Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Book Launch & Discussion with Juli Carson & Bruce Yonemoto - Thursday, September 15, 7-9 PM

The Limits of Representation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics
The Limits of Representation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics
(Buenos Aires: Letra Viva Press, 2011)

MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House Presents

A Book Launch and Discussion
with Juli Carson and Bruce Yonemoto

Thursday, September 15, 2011
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

MAK Center
at the Schindler House
835 N. Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Suggested donation of $7

Please join us for a conversation, book launch, and work in progress screening with art historian and professor Juli Carson and artist and professor Bruce Yonemoto. The evening will feature a short reading from Carson's newest book The Limits of Representation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics (Buenos Aires: Letra Viva Press, 2011), a screening of their collaborative film in progress, The End of the World at the Edge of the Earth, and a discussion in the Schindler House courtyard.

About the Book
Juli Carson's bilingual book The Limits of Representation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics (Buenos Aires: Letra Viva Press, 2011), considers the following questions: If there's a Lacanian aesthetic in contemporary art, how does this practice incorporate post-structuralist theories by such thinkers as Roland Barthes or Jacques Ranciere? Would this "critical aesthetic" then deconstruct the dialectical conversation between Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno? If so, what remains of the Avant-Garde in contemporary practice? The Limits of Representation examines these propositions through careful explication of "case study" artworks by Kelly Barrie, Steve Fagin, Andrea Geyer, Mary Kelly, Roberto Jacoby, Cristóbal Lehyt, Dorit Margreiter, Florian Pumhösl, Kerry Tribe and Dolores Zinny/Juan Maidagan.Many of these projects were featured in Carson's curatorial program at UC Irvine's University Art Galleries, which is committed to promoting an inter-generational dialogue between 60s/70s neo-avant-garde art and contemporary visual culture in its most expansive poetic form.

About the Film
The End of the World at the Edge of the Earth is a film in progress by Juli Carson and Bruce Yonemoto, 2008 Creative Capital fellows. The film began with the poetic observation that two things were simultaneously growing in Argentina: 1) a glacier named Perito Moreno in Patagonia; and 2) a clinical psychoanalytic practice founded by Jacques Lacan. The film's two main components are a time-lapse capture of Perito Moreno, which includes an original score by Mayo Thompson, and a contemporary restaging a 1966 Happening by the Argentine artist/critic Oscar Masotta, entitled Helicopter.The project elegantly combines Carson's Lacanian research and Yonemoto's filmic practice as an investigation into subjectivity, the avant-garde and cultural memory today.

Film Shoot, The Edge of the World at the End of the Earth  
Film Shoot, The End of the World at the Edge of the Earth, Buenos Aires, 2009.

About Juli Carson
Juli Carson received her PhD from M.I.T. in the History, Theory and Criticism of Art Program in the Department of Architecture. Currently, she is Associate Professor in the Studio Art Department at UC Irvine where she directs the Critical and Curatorial MFA Program and the University Art Galleries. She is author of Exile of the Imaginary: Politics, Aesthetics, Love (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2007) and curator of the archival exhibition accompanying Mary Kelly's Post-Partum Document (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 1998). Her essays on conceptual art and psychoanalysis have been published in Art Journal, Documents, October, Texte Zur Kunst and X-TRA, as well as in numerous international anthologies and exhibition catalogues, including those produced for the MAK in Vienna, the Arnolfini Gallery in London, the Whitworth Museum in Manchester, the steirischer herbst festival in Graz and the 54th Venice Biennale (Polish Pavilion).  The Limits of Representation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics (Buenos Aires: Letra Viva Press, 2011) is her most recent book. 

About Bruce Yonemoto
Bruce Yonemoto's work explores the intimate relationship between cinema and politics, illuminating the key role that visual culture plays in both defining and executing the colonization of non-Western cultures. Yonemoto's work has been exhibited internationally at the St. Louis Art Museum, MO (2010); Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum, CA (2008); the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; and the Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA.His work has also been included in numerous biennials, including the Gwangju Biennale (2008), Corcoran Biennial (2002), Fukui International Video Biennale (1993), and the Whitney Biennial (1993, 1987). In 1999, the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles presented a retrospective exhibition of Bruce and Norman Yonemoto's work. Other exhibitions include California Video: Artists and Histories at the Getty Center, Los Angeles (2008); Los Angeles 1955-1986, Pompidou Center, Paris (2007); Exile of the Imaginary, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria (2007).

The MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House is located at 835 N. Kings Road in West Hollywood.  Public hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Regular admission is $7/$17 with the guidebook, Schindler By MAK; students and seniors, $6/$16 with book; free for Friends of the MAK Center and on Fridays, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.Parking is available at the public structure at the northeast corner of Kings Road and Santa Monica Boulevard. For further information, please contact or call (323) 651-1510.

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The MAK Center | 835 North Kings Road | West Hollywood | CA | 90069

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crazy for the Friedman House: A. Quincy Jones, FAIA 1950

Built in 1950 by Kansas City-born architect, A. Quincy Jones, FAIA, this one-of-a-kind home should be in a museum.  I was completely enchanted for a good hour and a half as I took in the details and thought behind the design of the home.  The Friedman House was designed for a Doctor who practiced psychoanalysis and his wife who lived to be over 100 years old.  For any Mid-Century Modern purist out there, this 4 / 3 home is one of the architect’s larger floor plans spanning over one single floor for a total 2,346sf interior with custom built-ins and original details still intact.  12414 Rochedale Lane, 90049 is something not to be missed.  The home is now being offered for $1,485,000.  Listing Courtesy of Deborah Glusker.
The Friedman House, 12414 Rochedale Ln, 90049

As this is the first time the Friedman House has come onto market, many original detailing and furnishings are still intact and being sold within the price.  From the street, the house is deceiving as it rests on a corner lot and hidden by landscape and fencing.

The magic arrives once in the naturally lit home with sun cascading from the heavens and into each room that surrounds the outdoors. 

The home is divided into two wings.  The Sleeping Wing houses the Master bedroom and the Jack & Jill bedrooms, along with two baths.

The home also comes with a Library that serves as an office area.  Each room is connected through pocket doors and escaped through steel frame sliders allowing a seamless divide between home and nature, as the house surrounds the backyard.

The brick that extends to the exterior areas surrounds the sunken living room.  Again, large steel-framed sliders allow for natural light to fill the living space. 

The Dining Area is situated with a beautiful built-in credenza and original lighting. 

The Kitchen area is spacious, but needs a little updating. 

Off the Kitchen, you will find the laundry area, Maids Bedroom and an additional full bath.

A hall with original linoleum tiles ties the entry to the Kitchen directly. 

Anyone in their right mind will jump at the opportunity to snatch this up from market.  And, in the event you are feeling a little crazy, you can enjoy the converted garage (1954) where Dr. Friedman had his psychoanalysis therapy office with has separate access for patients. 

Situated on over 10,400sf of serene land in the lovely and quiet neighborhood found here in Brentwood.  This gem is enveloped by mature trees and gardens, this home is truly a wonderful example of Mid-Century Modern living.  For more information on this listing, check out 11-535717.

If you have further questions or would like to see this home, please reach me. In the meantime, have a modern day!

Steve Ward
Realtor®, SFR®
Mid-Century Modern Architecture Specialist
Keller Williams Realty - Los Feliz
Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource
DRE Lic #01871422
213.305.8537 direct

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A City in Denial: Implications of Demolishing the Fickett Library

Last evening at the West Hollywood Council Meeting the Edward H. Fickett, FAIA designed West Hollywood Library was brought to the table once again; this time through Closed Session, as well as General Session.  Obviously the City feels the threat of litigation as they went into Closed Session to discuss this issue of demolishing the Fickett Library.

I met with the Council Members, City Manager and City Attorney during the Closed Session last night as a document Mayor Duran had delivered to Mike Jenkins, City Attorney, on July 18, 2011 had generated some heat.   I spoke during the Closed Session and pointed out the City's errors.  It is unbelievable they can sit there and not want to take what I am saying seriously.  The damaging discovery I have made through reviewing a multitude of documents only points fingers at the City and how far off track they are with their Master Plan, only setting the City up for major litigation.  As we have support through LA Conservancy and MODCOM, the City should get prepared for a wave of litigation not only with the community at large, but with the County as well as the changes in scope of the project have dramatically changed from the inception.

During the Regular Session, open to everyone, we had about 60 people turn up in support of saving the Fickett Library and requesting the City to find adaptive re-use solutions.  LA Conservancy's MODCOM group decided to have their monthly meeting AT the Council Meeting.  We had good representation.  The only thing was the first round of General Comment was eaten up by others and we were only able to get Mina Chow, USC Architecture professor to stand before the Council and recognize the amount of support we had in attendance by asking us all to stand.  I have to say, it was impressive.  She also spoke about adaptive re-use concepts of the site and how important the Library is to the community as it "exemplifies many of the principles of mid-century modernist architecture.  The indoor/outdoor spatial connections, the exploration of planar geometry in the roof ceiling, which we see as an early study into the possibilities of an origami piece of architectural seen through it's floating ceiling.  This simple unadorned structure and its material details allow a visitor to define and predominate the building."

As time ticked on and the clock with hitting close to 11pm, many people left, as they felt defeated by the general political drama that unfolds within the landscape of West Hollywood politics.

When time finally came for General Comment at the end of the Agenda, we certainly had a powerhouse lined up.  Regina O'Brien, Chair of MODCOM spoke first during this portion of comment, "Edward H. Fickett played a very pivotal role in shaping the look of what is now West Hollywood- he is this City’s major Architect!"

Joycie Fickett followed with her impassioned response to the City telling her in 2004 that the Library will not go anywhere and it is not of threat for demolition.  She also brought up the fact that as of late, every time she approached any City Official, their response was always, "Where were you in 2004 during the Public Comment period?"  Simply stated, she answered, "I never thought the Library was going to be a threat as she was told over and over again, the Library was safe."  She continued mentioning the awards given to her late husband for the Library.  There were a total of four awards given to Mr. Fickett for this project, alone.

I got up after Joycie and again and spoke directly to Mike Jenkins, the City Attorney.  I sited our discovery once again of paper and resolutions that supported our position.  I continued to point out and show the Attorney as I held up about 3,000 pages of documents relating to our discovery.  I had pointed out the fact the scope of the Master Plan had changed dramatically since the inception where the Library was removed from the project and any mention or reference to the demolition of the Library was not a part of the Master Plan.  Currently, as we all know the City has decided to demolish the building by sticking the demolition into their Capital Project and hence, changed the scope of the project substantially causing major legal conflict with the CEQA guidelines in relation to CEQA violations inrespect to Title 14, Article 11, Sections 15162 and 15165. 

I also pointed out the MND's performed back in 2003 and 2004 had indeed set apart the Library from the project.  When I contacted both agencies handling the historical analysis and the other MND issues, both Myra Frank and Associates and Tom Dodson and Associates confirmed with me,  “The Library was never to be a part of this project and was removed through and errata sheet. At the beginning of the Master Plan.”  I addressed Mr. Jenkins and asked how he could be so irresponsible of letting a City walk into litigation.  (We also had choice words for one another after the meeting had been adjourned, as I never back down nor will be bullied by these folks.)

Citizens of the community, along with more MODCOM members, followed me.  We were all met with blank faces and stone-cold hearts not understanding the implication of why demolishing this library will have, not only on the local community of West Hollywood, but to the entire architectural world, as the impact of tearing down this important Historical Landmark will leave a void in Mid-Century Modern history.  So many wonderful citizens spoke out last night with passion and a true sense of the impact Mr. Fickett has made not only to their community in West Hollywood, but to the world at large.

Whenever I speak to the AIA (American Institute of Architecture) in D.C., they are saddened to hear the City will not recognize the merits of this man's work.  They have been supportive and on our side from the beginning of this travesty of politics and bad taste shown by the City of West Hollywood.  Their lack of respect or recognition of this gifted architect is felt worldwide.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mid-Century Modern Timelines and Litigatious Enui

Back in July at the last City Council meeting, I presented the Mayor in a meeting prior to the General Meeting a timeline of events outlining specifically to the Edward H. Fickett, FAIA designed West Hollywood Park Library in relation to the Master Plan which calls for the City to redevelop the West Hollywood Park and Library facilities.  Hence, we are awaiting the doors to be open of the new Library knowing as soon as they do, the doors to the Fickett library will not only be closed, but demolished.

Now, I find it on the Agenda of the next Council meeting's Closed Session Item 3.

This is the timeline given to the Mayor and City Attorney:

Hence, Mike Jenkins, the City Attorney was given the above timeline and then responded on Monday, August 8, 2011.

My Response to the Letter sent by City Attorney Michael Jenkins through Ms. Morgan:
August 8, 2011 via email

Ms. Morgan-

Thank you for passing along the response from Mr. Jenkins in reference to the Fickett-designed Library in West Hollywood Park.  As I spoke with Supervisor Yaroslavsky's office last week, the County now has a hold of the Errata Sheet as well as me enclosing a copy for your own records, since Mr. Jenkins did not acknowledge this in his response.  This email is now being delivered to all concerned parties within the City and County.

As the Land Transfer Agreement between the County of Los Angeles and the City of West Hollywood was based on Resolution 03-2837 and the the 2004 Master Plan, it is clear the City is violation of the Land Agreement on several counts, the County is now being notified of these points as they create serious conflict within the Agreement between the parties.  The Phasing of construction is getting creative and the demolition of the Fickett Library is finally coming up for the FIRST TIME through the city's Capital Project Phase 1B (which technically is the Master Plan Phase IV, which you know requires the city to perform a NEW EIR prior to starting Phase IV). 

It is being recommended to all County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors and West Hollywood Council to take a closer look at things before major litigation will take place due to a bad deal between the County and City, CEQA violations, and more mistrust by the community with government officials trying to bully their way into a Master Plan where the community is constantly being asked, "Where were you during Public Comment?"  We were all at home thinking the Library was off the table.  The question I have to all officials is, "Where were you?"  The State agency CEQA isn't too pleased at the moment with West Hollywood and their Master Plan.  There were some serious mis-representations within some of the findings and have now been brought to their attention. 

The MND's conclusion brought about through services provided by Myra Frank and Associates as well as Tom Dodson & Associates who both acknowledge the Library is not to be demolished as part of the City's current plans, were then responded to through an Errata Sheet pulling the Library out of the project ENTIRELY.  Perhaps you do some more revisiting with folks as I have and then you may come to the conclusions you base here on myth.  The Resolutions and documents all provide support keeping the Fickett Library. Again, both agencies have been contacted and confirmation has been received from them the Library was never to be demolished.  Both parties seemed to express their equal concern when told the City is going ahead in plans for demolition.

You may want to prepare yourselves for the County Board of Supervisors to start inquiring as to the legality of the Land Transfer Agreement as the time tables are getting ready to shift the property over to the City.  It seems here you are in violation of the agreement as you are now changing what was given to them back in 2003 when you started the Plan.  Any mention of destruction of the Library was taken out of the project through the Errata Sheet, Mr. Jenkins does not bother to mention in his response back to me.  Again, the Errata is left out of the picture like it has throughout the City's bullying to the community to have this Library destroyed for 5,000sf of grass.  Meanwhile an important Historic Monument is razed so the city can water the grass?

The changing of the agreement and having the Library demolished would also threaten your grant funding as what was submitted to the State is not what you are acting off of.  Clearly, the City should try to avoid future litigation as this is a simple issue to put at rest.  The City needs to keep the Fickett designed Library and re-use the Library for other uses the city deems appropriate, such as a Reception Hall, Tourist Center, Historical Landmark Center...

Further, the creative nature in the changing of the City's phasing of the Master Plan is piquing my interest.  The only way around having the old Library demolished was by incorporating it into the Capital Project Plan through Phase 1B.   Plans to incorporate the demolition of the Library as part of your Capital Plan Phase 1B is just a joke.  This was only adopted back in May of 2011.  This would be THE first time the Library was mentioned for demolition.  As the Master Plan laid out the Phases early on, why was the Fickett Library not mentioned in any of the language that was adopted by the city?  Maybe because it was never to be torn down?  Here's how I see the Phases of the Master Plan working through the Plans at hand.

  • Phase 1 - Library and Single Level Parking Structure.  "The construction of the library and parking structure will be completed without disturbing other facilities including the existing library."

  • Phase 2 - Aquatic Center and 2nd level of the Parking Structure.  "Upon completion of the aquatic center, the existing pool will be removed for the next phase of park expansion."

  • Phase 3 - Recreation Center and 3rd level of the Parking Structure.

  • Phase 4 - Expanded Park (Long Term Proposals) "Removal of existing facilities along San Vicente Blvd will allow for build out of the expanded park.  San Vicente Blvd's right of way will be narrowed and shifted easterly." (This is what the City calls Capital Plan Phase 1B.)

Please review the Phases of the Master Plan and the Capital Project one more time to read the language correctly.  If you need the documents, I am more than happy to forward them to you.  I seem to have a file cabinet full of the issue at hand.  ;-)

In the meantime, I hope you have a good afternoon.  I look forward to seeing everyone Monday evening as I will present to the public and Council the findings at hand. 

Too many times I have been asked why now?  Why did I not do anything earlier?  Perhaps no one thought the Library was in jeopardy as Resolution 03-2837 PULLED IT OUT OF THE ENTIRE PROJECT.  Again, this was the basis of the final 2004 Master Plan.  My question is, "Where have YOU been throughout this process?  Where have you been to direct the City to get back on course and drive the ship properly?  Where was the closely guarded eye as this project spans almost a decade making it more important to follow every step of the way?

Truly yours,

Steve Ward
Los Angeles Modern Action Council ( LAMAC), Chair

Sunday, August 7, 2011



The City of West Hollywood is currently involved in a Master Plan whereby they will be demolishing all of the architecture designed by Edward Hale Fickett, FAIA, and including the coveted Mid-Century Modern designed, West Hollywood Park Library.  As the Library was originally moved out of the city's Master Plan at the inception of the project through and Errata Sheet placed into the Resolution adopting the plan in 2003.  It now comes to the attention of the general public and community the city's efforts to now bring the demolition of this Library in their current Capital Project Phase 1B plan.  The City has decided to demolish the Fickett Library as early as October 1, 2011 or once the Fickett Library has been vacated by the County and moved to the new facility.   
Now is the time for us all to come together and respond to the City's efforts to demolish Mr. Fickett's West Hollywood.  6:30pm Monday, August 15, 2011, the City of West Hollywood will be holding the Council's Regular Meeting where we call upon any and all voices to come and speak out against what the City of West Hollywood is doing during the General Comment portion of the meeting.  Let the Council know it is wrong to demolish the Library and urge them to find a way to re-use the Library facility, while at the same time providing a legacy of cultural heritage for the community.

August 15, 2011, 6:30pm
West Hollywood Park Auditorium
647 N. San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, California 90069

If you are unable to attend the 6:30pm meeting on Monday, August 15, 2011, you can email your thoughts to the West Hollywood Council and to the County of Los Angeles, Board of Supervisors. 

Below are points of interest in relation to the reasons as to why the City of West Hollywood should not demolish the Edward H. Fickett, FAIA Library:

  • The demolition of the Fickett-designed Library creates conflict within the Land Agreement transfer between the County of Los Angeles and the City of West Hollywood creating liability on the city due to potential litigation.

  • Every effort should be taken to avoid the demolition of this potential landmark building and find a way to incorporate it into the design of the Master Plan as originally intended per the Errata Sheet (Attached) of Resolution 03-2837, the basis of the entire Master Plan.

  • The West Hollywood Park Fickett Library can be adapted for RE-USE to fulfill the needs of the community for a place to hold special events, marriage ceremonies, receptions, et al.  Whereby, the City receives economic benefit through rental.

  • With proper maintenance, the award-winning structure could once again be a showcase of the work of Edward H. Fickett, FAIA, as it demonstrates significant philosophies of the architect's overall body of work.  Signature elements found in his work clearly seen with his "Peek-a-boo" Window, found above within the ceiling cap and the signature Metal / Wood Slating for architectural and practical usage.

  • The West Hollywood Park Library can be sensitively upgraded for enhanced energy efficiency to meet the project’s sustainability goals. Drought resistant gardens can be introduced to the outdoor area to create and example of Southern California nature.

  • Increasing the Parks total green area by more than 3 acres would indicate there is room for discussion in keeping the West Hollywood Library from being demolished, as there would be adequate green area within the new Master Plan while including the Fickett Library.

  • Demolition of the West Hollywood Park Library, would call into question the City’s ability to protect our cultural heritage when clear adaptive reuse options exist.

  • Plans to demolish the West Hollywood Library should be avoided.  The City's current attitude sets a precedent and could invite further changes and cumulative impacts to this future historic landscape monument. 

Please Comment by AUGUST 15, 2011  &   Get One Friend to Do the Same!

(Just click the 'electro mail' link above and your email will be ready to send to West Hollywood Council and LA Board of Supervisors.)
subject:  Fickett Library

west hollywood council members:
Mayor, John Duran
Mayor Pro Tempore, Jeffrey Prang
Council member John D’Amico,   
Council member John Heilman,
Council member Abbe Land,,,,,

los angeles county, board of supervisors:
District 1, Gloria Molina,
District 2, Mark
District 3, Zev Yaroslavsky,
District 4, Don Knabe, (Chief of Staff)
District 5, Michael D. Antonovich,,,,,

us mail:
City of West Hollywood
8300 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA  90069

Los Angeles County, Board of Supervisors
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 W. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

los angeles conservancy / modcom

523 W. Sixth Street, Suite 826
Los Angeles, California 90014
Los Angeles Modern Action Council ( LAMAC )

Steve Ward
Realtor®, SFR®
Mid-Century Specialist
Historian & Preservation Advocate
Keller Williams Realty - Los Feliz
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213.305.8537 direct 

DRE Lic #01871422
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