Mon, May

Legacy Lost: A Home's Tale of Preservation Amidst Urban Development

GUEST COMMENTARY - I’ve lived in this house for close to 38 years. The house was built in 1941. I've done my best to respect its pedigree. What little I've done to my home over the years, I’ve been mindful not to erase its DNA. It’s a Mellenthin home for those who know what that is. I was a pup when I bought the house. Back when salaries and home prices were somewhat in check.  

The home is what attracted me to this spot, I don’t remember the tree being a selling point. I’ve gone from not really paying attention to the tree, to realizing it is the focal point and what makes this home what it is. Many years ago, an elderly gentleman came to my door and told me he planted it. I think that was the moment when I started paying attention to what is in my front yard.  

I always hire an arborist to give it a healthy dose of vitamins after I get it trimmed as I want it to thrive. The tree is about 83 years old and still going strong as you can see. Because of this tree, I cannot put solar on my house. Because of this tree when it’s 100° out I don’t need air conditioning for a couple days from the shade it’s 74 feet provides.  

Yesterday was a milestone for Studio City. One the very same day, the Los Angeles City Council approved the last phase of the Sportsmen’s Lodge project. 650,000 square feet of construction. Already over 90 trees have been removed and more to come. Almost right next door, Weddington Golf and Tennis had its last day. In aggregate, these two projects are a massive swath of land directly next to what was a quiet neighborhood to be reimagined to serve the rich and powerful. Some may disagree, but when you wake up, it’s easy to parse the flowery words the developers spew on how they are improving the area blah blah blah and see the truth. 


Yesterday evening, I attended the candlelight vigil for Weddington golf and tennis. A friend of mine called my attention to one tree in particular that is the same kind as the one in my front yard, but much larger. Still healthy it’s earmarked to be destroyed. I really don’t understand how people can take a job working for any of these rich and powerful entities thinking they are doing something positive for the world.  

For those in my neighborhood who are for these projects, all I can say is, I hope you wake up one day and recognize the error. I’m posting this and closing the comments on this post as at some point someone will take this thread so far off-point… and forget it's about the trees. 

(Peter Cole is a long-time resident of Studio City and knows first-hand you can’t fight City Hall and win.)