Letters to the Editor

Reader Reacts to Arcadia Council’s Vote on HPO

– Courtesy photo

To say that I am deeply disappointed in the [Historic Preservation Ordinance (HPO) the Arcadia City Council] voted on March 19, 2019, is an understatement. I could not stay and watch what [they] were about to do. The Santa Anita Racetrack may be the only iconic and historic structure left standing in the City of Arcadia. Thank GOD the Westfield Corporation had the foresight and mind to help to appoint the Santa Anita Racetrack as a historic landmark. As I am sure you know, the LA Arboretum historic structures (Queen Anne Cottage, Santa Anita Train Depot, Reid-Baldwin Adobe & Coach Barn) do not count as Arcadia City landmarks, as they are governed by LA County not the City of Arcadia. The city cannot take any credit in preserving those landmarks. The City of Arcadia’s F grade in regards to historic preservation most likely will remain, as the HPO [they] have butchered is meaningless.

One important fact that was not mentioned last night is that to appoint a property to be designated a [thorough] study needs to be done. That means that both the inside and outside of a property have to be surveyed. The owner of Clara Baldwin’s property will never allow anyone inside or on the property to survey it. Clara’s home is as good as gone! LA County or the State of California cannot appoint a property that they cannot see (photos). My home is a historic landmark and I am well aware of the Mills Act contract and designation application process. If you think the HPO document is large, you would be surprised at the amount of paperwork it takes to get something designated.

Roger Chandler has done a fantastic job of removing the history of Arcadia and Baldwin family legacy. Very disappointing and sad for the city’s future! Arcadia will become another cookie cutter city with no soul or character, like Chandler. Chandler stated that he did not know what would make someone want to save a historic property. “Is it romance or memory?” It is respect for history, craftsmanship, architecture and story of the past. These factors make a city unique. Without them you have nothing, like the HPO [they] voted for!

What a disgrace.

– Margaux L. Viera


March 20, 2019

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