Miracle Mile Residential Association Newsletter • August 2015

Miracle Mile
Residential Association

Newsletter • August 2015 • Los Angeles, California                                                                                                    

 share on Twitter    Like HPOZ Report Lists Historical Status of Miracle Mile Properties by Address on Facebook


HPOZ Update: Draft of Historic Resources Survey Report Released

Subway Construction Update: MMRA Protests Metro Buses Using 8th Street

The Billboard Wars: A Conversation with Dennis Hathaway

Inconvenient Truths at LACMA: Sweeping Debt, Dealmaking, and Dubious Design under the Red Carpet by Joseph Giovannini

Miracle Mile Spotlight: Olympia Medical Center Rehabilitation Services

Miracle Mile Real Estate • July 2015 Sales

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HPOZ UPDATE ~ August 2015:

•Draft of Miracle Mile Historic Resources Survey report
submitted for review

•New video: Miracle Mile HPOZ - Frequently Asked Questions
•Over $8,000 in contributions to HPOZ Fund to date
•HPOZ community meeting scheduled for Sept. 19th


Click on map to enlarge.
"The proposed Miracle Mile HPOZ is a highly intact residential district with distinct visual character."
Architectural Resources Group [ARG] has submitted the preliminary draft of the Miracle Mile Historic Resources Survey Report to the Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee for review. The final version of the report will be augmented with historic and current photos and other relevant information.
ARG is in the process of compiling individual DPR forms for each property. “DPR” is an acronym for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. A DPR form is a standardized state form for documenting historic resources. It includes basic information – address and a property description – and a photograph of every property within a historic district. These DPR forms will be included in the final report. 
The draft report reveals that nearly 8o% of properties within the proposed HPOZ boundaries qualify as either contributors or altered contributors [see map above]. The report lists the status of every property by address within the survey area.
“We are very pleased to have such a high percentage of contributing properties and to know that so much of our historic neighborhood is intact,” said Mark Zecca, Chairperson of the HPOZ committee. “It adds to our motivation to get our HPOZ adopted before McMansions or high-density apartment projects reduce our numbers.”

Click on map to enlarge.

"After the most intense period of the Miracle Mile HPOZ’s
development from 1922 to 1930, construction was slow but steady,
seeing a drop during World War II and a postwar spike until
eventually leveling off in the early 1950s."

ARG did advise the committee that the contributing/non-contributing status of a few properties may change upon careful review of the DPR forms, but they anticipate only a slight change to the final tally. Detailed definitions of “contributor,” “altered contributor,” and “non-contributing” properties can be found in the draft report – along with a fascinating history of the Miracle Mile.
Since the draft report was issued two four-plexes at 716 and 720 South Orange Grove Avenue were identified as part of the properties assembled by Metro on the south side of Wilshire Boulevard between Odgen Drive and Orange Grove that will be demolished to make way for the construction of the Wilshire/Fairfax Purple Line subway station. These two properties will be removed from the HPOZ in the final report and maps.
ARG will submit the final report to the Los Angeles City Department of Planning’s Office of Historic Resources in September. ARG was retained by the MMRA to prepare all of the documentation required for HPOZ adoption and to serve as a consultant to the Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee.
For additional information:
Architectural Resources Group: Miracle Mile HPOZ Historic Resources Survey Report – DRAFT

Now playing on the MMRA Channel on YouTube:


Click on image to view video.
Miracle Mile HPOZ • Frequently Asked Questions

There is a learning curve to living in an historic preservation overlay zone [HPOZ]. In this new video Mark Zecca [left], Chairperson of the Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee, and Robby O’Donnell [right], a founder of the Wilshire Park HPOZ, discuss how an HPOZ Preservation Plan is created, how it is administered, and how an HPOZ impacts property owners. They answer questions regarding minor repairs, major renovation projects, and new construction.
You can watch this and other HPOZ related videos at the
MMRA Channel on YouTube.

Over $8,000 in Contributions to HPOZ Fund to Date
 MMRA Treasurer Joe Steins (standing) hosted an HPOZ meeting for
his neighbors on the 1000/1100 blocks of South Sierra Bonita.
The Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee has been participating in a series of “block meetings” to educate residents about the process and benefits of HPOZ. Three of these informal meetings have been held so far: 800/900 blocks of South Sierra Bonita; 800/900 blocks of South Ogden; and 1000/1100 blocks of South Sierra Bonita.
Residents of these blocks have shown strong support for HPOZ and they and other members of the community have contributed $8,525 to date to the Miracle Mile HPOZ Fund. These contributions will help the MMRA with the estimated $70,000 it is spending to sponsor the creation of the proposed HPOZ.
If you would like to host a “block meeting” for your neighbors to discuss HPOZ please contact Mark Zecca, Chair of the Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee:
Our official HPOZ fundraising campaign will be launched in the September 15th MMRA newsletter and at our September 19th community meeting. But you don’t have to wait until then. HPOZ will enhance property values for homeowners and benefit renters by preserving historic rent-stabilized apartments. We suggest a $250 donation from homeowners and a $50 donation from renters – but we will be very grateful for any amount you care to contribute. Thank you.
Contribute to the Miracle Mile HPOZ Fund
or you can send a check payable to:
Miracle Mile Residential Association • P.O. Box 361295
L.A., CA 90036-9495
Please print and complete this PDF form to accompany your check.
PLEASE NOTE: Financial contributions to the Miracle Mile Residential Association will not qualify you for a tax deduction. The MMRA is not a charitable organization, it is a non-profit civic entity organized exclusively for the promotion of social welfare of its membership under 501 (c) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). All funds contributed to the HPOZ Fund will be used exclusively for costs directly associated with the creation of the Miracle Mile HPOZ.

Miracle Mile HPOZ Community Meeting Scheduled
Saturday • September 19th • 11 AM
Candela 831 S. La Brea Avenue


The next HPOZ Community Meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, September 19th at 11 AM. The meeting will be held in the ballroom at Candela, 831 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036.
Once again, the Lopez family – the owners of Candela – have generously provided the use of their ballroom at no cost to the community. The first HPOZ community meeting was held at Candela last January [photo above]. As with the first meeting, the September meeting will be video taped in full for posting on the MMRA Channel on YouTube. [Here’s a link to the video of the January HPOZ meeting].
A representative from the Planning Department’s Historical Preservation Overlay Zone office will be at the September meeting — as will other HPOZ experts and members of the Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee. This outreach event will provide you with an opportunity to learn more about HPOZ and have all of your questions answered.

The Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee will promote the community meeting with a mass mailing to every resident – renters and property owners – within the boundaries of the proposed HPOZ. The committee has also ordered lawn signs [above] to place throughout the neighborhood.


Subway Construction Update ~ August 2015


Click on image to enlarge.

Subway Construction Update ~ August 2015:
•Metro proposes converting Cloverdale and Ridgeley to one-way
streets north of Wilshire to create additional on-street parking
•MMRA protests Metro buses using 8th Street
At the Purple Line Extension Community Meeting on July 16, Metro introduced a proposal to make Cloverdale and Ridgeley one-way streets between Wilshire Boulevard and 6th Street in order to create additional parking. Metro is required to mitigate the loss of on-street parking spaces at the subway construction sites at Wilshire and La Brea. Converting Cloverdale and Ridgeley into northbound one-way streets would allow for diagonal parking that would add 15 new parking spaces on Cloverdale and 9 new parking spaces on Ridgeley. Both streets would remain two-way up to the parking lots of the commercial and retail establishments on the north side of Wilshire Boulevard – and both streets would retain their Preferential Parking District status [see graphics below].

Cloverdale Replacement Parking Plan.
Click on image to enlarge.
The eastern end of the Miracle Mile is enduring a severe parking shortage. Many of the historic apartment buildings north of Wilshire have very little or no off-street parking. Subway construction has shuttered the public parking lot on Detroit (north of Wilshire) and the former Bank of America parking lot. A large infill apartment complex is under construction on the former parking lot behind the Desmonds Building and a similar project is scheduled for the parking lot behind the Dominguez-Wilshire Building. The lack of parking – private and public – is having an impact on small businesses and restaurants, as well as residents.
The MMRA supports the proposed replacement parking plan. MMRA representatives Alice Cassidy, James O’Sullivan, and Ken Hixon met with Metro’s Construction Relations team on August 2 to review the plan. “Twenty-four new parking spaces won’t cure all of our parking problems,” said O’Sullivan, “but it will help the people living on those two streets.”

Ridgeley Replacement Parking Plan.
Click on image to enlarge.
Metro’s plan must be approved by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and garner the approval of two-thirds of the property owners before it could be implemented. Metro will conduct block meetings to brief residents once the plan has received the necessary approvals.
It irked Hixon that renters had no vote in the matter. “The MMRA represents property owners and renters – I don’t like it when renters are treated as second class citizens,” he said. “I would encourage the tenants on Ridgeley and Cloverdale to put pressure on their landlords to approve this plan.”
For additional information:
Metro: Purple Line Extension, Section 1 Construction Community Meeting, July 16, 2015 – PowerPoint Presentation

MMRA Protests Metro Buses Using 8th Street

On the evenings of July 29, July 30, and briefly on August 4, Metro allowed eastbound buses from Wilshire Boulevard to use 8th Street due to unexpected lane closures caused by advanced utility relocation work at Wilshire and Fairfax. This violated an understanding between the MMRA and Metro Purple Line Extension officials that 8th Street would not be utilized as a detour for subway construction in the Miracle Mile.
Eighth Street is a narrow collector street running through a densely populated area with single family homes bordering it on the south and multi-family buildings on the north. It creates a significant noise disturbance to have the 720 bus lumbering along 8th Street at 1 o’clock in the morning. The MMRA is adamant that if Wilshire Boulevard traffic must be diverted – for whatever cause – it must be detoured to either Olympic Boulevard and/or 6th Street. These routes are suitable for buses, 8th Street is not.
In a letter to Metro, MMRA President James O’Sullivan wrote: “… it has taken [Metro] a lot of time and energy to forge a productive working relationship with the MMRA, but this relationship will quickly unravel if Metro dispatch allows buses to detour onto 8th Street.”
In a reply from Metro received on August 12, Kasey Shuda, Purple Line Extension Construction Relations manager, reaffirmed Metro’s commitment to work with the MMRA and offered assurances that dispatchers have been instructed not to allow bus drivers to utilize 8th Street in the future.
If you see a Metro bus using 8th Street please make note of the date and time and immediately contact the MMRA via email:


The Billboard Wars • A Conversation with Dennis Hathaway


Now Playing on the MMRA Channel on YouTube:


Click on image to view video.

The Billboard Wars
A Conversation with Dennis Hathaway

Regulating billboards has been a perennial battle in Los Angeles. It is described as a “David and Goliath” struggle for good reason: the political and legal resources of the billboard industry often place the residents of L.A. on the losing side. Now that members of the City Council are touting a new plan to allow digital billboards all over town the stakes are higher than ever.
Dennis Hathaway, President of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, has been fighting the good fight for nearly a decade. In this two part video conversation, Hathaway candidly discusses the battleground and what it will take to achieve effective regulation of the billboards.
Hathaway is equal parts affable and persistent. He has employed his skills as a former Iowa newspaper reporter to dissect and illuminate the sweetheart relationship between City Hall and the billboard industry. Hathaway and his volunteer organization have been an invaluable ally and resource to neighborhood organizations fighting billboards and sign districts, including the MMRA.
For additional information:
Los Angeles Daily News, 28 June 2015: New Digital Billboard Laws Set for Consideration in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Times, 3 Dec. 2008 [Steve Lopez profile of Dennis Hathaway]: Pushing Back on Billboard Blight


Inconvenient Truths at LACMA: Sweeping Debt, Dealmaking,
and Dubious Design under the Red Carpet


Inconvenient Truths at LACMA:
Sweeping Debt, Dealmaking, and Dubious
Design under the Red Carpet

by Joseph Giovannini


“…from the very beginning the ambitious project has been personality driven, based much more on Govan’s determination, enthusiasm, and charisma than on a compelling and original design or trustable financial facts.”
Joseph Giovannini

The third, and final, installment of Joseph Giovannini’s brilliant dismantling of the architectural follies at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, reveals a publicly-owned institution gone fiscally amuck. LACMA, in Giovannini’s view, has become a private fief subsidized by hundreds of millions in taxpayer money – $425 million is the latest infusion – without a shred of accountability. 
LACMA’s present campaign to build Peter Zumthor’s zig-zag museum, bridging Wilshire Boulevard, Giovannini explains, is not just poor aesthetics, it is an unforgivable squandering of the Museum’s only substantial endowment: its real estate holdings. Going forward with the Swiss architect’s estimated billion dollar building means that LACMA, which already gave away a building of equal size – the May Company, now being converted into the privately-held Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences museum – will also shed the two-acre lot it owns on Wilshire Boulevard, at Spaulding. The lot, used today for parking, was intended by LAMCA’s board to be commercially developed, thus ensuring a steady revenue stream for the cash-poor, but land-rich, Museum. 
Giovannini concludes with a stark warning: LACMA director Michael Govan’s love affair with Zumthor’s “conceptually flawed” design could put the institution in a financial tailspin. “Think of the mastodons sipping at the tar pits. LACMA now risks the same fate,” he writes. Giovannini has been leading a lone crusade to alert the city to the perils of LACMA’s present ambitions. We should heed his sobering account. –
 Greg Goldin

Top photo: John Fladd

Joseph Giovannini biography 

Joseph Giovannini essays on LACMA:
Los Angeles Review of Books, 19 July 2015: Inconvenient Truths at LACMA: 
Sweeping Debt, Dealmaking, and Dubious Design under the Red Carpet

Los Angeles Review of Books, 19 April 2015: Peter Zumthor at LACMA: A Preacher in the Wrong Church

 Los Angeles Review of Books, 20 July 2014: A U-Turn on Wilshire: Why Frank Gehry Should Design LACMA


Miracle Mile Spotlight:
Olympia Medical Center Rehabilitation Services

Miracle Mile Spotlight:

Olympia Medical Center
Rehabilitation Services

The definition of rehabilitation is to restore to good health or useful life. But the definition is far simpler than its execution. A person recovering from a stroke, joint replacement, or other illnesses or surgeries may need a variety of therapies: inpatient, outpatient, physical, occupational, and speech.
It is Avi Amit’s job to see that people get the help they need to get back to the business of daily life. Avi manages the rehabilitation services for Olympia Medical Center at its newly remodeled location on the fourth floor at 5901 West Olympic Boulevard. This well-equipped facility, which offers dramatic views to the south, is where Avi and his team of therapists demonstrate their positive and compassionate attitudes for their work. It is obvious that they are deeply invested in achieving the best possible outcomes for their patients.
“It’s about an individualized plan for all our clients,” said Avi. “It all depends on the condition of the patient. We want to bring them back to as close to the same level as they were before. Making them as independent and mobile as possible is our goal. We need to get you back even if there are certain restrictions. We can’t ignore that you’ve had surgery or a serious injury, and different people need different amounts of time to recover.”
This is where the variety of services they provide comes into play. An orthopedic procedure calls for physical therapy to restore a sense of balance and range of motion; a stroke or neurological incident might require speech therapy; some patients need to relearn functional activities like bathing, dressing themselves, or preparing a meal; and others will need a combination of all of these tools. This comprehensive approach requires a highly skilled team. The open design of the clinic allows easy interface between all of the specialists, yet provides privacy when needed for speech or certain physical therapies.

Monica Becerra, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Avi Amit.


“We cater to older patients from here in the neighborhood,” Avi explains. “But we would like to promote our orthopedic and recreational sports injury program. That’s why we have this new facility and why we’ve added more exercise equipment. I’ll be honest with you, we have Cedars-Sinai nearby with all of their programs and there is a temptation to go to a bigger hospital because you assume they have better service – but once a patient comes here, they always come back to our clinic. And that’s what we want to be: the neighborhood outpatient rehabilitation clinic.”
Their location and free parking is very attractive to residents of the Miracle Mile. For patients living within a ten mile radius they provide free transportation to-and-from the clinic – a valuable service for patients with conditions that prevent them from driving.
“I go to events in the community,” Avi said. “I want everyone to know that we are here for the community. Whatever we can do, however we can help, we will do it.”
The philosophy of Avi Amit and the staff at the Olympia Medical Center Rehabilitation Center can also be easily defined: They really care.


Olympia Medical Center Rehabilitation Services
5901 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 407
Office: 323-932-5086

Avi Amit, manager: 323-932-5086


[The MMRA newsletter does not solicit or accept advertisements. Our support of local businesses and institutions is a matter of principle – for which we receive no financial compensation or consideration of any kind.]


Miracle Mile Real Estate • July 2015 Sales


Miracle Mile Real Estate
• July 2015 Sales •

5525 W. Olympic Blvd. #101
condo - 2 bdrm; 2 bath
1,490 sq. ft
listed price: $649,000
sale price: $665,000
sale date: 7/8/2015

1002 S. Burnside Ave. #5
condo - 2 bdrm; 2 bath
1,627 sq. ft.
listed price: $569,000
sale price: $575,000
sale date: 7/9/2015


(...below the fold...)


MMRA Board Meeting
September 3, 2015
@ 7 PM

Board meetings are held at

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[Click on image to enlarge]

Miracle Mile

History Quiz

Long before Best Buy, the place to go in Miracle Mile for a new TV or washing machine was Adray's. What business now occupies this location?

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 © 2015 Miracle Mile Residential Association.  All rights reserved.

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


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