward and end at the Art Decoinspired Candela restaurant and nightclub at 831 S. La Brea Ave. Michael Govan, director of LACMA, and Bill Kramer, director of the new Academy Museum (opening Sept. 30), are among community leaders participating in the event. The walk is hosted by the Greater Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce.

Photo sneak peek at LACMA Get a first-ever, in-depth look at cabinet cards, the precursor to the introduction of the snapshot camera. “Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the

German Holocaust film screenings

See German Holocaust films at a virtual screening and panel discussion with the Holocaust Museum LA. “Aimee & Jaguar,” 1999, screens Thurs., Aug. 5. “Naked Among Wolves,” 1963, is Thurs., Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. RSVP hmla.org.

Making of Modern Photography, 1870-1900” opens Sun., Aug. 8 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Before the new, inexpensive formats, such as Brownie box cameras and Instamatics (and don’t forget digital!), getting a photographic portrait was a rare, formal event. The exhibit ends Nov. 7.

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Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

ACADEMY MUSEUM of Motion Pictures, view southeast from Fairfax Avenue.

Academy Museum tickets to go on sale Aug. 5

Photo by Josh White, JWPictures / ©Academy Museum Foundation

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Summertime & the living iS eaSy …. We have these useful and fun fruit and vegetable savers. Examples are “avocado savers.” You just cut the avocado in half, use half, and put the other half in the “avo saver” right with the pit still inside. Put it in the refrigerator and it keeps it fresh and unblemished. “We also have “savers” for onions, tomatoes, garlic, lemons, limes. Forget the saran wrap. We also have a “multi-level” steamer, cooker. You can microwave fish on one level and vegetables on another, all in the microwave. All done in minutes. We have great beach chairs, attractive and portable. We have the carbon monoxide detectors to comply with newly passed laws. Check out our fans and portable AC units, also, while you are here. We love our Larchmont customers who we hope to see this August! Have a great summer.

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Tickets to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, 6067 Wilshire Blvd., will be on sale to the general public beginning Thurs., Aug. 5. The Academy Museum will officially open Thurs., Sept. 30. Opening day events will include two screenings of the “Wizard of Oz” (1939) with live accompaniment by the American Youth Symphony. Other programs that will be available during the opening months include family matinees on Saturdays and Oscar Sundays. There also will be screenings of Hayao Miyazaki’s complete body of work and showings of Oscar-winning and –nominated horror films. Tickets are available only through the website or the

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a bedroom window on July 8 between midnight and 5 a.m. Tools were stolen from inside a home on the 500 block of N. Lucerne Blvd. after a suspect broke the gate lock to enter between July 9 at 4 p.m. and July 10 at 2 p.m. Property was stolen from a home on the 200 block of S. Formosa Ave. after a suspect broke a lock to enter the residence between July 9 at 4 p.m. and July 11 at 8 a.m. THEFTS FROM VEHICLES: A catalytic converter was stolen from a 2008 Toyota Prius while parked on the 100 block of N. Lucerne Blvd. on June 28 at 3 a.m. A catalytic converter was stolen from a 2009 Toyota

Prius while parked on the 100 block of N. Detroit St. between June 28 at 10 p.m. and June 29 at 2 p.m. Unnamed auto parts were stolen from a 2017 Jeep Wrangler parked near the corner of Third Street and La Brea Avenue on July 1 between 1:45 a.m. and 2:45 a.m. A catalytic converter was stolen from a 2007 Toyota Prius while parked near the corner of Sycamore and Oakwood Avenues between July 9 at 6 p.m. and July 10 at 3:30 p.m. A 2009 Toyota Prius had its catalytic converter stolen while parked on the 100 block of N. Detroit St. between July 9 at 9:30 p.m. and July 10 at 1:30 p.m.

By Billy Taylor As recounted in the June Larchmont Chronicle, Wilshire Division’s Commanding Officer Capt. Shannon K. Paulson received a call from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Chief Michel Moore on May 28 to advise her that she had been promoted to the rank of commander and that she would leave Wilshire to take a position as assistant commanding officer of the LAPD’s CounterTerrorism and Special Operations Bureau. “I assure you, I am in no hurry and will make the most of my time left here at Wilshire,” Capt. Paulson told the Wilshire community. “There are still things I hope to accomplish and I will be working hard right up to the very last day.” Capt. Paulson later confirmed that her projected transfer was set for Aug. 1 and that her replacement had been named. “We have been advised that, upon my departure from

Wilshire, I will be replaced by Capt. Sonia Monico, who is being upgraded from Central Traffic Division,” said Paulson in a June 6 statement. “Capt. Monico joined me this past Saturday and began her familiarization with the division during the weekend’s rallies. I will be meeting with Capt. Monico repeatedly over the coming weeks to hopefully facilitate as smooth a transition as possible.” Monico was promoted to captain in March 2019 and was assigned as the Patrol Commanding Officer for the Hollenbeck area. In October 2020, she was promoted as the commanding officer of Central Traffic Division. Capt. Monico was born in Mexico and raised in Southern California. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice management from Union Institute and University, and a Master’s in public administration and leadership from California State University.

Unhappy hour continues at Rite-Aid on Crenshaw Blvd. By Suzan Filipek Windsor Village residents were not successful in their recent protest of a renewal of a retail liquor license at their neighborhood Rite-Aid. “We weren’t successful. However, we are informed that we can protest again next year when their license is up for review again — so that’s what we plan to do,” Windsor Village Association (WVA) (Please turn to page 15)

RESIDENTS hoped for better control of liquor sales because of drinking on public grounds.

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POLICE BEAT WILSHIRE DIVISION BURGLARY: A suspect was taken into custody while trying to enter a victim’s home while the owner was inside the property on the 500 block of S. Arden Blvd. on June 27 at 5:50 a.m. A suspect broke a lock-box to access a key to a home on the 200 block of N. Beachwood Dr. where the burglar was able to gain access to the garage, where he or she stole tools between June 29 at 4 p.m. and June 30 at 7:45 a.m. A laptop, mobile phone and wallet were stolen from inside a home on the 300 block of N. Highland Ave. after a suspect broke a back door and ransacked the interior between June 30 at 10:30 p.m. and July 1 at 6 a.m. A victim was at home when a suspect entered the property on the 500 block of N. Orange Dr., stole a purse and wallet, and fled on July 2 at 1:30 a.m. Property was stolen from an apartment at the Windsor Hancock Park after a suspect entered an apartment from

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

SECTION TWO

© LC 0120

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Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

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15

Lucerne party house antics continue, despite legal prohibition By Billy Taylor A Larchmont Village resident contacted the Chronicle last month to lament the continued activities at a problem “party house” located at 310 N. Lucerne Blvd. “Youval Ziv threw himself an extremely large and loud party on July 3, 2021,” complained the resident, noting that the party featured extremely loud music, noise, groups loitering on the street, and the complete loss of nearby parking thanks in part to a golf cart. At least two people were employed to work the Saturday party — a security guard stationed at the front gate of the property, and a driver for a golf cart that was used to ferry people to and from their cars, which were parked throughout the neighborhood. “It took six hours from my initial phone call for officers to arrive,” said a Lucerne resident about the police’s response. “The officers who arrived treated it as a one-time occurrence and not a continuation of the illegal activities at the address.” According to the resident, the officers asked the security guard to shut down the party due to neighbor complaints. Unsatisfied with what seemed like a total lack of awareness of the long-standing issues and

CROWDS arrive to house party at Lucerne property.

court-ordered bail conditions for the property’s owner Youval Ziv, other residents called the police back to the location to file their own police report. When the police returned to the scene, residents were onsite with an email from Deputy City Attorney Mehrnoosh Zahiri, which detailed the longstanding issues as well as current bail conditions for Youval Ziv. After a quick call to their commander, the police officers allowed residents to file a report against the owner. Previous incidents In February, city attorneys won a prohibition on any rental activity at the location as part of the bail review motion in the criminal case (Case No. 0CJ07716) against Youval Ziv. The case has currently been

continued to Aug. 25. “This was the third opportunity in a short period of time where the house could have been shut down,” complained the Lucerne resident. “Instead, Youval Ziv made his money or had his fun or both, and the block and neighborhood paid

Rite-Aid

(Continued from page 14) president Barbara Pflaumer said. Residents hoped to curb liquor sales — or obtain better Rite-Aid vigilance — because of public drinking of alcohol on store grounds and on public parkways near the area’s single-family homes.

the price.” In fact, just one month prior to this most recent incident, the Chronicle confirmed that a gun-related robbery took place at the address on June 6. The police report for that incident notes that four victims were using the location as a rental when they were robbed at gunpoint by a group of suspects. At that time, we asked the neighborhood prosecutor, Zahiri, about the incident. “I have recently (this week) been provided a copy of the related police report,” said Zahiri on June 24. “While I am not at liberty to discuss the details of the report as the matter is still under investigation, I can generally note that the rental period noted was not clearly less than 30 days, nor was it

noted that the property was rented on Airbnb. Unfortunately, the evidence is not as clear as we would need to immediately obtain a termination of the property owner’s bail. However, I am currently working with the attorney appearing on the matter (the counts related to this property were added onto another criminal filing against the property owner for Hollywood related issues) to see what we can use this for in court. “We are hopeful that once this case is completed (either through a plea negotiation or trial) these issues will be resolved,” concluded Zahiri. That was nine days before the next incident at the now infamous party house on Lucerne. Here’s hoping that justice is served on Aug. 25.

“The sale of alcohol is extraordinarily problematic for the neighborhood,” WVA board member Jeff Estow said. The homeowners association filed a complaint with the state Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), against the store at 959 Crenshaw Blvd. (listed under Thrifty Payless). In response, ABC assigned

an agent and heard from local residents, and the department also was in touch with the local city council member. John Carr, ABC agency information officer, said in an email to the Chronicle that, “As of this time, no meeting date has been set. If the council member sets up a meeting for residents and wants us to attend, the Department has agreed to attend.”

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SECTION TWO

Larchmont Chronicle

AUGUST 2021

Just Sold

Enchanting 1936 Neo-Georgian Revival manor in prime Brentwood Park on flat .71 acre, north of Sunset Boulevard on west side of prestigious Bristol Avenue. 5 beds + 5 baths. Gated & fully landscaped. Extraordinary architectural detailing and design by Thomas A. Buckley of Brown-Buckley, Inc. Well-maintained for past 61 years by present owners. Build an elegant new home or move-in now as the estate is warm, welcoming & clearly puts the “park” in desirable Brentwood Park! Sold at just under $13 million

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Profile for Larchmont Chronicle

LC Real Estate 08 2021  

Los Angeles, local news, Larchmont Village, real estate sales, gallery, theater, movie reviews, museums, libraries, local schools, youth sp...

LC Real Estate 08 2021  

Los Angeles, local news, Larchmont Village, real estate sales, gallery, theater, movie reviews, museums, libraries, local schools, youth sp...

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