Psst... Wanna Buy The Last Commercial Orange Grove in the San Fernando Valley?

The Bothwell Ranch Foundation does, so you and future generations can be beguiled by L.A.'s vanishing agricultural history

Gentle reader…

Yesterday was Earth Day, and what better occasion to announce we’re part of a brand new non-profit launched by our Save LACMA collaborator Rob Hollman?

The Bothwell Ranch Foundation exists to purchase, preserve, maintain and interpret the last commercial citrus grove in the San Fernando Valley. The ranch was also home for many decades to one of the world’s great vintage car collections. Click the photo below for a video tour.

And although the descendents who want to sell the ranch to developers keep making noise about shutting off the irrigation pipes and letting the old trees dry up and die, where there’s a dream, there’s hope for a happier last act for any landmark. We’ve got big ideas for this little green slice of Southern California history, so stay tuned!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Larry Edmunds Bookshop GoFundMe campaign, or helped spread the word, including KPCC’s Take Two, where Richard mused on the legacy of Hollywood’s Bookseller’s Row (starting at 29:14 into the episode). Our bookman friend Jeff Mantor has been humbled by all the support, and has great hopes for keeping this legacy Hollywood bookshop going through our present difficulties. As of this afternoon, he’s a third of the way to the shop’s $100,000 goal, thanks to more than 600 individual supporters.

We promised the You Can’t Eat The Sunshine podcast was coming back from hiatus, reformatted to suit the social distancing times with a more conversational structure, featuring our preservation pals calling in from around the Southland. There are now two new episodes available: Stan’s Donuts & LACMA and Last Stand on Koreatown’s Little New York Street, with more to come. Come hang out with us virtually, and let’s keep the conversation going, even while we can’t invite you out to take a tour.

In the latest subscriber's edition of this newsletter—$10/month, cheap!—we go on a treasure hunt for lost relics of Marineland of the Pacific, in the company of our real-live mermaid pal. What's that under the billowing tarp?!


If you enjoy all we do to celebrate and preserve Los Angeles history and would like to say thank you, please consider signing up for the subscriber’s edition of this newsletter, or putting a little something into our digital tip jar. Need a good read? Bookshop uses the power of distributor Ingram to help independent bookstores stick around. We've curated a selection of uniquely Los Angeles titles, and when you order from these links, it supports participating local shops, and us, too. You can also click here before shopping on Amazon. Or you can reserve a gift certificate to join us for a tour once we're back on the road... & if you love what we do, please tell your friends.

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We're dark until public health officials determine that groups can gather safely. But we've got 134 episodes of the podcast You Can't Eat The Sunshine free to download for armchair explorers, and videos of the Downtown L.A. LAVA walking tours, plus Cranky Preservationist videos. And while we're not shipping physical books right now, Kim's 1920s cult mystery novel The Kept Girl is available as an ebook.



In LACMA News: The Save LACMA ballot measure has been accepted by the County, so now the hard work of circulating a petition in a pandemic begins… Op-Ed: Last chance to reconsider LACMA's bad plan for a new museum?… Weird glitch or sign of hope: Los Angeles City Council did not vote on the sidewalk easement giveaway on yesterday's agenda as expected, and instead kicked the can down the road into 2021. What do they know that citizens don't?… Negative criticism of William Pereira's 1965 LACMA campus nimbly rebutted by architect and historian Alan Hess… #SaveLACMA

Watching HBO’s Perry Mason reboot trailer, we note it’s beautifully shot with a nice shout out to Dawson's Book Shop, but we sure hope the producers don't smear Sister Aimee McPherson like the crooked L.A. politicians did.

RIP Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun, killed by the Los Angeles Times, owned by the richest man in town. The Internet Archive is rich with 1920s editions of the Glendale paper, so you can see what's been lost.

After Dion Neutra's death, his brother Raymond takes charge of the Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design. Fascinating timing. We'll be watching with interest to see how the five year plan unfolds.

Underwhelmed with these smog-free L.A. sunsets? Reyner Banham, who we studied with at UCSC, calls out what we're missing at the end of his iconic 1972 BBC love letter to this crazy mixed up town.

The small town restaurant revolution is over... and America can either revive it, or stomp out a smoke on its grave. Aren't we better than this?

South LA Buildings on Instagram alerted us to the demolition notices posted on this spectacular 1908 Craftsman cottage at 3525 South Bronson, the Bekins Mansion. Not owned by a developer—it last sold in 1977, for $28K.

Take a virtual Labor History Tour of Los Angeles, with this fold out map from The Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research.

We are very sorry to hear that Ian Whitcomb, that musical marvel, has died. Here he is at one of our LAVA Sunday Salons at Clifton's Cafeteria, explaining his wild love for Los Angeles. Research days at the Huntington Library won't be the same without teatime with our friend!

Ccitizen journalist documents storefronts next to the city-owned Vision Theater on fire and the morning after, says homeless camp is source. Los Angeles has been slow to get vulnerable people into hotels, which is dangerous for them and for our landmarks.

Loving this 1941 KRKD Mayoral stump speech by actor / news vendor Angelo Rossitto. He's furious about public transit costs, traffic congestion ("4 blocks in 14 minutes, I can crawl on my hands and knees faster than that!"), and sure didn't want a subway!

In honor of National Poetry Month through Friday, 4/24, the Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology is available for free for Kindle.

The Letterform Archive is an online repository of cool fonts, including this sinuous hand-drawn logo for L.A.'s ACME Beer, which we have a tough time believing was "non-fattening." Also worth perusing, the 1951 Southern California architecture guide designed by Alvin Lustig.

Wondering about some of those question marks in the Los Angeles City Hall public corruption investigation? Crack reporter Natalie Brunell turns stand-in letters into names, including the very connected Modrzejewski clan. (We prefer Modjeska.)

yours for Los Angeles,
Kim & Richard