Archive for January, 2016

IMG_7364On January 13, the City of Alhambra hosted the second General Plan Community Meeting at the Civic Center Library. Approximately 100 Alhambrans attended the workshop. The presentation given by the city’s consultant included information about the surveys that were collected this past summer and recommendations for Alhambra’s future. Here are a few of the evening’s highlights:

– Consultants conducted 400 random phone surveys from June 25 – July 9, 2015 with respondents prioritizing the enhancement of existing city services, the protection of the city’s character/quality of life and ensuring the health of the city’s economy and job market.

– Consultants collected 360 written surveys with 13% of respondents wanting to preserve historic homes and buildings, 13% of respondents expressing an interest in protecting open space/parks and trees and 9% of respondents interested in preserving the small-town community atmosphere.

– High priorities identified from the written surveys included the improvement of traffic flow (58%), the preservation of historic areas and buildings (52%) and the improvement of the maintenance of city streets (50%).

– Concerns expressed by respondents included the opinion that there is too much development in Alhambra. Sixty-six percent of respondents felt that there were too many condominiums, 60% expressed that there were too many apartments, and 58% said that there was too much mixed-use housing.

– Other ideas presented included the identification and enhancement of gateways entering Alhambra, linking neighboring community bike connectors into Alhambra, and the maintenance of Alhambra’s core industrial area while transitioning select industrial areas to commercial mixed use.Linear.Park.Railroad.Trench

– One idea that generated a lot of interest was the creation of a linear park over the current railroad trench, which runs parallel to Mission Road.

The January 13 community workshop presentation can be viewed here. The results of the community survey can be found here.

After the presentation, participants rotated through three stations – (1) Land Use & Economic Development, (2) Community Design & Character and (3) Mobility, providing additional input on elements/issues that need to be prioritized or were missing. The consultant team encouraged residents to e-mail comments or concerns to generalplan@cityofalhambra.org.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of people who submitted a written survey last summer stated that the preservation of historic areas and buildings should be a priority for the City of Alhambra. The commitment and dedication of APG’s members last summer to filling out and submitting the written surveys and taking the online survey paid off! The next step in this process is the writing and release of the draft General Plan, which should take place in late Spring. After the release of the draft General Plan, there will be a required 45-day public review period.

Yes, it may seem like we are inching our way toward a historic preservation ordinance, but that’s how change happens – one step at a time. APG is committed to advocating for the adoption of a historic preservation ordinance. The more Alhambrans who join us, the faster we’ll get to our goal of Alhambra adopting legislation that will protect and preserve our city’s architecturally significant homes and buildings.

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MUSE:IQUE.Gamble.House.Ben.Gibbs.PhotographyA unique experience blending music and architecture is coming to Alhambra on April 3, 2016, and we invite you to be a part of it!

MUSE/IQUE, a not-for-profit counter-conventional orchestra, will present their concert VOICES/RISING at Alhambra’s premier entertainment venue, The Granada LA, located at 17 South 1st Street, on Saturday, April 3, 2016.  The concert will begin at 7:00 p.m., with doors opening at 6:00 p.m. for pre-concert mingling. General admission ticket prices begin at $50 and can be purchased by visiting MUSE/IQUE.

As with every MUSE/IQUE concert, the April 3 event will explore a unique theme or idea.  The theme for this concert is the human voice.  It will include a wide breadth of vocal expression. From college groups to trios in the streets, from the women of Bulgaria to Tibetan monks, from Gregorian chant to Bluegrass, you will hear the most spectacular VOICES/RISING!

With masterful musicians creating magical experiences, MUSE/IQUE’s vision is to pioneer new musical experiences for people by creating educative live music events and outreach programs, all aimed at inspiring the creative spirit, engaging the community imagination and fostering new generations of music lovers.  Founded in 2011 by community leaders, MUSE/IQUE employs the city itself as an improvised venue for events in lieu of dedicated concert spaces.

Originally built in 1929 as the headquarters for the Los Angeles Gas and Electric Corporation, the building that houses The Granada LA is one of the few remaining examples of Renaissance Revival architecture in Alhambra and was featured on Alhambra Preservation Group’s Magical History Tour in 2013.

Alhambra Preservation Group proudly welcomes MUSE/IQUE to Alhambra. We encourage you to experience this unique blending of magical music with Alhambra’s beautiful architecture.

Photo courtesy of MUSE/IQUE and Ben Gibbs Photography.

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DSC_0755In January many of us resolve to make changes in our lives – perhaps losing weight, exercising more or taking up a hobby. Why not make a resolution for Alhambra – to do one new thing that makes Alhambra a better place to live?  Here at Alhambra Preservation Group, we challenge you to do just that in 2016. We think you’ll be glad you did. Here are just a few ideas:

1. Meet A New Neighbor. Between work and family life, we’re all busy 24/7, but how about making the commitment to introduce yourself to just one new person who lives on your street?

2. Attend one City meeting. There are many to choose from: City Council, Parks and Recreation and Design Review Board are just a few of the governing bodies that meet regularly each month. For a full schedule of the municipal meetings taking place, visit the City of Alhambra’s website. It’s interesting to see your city government at work and it’s always a good idea to get involved in what’s happening in your community.

3. Sign Up for Next Door. This online platform connects people in your neighborhood and nearby communities. It’s a great way to find out about yard sales, lost pets and any issue of concern to your neighbors.

4. Learn One Fact About Historic Preservation. APG has a complete set of digital educational flyers that explore the myths and facts surrounding historic preservation. Why not read one and share it with a neighbor?

5. Join APG or Talk To A Neighbor About APG. If you haven’t done so already, we’d love to have you on board. For just $25/year, you’ll get invites to all of Alhambra Preservation Group’s events, a quarterly e-newsletter full of interesting and timely news and receive a annual resource guide, which is a listing of home improvement contractors and vendors throughout Southern California. We encourage you to join us!

To make this challenge a bit more fun, we’re featuring a contest. Those who pledge to #DoOneNewThing for Alhambra will be entered into a contest to win one of three pairs of tickets to a MUSE/IQUE spring concert entitled VOICES/RISING. The concert will take place at the historic Granada LA (the former Los Angeles Gas and Light Corporation Building located at 17 South 1st Street in Alhambra) at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 3, 2016. There are three ways to enter. Choose the one that’s easiest for you!

  1. Write your pledge to #DoOneNewThing in the comments section below, or
  2. Post your pledge on APG’s Facebook page using the hashtag #DoOneNewThing in your post, or
  3. Send us your pledge in an e-mail at info@alhambrapreservation.org

The deadline for pledging to #DoOneNewThing for Alhambra and being entered into the contest is midnight on Monday, February 15, 2016. Three winners will be selected randomly and we’ll announce the winners on Facebook by the end of February. Good luck everyone!

Photo courtesy of Alhambra Preservation Group.

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Image 6It is with deep sadness that we write of the passing of Lisa Selje, one of Alhambra Preservation Group’s directors, on December 31, 2015. The cause of her death was cervical cancer, for which she had been in treatment since 2011.

Lisa was born on July 21, 1952 in Santa Monica, CA, to Claudia and Richard Selje. She grew up in Claremont and Pasadena, along with her beloved twin sisters Christy and Lori. She attended Pasadena Unified Schools, graduating from Blair High School in the class of 1970. She earned multiple advanced degrees from the University of Southern California. She worked together with her wife and partner, Christine Olson, in their family business of grant development consulting with non-profit organizations.

Lisa’s many academic, athletic, musical, and career achievements were impressive. She asked, rather, to be remembered for three things: her kindness and generosity; her many loving friendships; and her devoted 30-year marriage to Christine.

After a diagnosis of metastatic cancer in 2011, Lisa chose to pursue every possible treatment option that would extend the life she loved so much. She approached each new treatment challenge with courage, hope and optimism. She was grateful for every medical intervention, and she loved her many caregivers at City of Hope, who became dear friends. She never gave up on life.

From the time she was born, Lisa was passionate about music. The most beautiful sound on earth to her was that of the french horn. She loved good writing, especially the novels of Louise Penny. She dreamed of retiring to the (fictional) community of Three Pines, in rural Quebec. She never turned down a cookie that was offered to her.  A devoted Peetnik, Lisa loved meeting friends for coffee.

A memorial fund has been established by friends on behalf of Chris and Lisa, to honor their love for one another. If you would like to make a contribution you may:

e-mail: Barbara@wolfevideo.com
call: Jean Bramer (805) 659-4027
visit: love4chrisandlisa.mydagsite.com

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Since its founding, Alhambra and her surrounding communities have dealt with inclement weather. Rain and even snow has been a part of the San Gabriel Valley’s past. Take a look at some of the soggy (and even snowy!) weather folks have experienced over the last century.

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Emery Park SchoolAt a well-attended November 4 presentation and ceremony in the Alhambra Civic Center Library’s Reese Hall, Alhambra Preservation Group honored Emery Park Elementary School with a 2015 Heritage Award. This marked the first time that one of Alhambra’s public buildings has been a recipient of APG’s prestigious award, which celebrates the preservation of historic architecture.

Built in 1931 in the Georgian Revival Style, the school was designed by Alhambra-based architect, Richard Farrell, and built by a local construction firm, Steed Brothers Construction. “Emery Park Elementary School is an important local landmark, designed and built by members of our community during the Great Depression,” stated Christine Olson, President of the Alhambra Preservation Group, in making the presentation.  “APG is proud to recognize the Alhambra Unified School District for its careful stewardship of this impressive historic building.”

Built in the center of a 400-acre tract of land owned by a New York tobacco tycoon, Charles Goodwin Emery, Emery Park Elementary School was constructed to accommodate the school-aged children of families who had purchased homes in Emery Park during the 1920s, a boom time for real estate in Alhambra. “At the completion of construction, the community was justifiably proud of the two-story brick school building and its modern features,” continued Ms. Olson.  Opening day was September 14, 1931 with the Alhambra Post-Advocate boasting that the school was “the finest in the Southland, providing the most complete facilities and conveniences for an elementary education to be found anywhere.”

Emery.Park.Elementary“Emery Park Elementary School has changed a great deal in the 84 years since it was built, but its core educational mission has not changed and neither has its architectural character,” stated Adele Andrade-Stadler, President of the Alhambra Unified School District. “We thank Alhambra Preservation Group for recognizing Emery Park Elementary and for shining a spotlight upon its unique and remarkable history.”

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