by Julie Lugo Cerra, City Historian
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 (more…)
The Culver City Historical Society (CCHS) will designate the Veterans Memorial Building as Historic Site #13 at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 10, 2011.
The building, located at Culver Boulevard and Overland Avenue, (4117 Overland Avenue) one of the most often-used structures in the city, has had a vibrant history, which is noted on the bronze plaque that will be unveiled that morning in the front of the building and reads as follows:
Historic Site No. 13:
Veterans Memorial Building (VMB)
Culver City purchased a major portion of this land, known as Exposition Park, in 1938. It was officially designated as Veterans Memorial Park on August 8, 1949. Bond financing of $550,000 guaranteed the construction of the Veterans Memorial Building on the corner. The original plans promised a “recreational building with a stage, restaurant, film museum, playroom, and a large gymnasium.” The “tourist tower” was designed to view “back lot” movie sets at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios across the street. The cornerstone was laid on April 15, 1950. The VMB was dedicated on March 9, 1951, with Goodwin Knight, Lt. Governor at the time, in attendance. The Gold Star Mothers were guests of honor. This structure, designed to serve the entire community, once included a “Tower Restaurant.” The entry proudly exhibits a growing number of markers, placed to honor and remember veterans who served our country, and who fought for our freedom in many wars.
In 1925, Dr. Foster Hull, the city’s second health officer (after Dr. W.S. Mortensen), built Culver City’s first hospital. The Hull Building, where it was located, still stands at 9543 Culver Boulevard, where it meets Watseka Avenue in downtown Culver City.
Louis Freeman, the owner of nearby Freeman’s Grocery Store bought the Hull Building in the 1930s, and today it is home to Akasha Restaurant.
The Hull Building was designated ‘Historic Site No. 2’ by the Culver City Historical Society in 1991.
Culver City’s City Hall – located at 9770 Culver Boulevard – was dedicated in 1928.
The building was demolished in the early 1990s to make way for the new Civic Center, and the current façade [see photo after the jump] is a reconstruction of the 1928 original. The facade opens onto Heritage Park, which occupies the old City Hall footprint.
Culver City City Hall was designated Historic Site No. 1 by the Culver City Historical Society in 1991.
by Julie Lugo Cerra
El Marino Students Tour the Past to See the Future
Our children are our future – and how important it is to offer them a window into the past, to help them make grounded future-oriented decisions.
For over thirty years, the Culver City Historical Society has focused on safeguarding the unique heritage of our city through designation of specific Historic Sites as well as collecting, maintaining and displaying our wonderful trove of memorabilia and historic documents.
The Society has long been an advocate for preservation programs and measures to ensure that future generations can continue to learn about and appreciate Culver City’s special history. It now behooves us to ask, “Is Historic Preservation in Culver City on stall?”
The last discussion at the City Council, which had been put off for nearly two years, then another month, is still hanging in the balance. There seems to be concern about doing a new survey, although the Council’s direction to apply for Certified Local Government Status and enable the Mills Act Funding in 1991 has not yet been implemented.
by Stu Freeman
Under the guidance of our VP, Museum/ARC, Winston Gieseke, and the help of our great volunteers, we have uncovered many interesting and unique items in our Archives. I’d like to tell you about a very remarkable document that is currently on display at the ARC: a publication of the Culver City Evening Star News, dated Friday, August 18, 1944, called “The Honor Roll.”
It is a special edition of the newspaper that pictured and listed all of the men and women from Culver City who served in World War II. It lists their addresses, their school affiliations and where and how they were serving.
by Julie Lugo Cerra
The unveiling of the marker at our first park in Culver City was supported by the attendance of more than 100 locals, including local officials, members, neighbors and city staff.
Mrs. Lois Carlson Bridges, the widow of Dr. Paul Carlson, made the trip from her home in the San Diego area, and gave the invocation, which certainly enhanced the ceremony. She was accompanied by David and Polly Brown. David, a 1961 Culver High graduate, had suggested the marking of the park some time ago, so people would know about the man for whom it was renamed in 1964.