Sadly to report, Los Angeles has “permitted” the home of one of its most illustrious citizens to be demolished and replaced with one designed by its new owner, an architect. (An obituary for its passing was printed click here).
Of course, Los Angeles is notorious for allowing historic buildings to be demolished, and then bewailing that it’s not on the international A-list for world-class cultural tourism. If L.A. had the Eiffel Tower, it would probably be replaced by a mixed-use development, doubtless following a “finding” that the 19th century structure could not be retrofitted for earthquake safety.
Is it imaginable that another city claiming to be a cultural capital would allow the home of one of its major writers to be demolished to build a private residence? Would London, for instance, allow the home that Dickens lived in to be torn down? Not only do other cities turn the home of a renown resident writer into a shrine, the room s/he wrote in is often preserved exactly the way it was on the day the author died.
Imagine for a moment, fellow Romans, what would happen if ever there were to be constructed in Los Angeles, say on Olympic Boulevard, a world-class building that housed an internationally acclaimed public school for secondary education….
Meanwhile, in Waukegan, Illinois, the town where Bradbury was born but spent only twelve years of his life, the author is honored by annual festivals, and the individual who acquired his childhood home at 11 South St. James Street (seen to the right) chooses to live in it, if you please!
William Allen, Ph.D. (S’62)
NOTE: The opinions expressed in the foregoing editorial comment are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinion of any other member of the Association or its Board of Directors.
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