Miracle Mile Residential Association Newsletter • July 2016

Miracle Mile
Residential Association

Newsletter • July 2016 • Los Angeles, California                                                                                                    

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On July 11, 2016, MMRA President James O’Sullivan sent a letter to Councilmember David Ryu regarding the deteriorating safety conditions on 8th Street due to do the increase in traffic resulting from the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit lanes on Wilshire Boulevard and the construction of the Purple Line Subway Extension:

Dear David,

A spate of recent accidents (see attached photos in the email that conveyed this letter) and gridlocked intersections during peak hours have raised things to a boiling point on 8th Street. Residents of the Miracle Mile are at their wit’s end. The complaints that have been steadily flowing into the MMRA for the past year have reached a roar.

It is a only a matter of borrowed time before some pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist is severely injured or killed on 8th Street. I don’t think any of us want such a calamity on our conscience, so I believe it is time for all of us to concentrate on safety and not bureaucratic engineering mandates. 

We knew years ago with the advent of the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit lanes that traffic would be increased on 8th Street by 20-to-40 percent – the project’s Environmental Impact Report stated that. And the EIR was right. We were also concerned that subway construction would exacerbate traffic on 8th Street, so we deployed funds to do a Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Plan that we hoped would help solve the impacts of BRT and subway construction by allowing the installation of additional 4-way stop signs along 8th Street to slow traffic and improve safety at  intersections with poor lines of sight that make it difficult to see oncoming cross-traffic.          

To our chagrin, we have been stymied by the State’s obtuse Uniform Traffic Code – which LADOT cites as an excuse for why no additional 4-way stop signs can be installed on 8th Street.

LADOT has offered to add lane striping to narrow traffic lanes in a effort to calm traffic and to remove a few parking spaces here and there to improve line of sight issues – and we welcome that. But it doesn’t come close to correcting the real problems: intersections are gridlocked during peak hours traffic, cars on north/south intersecting streets are unable to cross or turn onto 8th Street; cyclists find themselves in an angry chum of frustrated motorists; pedestrians must have nerves of steel to cross 8th; and during non-peak hours motorists thwarted by subway construction along Wilshire are racing across 8th Street to make up for lost time. It is an untenable situation.

What is galling to us is that everyone agrees that having two subway stations constructed at the same time in the Miracle Mile is extremely challenging to our community, yet because such an extraordinarily unusual circumstance is not specifically mentioned in the State’s complex and lengthy traffic codes we find ourselves up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

So, enough is enough. Lives are at risk and safety must be our top concern.

We need 4-way stop signs at every intersection on 8th Street from Fairfax to La Brea for the duration of subway construction in the Miracle Mile.

Once the subway construction is completed, we can then review the situation and apply the standard formulas that LADOT depends on – formulas that are wholly inadequate to cope with our current situation.

This is a completely unique situation; exceptions to the rulebook must be made. Exceptions like this have been made before. A 4-way stop was installed at Masselin and 8th Street during construction of two buildings on 8th Street. Once those projects were completed, the intersection was returned to a 2-way stop.

We also feel very strongly that since Metro created this crisis on 8th Street – whether it be the Wilshire BRT and/or construction for the Purple Line Subway Extension – that they should bear the expense of installing these additional 4-way stop signs, as well as all the other enhancements contained in the Miracle Mile Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Plan.

We have met many times with LADOT on this matter and our pleas and logic have fallen on deaf ears. Absent your direct involvement – and your commitment to fixing this problem – there can be no effective remedy to this crisis.

I am requesting that you lead a meeting, as soon as your schedule permits, with representatives from the MMRA, LADOT, and Metro, so that we can resolve this problem.

Thank you,


James O’Sullivan, President
Miracle Mile Residential Association

Sarah Dusseault, Councilmember Ryu’s Chief of Staff, promptly replied to O’Sullivan letter. Dusseault stated that Ryu was out of the country on a trade trip and that a meeting would be scheduled upon his return. In the meantime, Ryu’s staff would confer with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) on the matter.

Click on image to view report.

In June 2014, the MMRA initiated the “Miracle Mile Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Plan” to do an extensive study of traffic conditions. The plan was completed in February 2016 and approved by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.  [Click on image above to read the plan.]

Since the completion of the plan – and the commencement of major subway construction on Wilshire Boulevard – gridlock conditions on 8th Street during rush hour traffic periods have worsened. The fact that L.A.P.D. does not take accidents reports on collisions that do not involve personal injuries has made it difficult for the MMRA to build a case in favor on additional 4-way stop signs along 8th Street. The MMRA encourages residents to take photos of accidents and forward them to:


HPOZ Update from Mark Zecca,
Chairperson of the Miracle HPOZ Committee


HPOZ Update from Mark Zecca,

Chairperson of the Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee

Click on image to read report.

Dear Miracle Mile Residents,
I would like to bring you up-to-date on our progress towards creating the Miracle Mile Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ). For a refresher in the many the many steps involved with securing HPOZ status see the chart below.
First, I want to thank all of our supporters who generously donated funds to help the MMRA defray the cost of the historic resources survey. The survey documented each and every property and determined their contributions to the historical context of the Miracle Mile. Remarkably, 80 percent of the single and multi-family structures within the boundaries of our HPOZ were deemed as either “contributors” or “altered contributors.” Our charming neighborhood is very much intact from its beginnings in the mid-1920s. You can read the Historic Resources Survey and the specific determination and information on your property at the Miracle Mile HPOZ website.
Recently, the DRAFT Miracle Mile HPOZ Preservation Plan was completed by a committee of Miracle Mile residents and property owners under the supervision of the Office of Historic Resources. The committee was composed of single family home owners, multi-family building owners, renters, an architect specializing in historic properties, and a property manager. The Preservation Plan provides guidelines for the renovation, remodeling, and upkeep of our historic properties. These guidelines will be utilized by the HPOZ Review Board and city officials in administering our HPOZ. You can review the Preservation Plan by clicking on this link
For those of you interested in just how the nuts-and-bolts of an HPOZ work, I encourage you to view a video I did with Robby O’Donnell, a founder of the Wilshire Park HPOZ, who served as our consultant in forming the Miracle Mile HPOZ. We also have videos of all of our HPOZ outreach meetings available online, too.


Miracle Mile HPOZ ~ Frequently Asked Questions
with Mark Zecca and Robby O'Donnell.
Click on image to view video.

The city has tentatively scheduled two meetings in August to familiarize the community with the DRAFT Miracle Mile Preservation Plan and to gather your input:
A public workshop to review the Preservation Plan is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 7:00 PM at Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035. Officials from the Office of Historic Resources will be on hand to answer all your questions.
A combination public workshop and public hearing on the Miracle Mile HPOZ is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 20th, 2016 at Candela, 831 S. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036. The public workshop will begin at 10:00 AM and the public hearing will begin at 11:00 AM.
I encourage all of all Miracle Mile residents to attend the public hearing on August 20th to demonstrate your support for our HPOZ.
You will receive confirmation of these dates via a mailing to every resident in the Miracle Mile from the Office of Historic Resources, as these meeting are part of the official process of adopting an HPOZ. The MMRA will also send out an email blast to all the residents on our subscriber list once the city confirms these dates.
Thanks to the guidance of the Office of Historic Resources and the support of hundreds of Miracle Mile residents our HPOZ is on track for adoption before March 2017, when the current Interim Control Ordinance expires that currently prohibits the demolition of our historic homes for the construction of McMansions.
Implementing our HPOZ will finally place control of our community back in the hands of the residents. It will not only thwart mansionization, it will also stop the demolition of our vintage duplexes and multi-family buildings to construct super-sized luxury rate developments. Most importantly, the Miracle Mile HPOZ will protect and preserve our lovely community for many generations to come.
If you have any comments or questions feel free to contact me at:
With warm regards,
Mark Zecca
Chairperson, Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee




A Brief History of Historic Preservation in L.A. ~
A Video Interview with Ken Bernstein


Click on image to view video.

Reforming L.A.’s Historic Preservation Ordinances
and a Brief History of Historic Preservation in L.A.

– a Video Interview with Ken Bernstein

Ken Bernstein [photo above], Principal City Planner and Manager of the Office of Historic Resources, was recently interviewed for the Miracle Mile Residential Association’s “MMRA Channel on YouTube.” (To view the interview click HERE.)
The Office of Historic Resources in the Department of City Planning coordinates the city’s historic preservation activities, which includes oversight of 30 HPOZs (Historic Preservation Overlay Zones or historic districts) and the Historic Cultural Monuments Program (1,100-plus landmarks).
In the interview Bernstein provides a brief history of historic preservation in Los Angeles that dispels the well worn cliché of L.A. as a city with a cavalier attitude towards its past. He credits the Los Angeles Conservancy, the largest non-profit preservation organization in the country, for their pioneering efforts and relates how Los Angeles’ 1963 landmark ordinance preceded the more celebrated landmark law in New York City, born of the infamous demolition of Penn Station [see photos below]– which is often cited as the catalyst for the architectural preservation movement in the U.S.

Penn Station, New York City, before and after.  Click on images to enlarge.

Bernstein summarizes the ground-breaking “Survey L.A.” project, a comprehensive program funded by the Getty to identify significant historic resources throughout Los Angeles. The digital database created by this innovative survey will serve as a centerpiece for future preservation programs.
Bernstein also delves into the challenges of managing the city’s existing 30 HPOZs and shepherding the 7 pending HPOZs that are winding their way through adoption process (including the Miracle Mile).  In an effort to streamline and improve these administrative duties, the Office of Historic Resources has recently proposed changes to the HPOZ ordinance. They have also proposed amendments to the Historic Cultural Monument ordinance to smooth out the bumps in the landmark application process.
The Miracle Mile Residential Association supports the reforms to both ordinances and encourages the City Council to adopt these amendments. It is crucial that residents of other HPOZs – existing and/or pending – and other history minded residents of L.A. demonstrate their support for these reforms by reaching out to their councilmembers, too.
As Los Angeles matures more and more neighborhoods will seek HPOZ status to preserve their history and protect their communities from mansionization and high-density development. The efficient management of historic districts and improvements to the landmarks application process are critical to the overall efforts to preserve and celebrate the rich history of Los Angeles.


Wilshire's "Special" Streetlights


Wilshire’s “Special” Streetlights

Courtesy of the Museum of Neon Art.
Click on images to enlarge.


Chris Burden’s “Urban Lights” at the Wilshire entrance to LACMA recently reopened after being dark for two months for restoration. This collection of vintage Los Angeles streetlights has become a famous landmark, but decades before “Urban Lights” there was another collection of Wilshire streetlights that were much celebrated: the Wilshire Specials.


By the mid-1920s Wilshire Boulevard was emerging as the grand avenue of Los Angeles. It was rapidly transforming from a street of turn of the century mansions to retail emporiums, apartment buildings, hotels and office buildings. As the city grew west to include the Miracle Mile, Wilshire was widened and the utilities were buried.

In 1928, 393 "Wilshire Special" streetlamps, lining a six-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard from Park View Avenue to Fairfax Avenue (then the western boundary of L.A.), were switched on by the mayor while bands played at the ceremonial unveiling.


The ornate Wilshire Special streetlamps were custom made of bronze with a giant rectangular lantern that was adorned on each corner with a stylized female figure. The lanterns were 7½ feet tall from the base to the top of the finial.
Today only about 100 of the Wilshire Specials are left. The majority of the survivors can be found on Wilshire Boulevard between Union Avenue on the west and the 110 Freeway on the east. There is also one in the third-floor rotunda of Los Angeles City Hall. But lots of Wilshire Special streetlamps can be found throughout the Miracle Mile Historical Photo Collection.


Miracle Mile Pet Resources Guide Updated


Miracle Mile Pet Resources Guide Updated

Two of the more popular features on the MMRA website are the Miracle Mile Restaurant Guide and the Miracle Mile Pet Resources Guide. A couple of months ago we updated the restaurant guide, this month we updated the pet resources guide.
The guide lists an array of resources that are the favorites of Miracle Mile pet owners – from boarding, dog walking, grooming, to veterinarian care. If we missed one of your favorites, sent us an email message and we’ll add them to the list.


Miracle Mile Real Estate • June 2016 Sales


Miracle Mile Real Estate
• June 2016 Sales •


5764 San Vicente Blvd. #102
condo: 3 bdrm; 3 bath
1,620 sq. ft
listed price: $679,000
sale price: $
sale date: 5/16/2016

5826 Olympic Blvd. #103
condo: 3 bdrm; 2 bath
1,495 sq. ft.
listed price: $769,000
sale price: $769,000
sale date: 6/23/2016 

5826 Olympic Blvd. #102
condo: 2 bdrm; 2 bath
1,442 sq. ft.
listed price: $749,000
sale price: $749,000
sale date: 6/17/2016 

1070 Masselin Ave.
4-units: all 1 bdrm; 1 bath
3,993 sq. ft.
lot: 6,045 sq. ft.
listed price: $1,625,000
sale price: $1,500,000
sale date: 6/1/2016

931 S. Cochran Ave.
3 bdrm; 2 bath
1,888 sq. ft.
lot: 7,949 sq. ft.
listed price: $1,300,000
sale price: $1,315,000
sale date: 6/3/2016

1135 Hauser Blvd.
3 bdrm; 2 bath
1,752 sq. ft.
lot: 5,634 sq. ft.
listed price: $795,000
sale price: $850,000
sale date: 6/30/2016



(...below the fold...)


MMRA Board Meeting
August 2, 2016
@ 7 PM

Board meetings are held at

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Miracle Mile

History Quiz

Coulter's department store opened in 1938. The Miracle Mile lost one its most celebrated art deco buildings when it was demolished in 1980. Where was it located?

Miracle Mile Farmers' Market
Every Wednesday 11 AM ~ 3 PM

Wilshire Courtyard

Miracle Mile
Residential Association

James O’Sullivan, President

Alice S. Cassidy, Vice President

Joseph Steins, Treasurer

Ken Hixon, Vice President
Director of Communications

Mark Zecca, Chairperson
Miracle Mile HPOZ Committe

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Copyright © 2016 Miracle Mile Residential Association.  All rights reserved.

Miracle Mile Residential Association
P.O. Box 361295
Los Angles, CA 90036-9495


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