- Disneyland Treehouse model (Ficus in Anaheim)
- The Rendezvous Ballroom, Balboa
- Bolsa Chica Gun Club, Huntington Beach
- Babe Ruth & Walter Johnson play ball in Brea
- The Buffalo Ranch, Newport Beach
- Roadside Buena Park (alligator farm, deer park, etc)
- O.C. rock & roll history (Golden Bear, Fender guitars, No Doubt)
Thursday, July 31, 2008
As the curator and designer (respectively), Steph and Carlota created the exhibit by pouring in ridiculous amounts of their own time, expertise and elbow grease, as well as investing thousands of dollars of their own money. Although the exhibit is no longer on display, they’re working on a catalog which should be available through CSUF’s Center for Oral & Public History around October. (For more photos and information, see CSUF's press release.)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
A new exhibit, entitled "All the World's a Stage: Modjeska's Arden" will open at the Old Orange County Courthouse Museum next week. The exhibit, detailing the life and canyon home of famed stage actress Helena Modjeska, will kick off with a special reception on Aug. 7, 5:30-7:30pm in the 3rd floor Exhibit Gallery. RSVP to (714) 973-6610 if you'd like to attend.
Werner Weiss of Yesterland recently reviewed Richard Harris' new book, Early Amusement Parks of Orange County. I'm looking forward to seeing a copy of this book myself.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Two years late, the City of Newport Beach has installed a 2,000 lb. monument to their history at the foot of the Newport Pier. The giant orb looks really cool, but I wish they'd put that $510,000 toward preserving the recently demolished Allison & Allison tower at Newport Harbor High School, or toward the preservation of other important historical sites in Newport.
Does it make sense to demolish your history and simultanously build a monument to it? I'm reminded of that U2 line: "All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief."
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
- La Palma (Includes footage of the MacIvers)
- Mission San Juan Capistrano
- Fountain Valley
- Jim Kanno, Fountain Valley's first mayor (Inexplicably includes "Dixie" as background music)
- El Adobe Restaurant in San Juan Capistrano
- Garden Grove
- Mission Viejo
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- Pitcher Park in Orange
- Helena Modjeska
- Ulimate Challenge statue in Huntington Beach
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The Seal Beach Historical Society will hold Red Car Day on Aug 23, 10am-4pm, at their Red Car Museum on Electric Ave near Main St. The 38th anniversary of the museum will be celebrated with music, cake, prizes, and more.
Monday, July 14, 2008
"I know my dad would be heartened to realize, in this instance, how much our good works have come to be appreciated. We called our building ‘Medical Arts’ for a reason; we hoped it would epitomize how medicine might one day be practiced on a broader scale. We must always keep clear that extant physical examples like this are disappearing fast and furiously including our work in Orange County. Witness the loss of the Police Building [in Santa Ana]; the La Veta Medical building; our two residences in Balboa Island, the water features at the Courthouse; other elements there that have been neglected; you name it. Also our house in La Habra, school work at Alamitos School District, the Buena Park Swim Stadium, and even my library at Huntington Beach where I worry about further desecration. What about Orange Coast [College]; any one looking out for those examples?"
Friday, July 11, 2008
The Santa Ana Black Historical Society's next meeting will be held July 17, 6pm at the Corbin Center, 2115 W. McFadden Ave. Their guest speaker will be Ernestine Ransom, who will talk about her 70+ years in Santa Ana, and who will be honored for her community involvement. Our pal Bob Johnson says there will be cake and plenty of opportunity to socialize afterward.
Ever since it began as a small fish market in the 1920s, Sam's has been called "Sam's." It was once called "Sam's Sea Food Spa" and later it became "Sam's Seafood Restaurant & Hawaiian Village," and eventually just "Sam's Seafood." But the name always paid tribute to the business' founder, Greek immigrant Samuel Arvenites. Tonight, the landmark Sunset Beach restaurant will be renamed "Kona." Recent years of frequently-changing owners have not been kind to Sam's once excellent reputation, so the change is understandable. Tiki carver Crazy Al Evans (who appeared on this blog in January,) will bless the newly re-christened restaurant, and the Tikiyaki Orchestra will perform. Sam's is the last mostly-pristine tiki/"Polynesian pop" establishment left in Orange County, and the new owners are making a real effort to do things right - both in terms of the food and the themed atmosphere.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
"I've been hoping that the church would still be there, and taken care of. My children and I lived in an apartment on Oak St in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It took a while, but I started noticing the neighborhood and putting things together - the flowers, the Furuta house (and Mr. Furuta, who was pretty nice unless the neighborhood kids chased the frogs around his ponds), and a few frame houses left from the ones that must have been here since the early 1900s.
When I finally found the plaque on the church, it all fell into place. I'm a Presbyterian, and when I saw that marker I could almost see the church as it was, surrounded by homes and farms and flowers...
"I remember a house that had been abandoned for quite a while, farther south and by the railroad tracks. There were still clothesline supports--the old-fashioned kind--in the back yard, and fruit trees, and I looked inside to see beautiful built-in cabinets with beveled glass doors, and closely fitted hardwood floors. I think it was torn down; I tried not to know, or to go by there after a while for fear of what I would, or wouldn't, see."
It appears that the City Planning Dept issued permits to the developer without asking for a historical study or jumping through the appropriate CEQA hoops first. And it sounds like the developer plans to start demolishing things as early as next week, beginning with the landscaping. Building demolition begins in earnest by August 1st, if not earlier.
To clear up some earlier statements by City officials, the Mariners Medical Arts complex IS, in fact, on the City's historic inventory.
In a related Register article on the 7th, architect John Linnert said, "Buildings from this era are the most important part of the county's design legacy, and we're neglecting them." About the threatened demolition he said, "...They'll destroy this masterpiece to create two glass boxes that are mundane and have zero significance to history."
Later in the article, the president of the AIA's Orange County chapter said Mariners Arts is significant and that "Neutra was one of the most significant architects of the century, and he has a major body of work in Southern California. This building is a good example of what he was trying to accomplish in his work."
Newport Beach councilman Donn Webb replied, "About 15 years ago a committee was put together. They went around town and noted buildings that they considered to be of any significance. I don't think this building was on that list. I live in the neighborhood and go past that block regularly. It's not a building I've ever noticed or one that seems like anything special compared to everything else along there. They're all just flat-roofed offices and stores."
Where do I begin? First of all, the fact that Mr. Webb is at least semi-oblivious to Modern architecture is irrelevant to the question of the complex's importance. So is the fact that it's a flat-roofed commercial building. But what really raises my eyebrows is his reliance on 15-year-old survey (a little out of date!) by an unidentified committee. Who was on the committee, what were their criteria, and were they ready - 15 years ago - to accept the fact that post-WWII buildings could have serious historical or architectural significance?
For more on this subject, read Christine Madrid French's execellent letter (MS Word document) in support of saving this important part of O.C.'s architectural heritage.
And come say hello if you see me at tonight's meeting.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
A recent Register article featured the 100-year-old John Wagner House in Placentia.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Reconstruction of the old Harvey's/Johnnie's Broiler in Downey (which I mentioned months ago) has begun. Mr. "Downey Conservancy" has posted a bunch of photos on Flickr from this morning's groundbreaking ceremony. I also stumbled across a documentary about the destruction of this Googie landmark, called "Killing History."
Former Judge Warren J. Fergueson of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal has died at age 87. His first judicial appointment was to the Municipal Court in Anaheim (1959-1961), after which he served Orange County as a Superior Court judge (1961-1966).
Sunday, July 06, 2008
The descendants of O.C. pioneer Hiram Clay Kellogg held a family reunion yesterday at the historic Kellogg House in Santa Ana. The house is now part of the Centennial Heritage Museum.
The Huntington Beach Centennial Celebration Committee is asking longtime residents to share their photos and stories of their city in preparation for H.B.’s 100th Anniversary in 2009. Stories can be up to 2,000 words, and photos can be up to 500KB. Details are available on the Committee’s website.
Speaking of centennials, July 1st marked the 100th anniversary of the federal designation of the Cleveland National Forest. For more information about related centennial happenings, visit the forest’s website. (Yes! The forest has a website! I wonder if it’s maintained by squirrels and scrub jays.)
Friday, July 04, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
"In 2002, the Orange County chapter of the American Institute of Architects recognized Mariners Medical Arts with a 25 Year Award of Excellence. The current owner of the property is proposing to construct a new, larger medical complex on the site by systematically demolishing the existing structures and replacing them with parking lots.
"Dion Neutra, son and partner of Richard Neutra, says he 'considers this the best example of this kind of project the practice did during its heyday. It would be a tragedy if this example were lost. Instead, it should be rehabilitated and brought back to its earlier glory replete with the water features...'
Next meeting: July 10, 2008, at 5:00 p.m.
Letters of support can be mailed to: Newport Beach City Arts Commission, City of Newport Beach, 3300 Newport Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92663
"Any organization interested in knowing more about the preservation campaign to save Mariners Medical Arts from demolition is encouraged to contact [Devin Colman at] the Recent Past Preservation Network. "
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
We've all heard of Walter Knott, and most of us have seen photos of him. But you don't often see film of him. Here's a rare example from the 1960s.
The Buena Park Historical Society has added short photographic tours of the Bacon House and Whittaker-Jaynes House to their website.
Jeff Overley of the Register is working on a story about the Newport Pop Festival's 40th anniversary. If you attended the show "back in the day," he'd love to hear from you. (Thanks to OCThen.com for this item.)
It's a slow day, so I thought I'd remind everyone that you're welcome to join and add photos to the O.C. History group on Flickr.