When the Culver City Historical Society was incorporated in 1980, under founding president Cathy Zermeno, the Society began a program of marking historic sites, the first one being the site of the 1928 City Hall. To qualify, sites must be at least 50 years old with historic significance.
Our first marking, the site of the 1928 City Hall, took place in 1981, ten years prior to the adoption of our city’s Historic Preservation Ordinance. Charles Lugo was the first Historic Sites Chair. The markers are traditionally bronze plaques, some mounted in concrete, some Read the rest of this page »
May is always a special month for the Culver City Historical Society as it has been designated as the National Historic Preservation Month.
This year’s theme is SEE! SAVE! CELEBRATE!
What does this mean to Culver City?
At the May 14, 2013 Culver City Cultural Affairs Commission meeting, City Historian Julie Lugo Cerra will offer an illustrative PowerPoint presentation focusing on Culver City’s distinctive historic structures and local efforts in historic preservation. Issues like “Does Historic Preservation Pay?” and “How can we achieve our goals in these difficult economic times?” will offer opportunity for discussion.
The meeting commences at 7:00 p.m. in the Mike Balkman Council Chambers and can be viewed on CulverCity.org or local access television.
Julie will also be presenting the presentation the day before at the City Council meeting. Please come if you can.
For more information, please call the Society at (310) 253-6941 or e-mail us.
The Culver City Historical Society is pleased to announce that John Jackson, the owner and manager of the Culver Ice Arena since 1982, will be the featured speaker at the Society’s general meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Building’s Multi-Purpose Room, 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City, 90230.
In addition to discussing how the ice arena was created and how hockey and figure skating training developed there, Jackson will share stories about Wayne Gretsky, Scott Hamilton, Dorothy Hamill, Michelle Kwan, and the many local skaters who learned or honed their skills at the facility.
Jackson (pictured, right) is a former Marine Captain and a former football coach at USC, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and the University of Illinois. He is also the owner/promoter of Forum Boxing. In addition, he served as assistant to Jerry Buss, the former owner of the Lakers Basketball team and the Kings Hockey team.
Several former local Olympians and professional skating stars drawn from the teaching staff at the Ice Arena will be on hand and will share their early experiences as skaters in Culver City, including Cathy Machado (first U.S. Latina Olympian, Olympic medalist, World Professional Ice Skating Champion, U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame); Josselyn Baumgartner (Double National Medalist in figure skating); and Crystalrose Guerra (five-time National Showcase Champion).
See videos of Machado (pictured, left) and Guerra below.
There will be a brief discussion of upcoming programs and projects, as well as updates on the activities and exhibits in the Archives & Resource Center (ARC), and the Center will be opened following the meeting.
All members of the Culver City Historical Society and the public are welcome to enjoy this free program and students are encouraged to attend. The entrance to the Multi-Purpose Room is through the back of the building near the parking lot, as well as through the Archive & Resource Center space.
For more information, please call the Society at (310) 253-6941 or e-mail us.
Author’s note: For the past six months, the author spent his workweek in the west Los Angeles suburb of Culver City, which led him to research the rich racing history of the community.
the Culver City racing track at Lincoln & Washington boulevards
Certain areas of the country have always been automobile racing “hot spots,” such as the pre-war “Gasoline Alley” in Paterson, New Jersey and Speedway, Indiana. Southern California has always been associated with hot rods and auto racing, but this article focuses on one small community – Culver City, which in its 96-year history, hosted two race tracks, numerous racing-related businesses, and is the hometown of an infamous Indy Car driver. The hope was to visit the historic sites, although as author Judith Freeman has pointed out that the Los Angeles area is an area “of architectural disposability…with buildings torn down, replaced by something else.”
In the late 1920s Culver City became the home of its first of two race tracks after the demise of the Beverly Hills board track, built in 1919. Largely funded by Cliff Durant, Read the rest of this page »
Long-time Culver City resident Jerome “Jerry” Ackerman, an artist-designer and a driving force in the Mid-Century Modern art movement in California, will be the featured speaker at the Culver City Historical Society’s general meeting on Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Building’s Multi-Purpose Room, 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City, 90230.
Ackerman will discuss his life with his late wife and collaborator, Evelyn Ackerman, in conversation with gallery director Gerard Brien of Reform Gallery.
The Ackermans’ works have been exhibited at LACMA, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and the Mingei International Museum in San Diego. Their ERA Industries Inc. is a still a register business in Culver City where it has been since 1956. Evelyn one of the founding Culver City Arts Committee Read the rest of this page »
This year marks the 95th anniversary of Culver City’s incorporation. To celebrate, Made in Culver City, a free film program presented by the Culver City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, will screen A Night at the Opera starring The Marx Brothers, on December 29, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Auditorium at Veterans Memorial Building. Audiences are encouraged to also visit the Culver City Historical Society’s Archive Resource Center (ARC) from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Read the rest of this page »
A “Meet and Greet” with author Brian Taves, film archivist with the Library of Congress since 1990, will be hosted by the Culver City Historical Society on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. in the Archives and Resource Center (ARC).
Taves’ book, Thomas Ince: Hollywood’s Independent Pioneer, the first ever written about Ince’s life, describes how he revolutionized the motion picture industry through developing the role of the producer. Taves will show a DVD of a tour of the former Thomas Ince Studios (now Culver Studios), will describe the writing of this work, and will sign books (which are available in book stores) for those who Read the rest of this page »
The Culver City Historical Society presented “Meet Me in Culver City,” a celebration to honor Culver City’s 95th Anniversary, on Sunday, September 23, 2012, at the historic Culver Hotel.
Margaret O’Brien, Oscar-winning icon from MGM, served as Honorary Chair of the event and was honored with a commendation from the Culver City Council.
Miss O’Brien was the biggest child star throughout the 1940s and a number one box office attraction. Her unforgettable performance as Tootie Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis (MGM, 1944) with Judy Garland as her co-star, earned her an Academy Award and the position of the highest paid entertainer in the nation.
The Culver City Historical Society (CCHS) will feature Jim Lamm, president of the Ballona Creek Renaissance (BCR) at its general meeting on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Building’s Multi-Purpose Room, located at 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City, 90230.
Lamm will narrate a virtual tour of the creek in his presentation, “Connecting Creek and Community, Ballona Creek and its Watershed — Past, Present and Future,” a multifaceted story about people, places, and processes Read the rest of this page »
On land traversed by Native Americans called Gabrielinos — followed by early settlers like the Machados, Talamantes, and Higuera families — this area became fertile space for movie production, beginning with Thomas Ince.
Incorporated in 1917, Culver City has been a force in the entertainment industry from the beginning. Host to three major movie studios, many production companies and support services, Harry Culver’s dream city remains "The Heart of Screenland." Classic movies like Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, and many others were filmed on our studio lots, along with many noted television productions. Culver City history has been captured by production companies, (i.e. Laurel and Hardy shorts) that continue to film on city streets.
Today, Sony Pictures Studios and The Culver Studios continue the work begun by Ince/Triangle Studios, Hal Roach Studios, Goldwyn, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., Selznick Studios, DeMille Studios, Desilu Studios, Culver City Studios, and many more.
The Culver City Historical Society, founded in 1980, is a non-profit membership organization created for the purpose of collecting, preserving and exhibiting the history of Culver City and its cultural and civic accomplishments. Proceeds from merchadise sold on this site will benefit the ongoing work of the Culver City Historical Society.