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BLOG: Hollywood Development Isn't Going Away, But It Shouldn't Be 'Runaway'

A history researcher weighs in on on the state of development in Hollywood.

Hello fellow Patchers!

I'd like to introduce myself:  Philip (or Felix, for that matter) is the name, and history is my game.  I am the creator and owner of The Felix In Hollywood Tour Company and we give a 90 minute (ish) historical walking tour of the entertainment industry of Old Hollywood.

I have lived in many places and have traveled all around the world.  After seeing all that this great world has to offer, I chose Hollywood to be my home.  And home it has been for over 25 years.

Being a long time resident and loving the place as I do, it gives me the right to do a little griping.  Don't worry, it's going to be very little.  Actually only one little thing....

The respect for history in this town is - let me be kind here - somewhat lacking. 

There are many places in this country and certainly all over Europe where there exists an unwritten understanding of responsibility and good stewardship involved in the buying and owning of historic properties.  That, sadly, seems to be the very rare exception here.  I know that, in the grand scheme of things, we are a very young place, but we'll never develop a sense of our historical contributions if we keep knocking stuff down!  Never have I seen a city (and really I'm talking all of the greater LA area) with more of an unyielding hunger to systematically destroy structures of beauty, structures of architectural importance, and structures where amazing events and projects have taken place.  All in order for developers to spin the wheel and hit a bigger jackpot.  Somewhere along the way, making a lot of money has translated into not making enough money. 

Before you get the wrong idea here, I am not anti-progress and I'm not anti-business.  In fact the balance of new and old architecture allows one to appreciate both even more!  The idea of preservation and restoration of older sites to accomodate new businesses can be a very workable one.  Yes it is the more expensive way to do things, but the increase in community awareness and pride is an invaluable payoff.  

I do sense a shift in conciousness on this issue and I've recently heard more of a public voice being sounded than ever before in my time here.  Keep it up folks!  Our voices and desires need not be bulldozed into rubble and neither do the buildings.

Now, if your not sure of what history we have here in Hollywood - then come see us on the tour..... 

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Lindsey Baguio May 16, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Philip, That is a great question. Worth exploring in a future blog post, perhaps?
ruth May 16, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Thank you Philip.Your voice is very important..
Shaune Steele May 16, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Philip, I couldn't agree more with you, and it is nice to read your words. As for Hollywood and Highland, I have to say, was that the best Hollywood could do? And why on earth DO we have 15 or so Jack Sparrows (undoubtedly wearing dirty clothes and needing their hair washed) wandering around with Superman, etc. I doubt any other city in any other state would put up with that crap. Not to mention the lovely decor with the mirrors from Cost Less suspended in the middle of the esalators -- or whatever it is. Wow. That has been sad from the get go. HOLLYWOOD DESERVES MUCH BETTER. My concern is that more and more people who reside here in Hollywood have no interest in or knowledge of what Hollywood is and what our wonderful history is. Hope to read your blog on a regular basis. Thank you.
george abrahams May 17, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Some of the Jack Sparrows are probably not even in costume. They're just street bums wandering around panhandling.
Rudolf Martin May 21, 2012 at 06:06 PM
thank you for this thoughtful piece. i do agree that we may be in the early stages of a shift in attitudes toward better historic preservation. i think that the controversy about the planned destruction of historic assets in Plummer Park as well as the (belated) outcry about demolition at The Lot have spawned a growing popular movement toward better stewardship of our historic resources. As you point out progress and new business can go hand in hand with historic preservation and ultimately gain from it.


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