Off-Ramp for August 29, 2009

UPDATE: Redevelopment might eat East LA's giant tamale building

LAPL/Security Pacific National Bank Collection

The Tamale, when they sold tamales there, in an undated photo from the LA Public Library.

Mercer 5371

John Rabe

This used to be a tamale shop.


UPDATE 4/25/2013: A few years ago, we toured Whittier Blvd with Charles Phoenix, ending our trip with the famous building built like a giant tamale. Now, esoutouric.com reports that the building is up for sale, and hints that it might be torn down unless someone - like LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina - steps in, as she did for the Golden Gate Theatre.

Although it's among the last of an indigenous California architectural form, unfortunately there is no structure in place for protecting or preserving the Tamale. Located in unincorporated Los Angeles County, it is not subject to the city's historic preservation guidelines. State and National monument status is dependent on the whim of the property owner. And so she sits, caked in plaster, under the blazing east side sun, waiting for something to happen.  
 
Inspired by her commitment to protecting the murals on the facade of the First Street Store, we're reaching out to Supervisor Gloria Molina and asking for her support in ensuring that the Tamale is preserved, even if that requires moving the structure from its current location. If you agree that the Tamale is an important L.A. landmark worth preserving, you can share your thoughts with Sup. Molina's office via email.

That address is molina@lacbos.org.

Listen to my interview, top left, with esotouric's Richard Schave.

(Tip of the hat to LA Observed.)


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