I believe the City should preserve Plummer Park and I thank the founders of Protect Plummer Park -- Cathy Blaivas and Stephanie Harker -- for their perseverance in protecting the park.
What they advocated for was putting the brakes on plans to scrape the park, demolish historic Great Hall/Long Hall, and destroy 56 old-growth and heritage trees. I'm proud to have worked with Cathy and Stephanie on this effort as they organized the community to find its voice on this issue.
Plummer Park was designated a State Historic Landmark by the State of California nearly 60 years ago. More recently, the State of California officially designated the 1938 WPA “Community Clubhouse” -- Great Hall/Long Hall -- as historic, and it was subsequently placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.
Great Hall/Long Hall are buildings with an abundant history. Not only did these buildings host the Audubon Society and the Russian Library for many years, but Great Hall/Long Hall was also the location where the Los Angeles Chapter of the international advocacy group ACT UP met during the AIDS crisis.
According to our city’s General Plan, “Historic preservation is an important component of West Hollywood’s urban landscape and culture... the City values and seeks to recognize its built environment, its history, and its culture.”
These are three good reasons to preserve Plummer Park, and they’re not the only reasons… we also have the matter of the old-growth and heritage trees, which would have been destroyed had Protect Plummer Park not intervened.
Plummer Park is a true neighborhood park – and for all its supposed faults, this park works! Does this mean no changes for Plummer Park? Not necessarily. It’s up to the community to come up with a new plan -- one that honors the history of Plummer Park, our historic buildings and our natural resources.