Friday, August 31, 2007

Newport Harbor High School, Brea & San Clemente

Today's photo was taken on the Loftus Lease in Brea Canyon in 1898.

The beautiful and historic Allison & Allison clock tower at Newport Harbor High School was demolished yesterday morning. Despite claims that it couldn't be made earthquake safe, the tower required quite a lengthy beating from the wrecking ball before it finally came down -- all in one piece. NHHS student Michael Bingham watched the demolition and said, "They were saying it's not earthquake safe and it's just gonna fall over, and then it took them so long to knock it down." Some morons in the crowd of onlookers actually cheered and clapped when it fell. I wonder if these same people are in the habit of dancing jigs on graves during funerals. A $36 million replica of the tower is planned -- But a replica can't replace the original any more than an Elvis impersonator can replace The King. The Register website has an article and video covering the demolition.

On Tuesday evening, the San Clemente City Council will hold a public hearing to discuss the recommendations of the city's Landmarks Preservation Task Force. The Task Force was appointed to recommend which sites in the city should be considered "historical landmarks," and to recommend ways to better protect these sites. City staff are already trying to water down the language in the Task Force's recommendations, so the San Clemente Historical Society is encouraging fellow preservationists to attend the hearing. (A show of force never hurts.) The meeting will be held Sept 4, at 7pm, in the Council Chambers at 100 Avenida Presidio.

The Fullerton Historic Theatre Foundation has been selected to receive a nearly $2 million grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE). This CCHE grant, when added to federal historic restoration tax credits, and a seismic stabilization loan from the City of Fullerton brings the Foundation's coffers to $7 million -- about one fourth of the entire restoration project. Both the CCHE grant and the seismic loan are matching grants, so every donor's dollar will now go twice as far.

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