Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saving LA

As part of the LA City Nerd's mission to convey Los Angeles to the world. Today, we're trying something new: we're typing live from the SavingLA conference.

I'm sitting in the Los Angeles Theater right now listening to Ken Bernstein, Director of the Office of Historic Preservation, talk about a Citywide Historic Survey. One frightening statement he made was that the City is one of the only non-certified historic preservation local governments. After being in the position for less than a year, he's announced the certification application has been finally sent to the State for approval.

There are about 100 people here: Wil Cambell to Brady Westwater to historical groups to Neighborhood Councils.

Sadly, there was no sign-in sheet when I walked in, so there's no record of who's here.

Ken is now talking about why we've not had a Citywide Historic survey since it was first called for in 1962. Only about 15 percent of the 472 square miles of the City has been surveyed (most notably absent; the Valley, the Westside, and South LA). It's the Getty Institute that has pushed and is funding a portion of the survey: 2.5 million dollars that will be matched by the City (over 5 years that began in June 2006).

The project has two phases: initiation phase and implamentation phase. The initiation phase has many technical components that lay the foundation for the actual survey to take place in the implamentation phase.

This conference has a great vision and motivation, but the execution was somewhat lacking. If this is/was the kickoff of this historic preservation for LA in the 21st century, it has thus far left something to be desired. At the break, a few folks left because it appeared to be less action oriented abd more "show and tell." (Ken's presentation is quite informative and worth staying past the break!)

I'm looking forward to hear/read what others have to say about this event.

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