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Old Posted Dec 12, 2012, 3:33 AM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: West Los Angeles
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Barrington Plaza/Uni High/1932 Olympics/Kuruvungna Springs

Originally Posted by rbpjr View Post
This image is one of the more enjoyable things I've seen this week. Thx for posting.

Beauty lies in the eye of the I reserve judgement...

I did rather wander off on one of my fine-art-consultant reveries rbpjr, but art, and I'd include this in that, is one of those "useless" things, like cut flowers, that we can't seem to do without or agree on either.

Slightly more to the point here is the juxtaposition between the overly-planned Barrington Plaza environment and the haphazard, developed-over-decades east campus of Uni, the haphazardness a result of the steep drop of the land making it difficult to find level building sites. (BTW, I was always told that the small buff-colored, green-roofed hut shown in the photo, was moved to campus from the 1932 Olympic Village, but I'm unable to confirm that. I'll bet GW would know.)

The state of Barrington Plaza is a reminder too, that, unless strictly maintained in as-new condition, modernism goes from fun to grim rather quickly. Also, the plaza level may have seemed like a good idea in the planning stages, but it, along with almost all plazas surrounding modern buildings, is out of scale with humans. They end up being slightly hostile, and therefore underused, environments that one must trudge (or scurry) across to get where one's going. The tiny humans clustered around the outdoor furniture in the photo look of no more consequence than the minute pin people stuck in an architectural model. One practically has an attack of agoraphobia just looking at them.

A further digression, which may be of some interest, is that the steepness of the site is why Kuruvungna Springs are where they are (the Upper Spring is out of shot to the right, the Lower Spring hidden behind Barrington Plaza's south tower). The Springs' source is under the Santa Monica Mountains. They flow south, relatively close to the surface, before popping out where the land drops away as they have done since forever. This unfortunately leaves them vulnerable to development to the north.

In the early 90's, a developer got hold of the SW corner of Barrington and Wilshire, planning to build a huge tower with nine levels of underground parking, which would have necessitated diverting the springs into the storm-drain system at that point, leaving the on-campus Kuruvungna Village site without its reason for being. The Indians waged a two-year fight through many hearings at City Hall before successfully stopping the project. A Uni employee, a Vice-Principal, if I remember correctly what I was told, actually testified (supposedly at the behest of the developer) at one of the hearings that the Springs weren't springs at all, but just a couple of broken pipes and that the Indians were waywardly pesky and probably only Mexicans anyway.

The Indians' hard-won, 20-year lease on the village site expires in 2014. The developers are already circling. However, The Santa Monica Conservancy and various other powers-that-be in that city have relatively recently become interested in the Springs, as their city is named after a 19th-century appellation for them. That gives some welcome hope for the Springs, but their continued existence remains touch and go. I continually find it hard to believe, considering LA's ongoing moaning about the lack of history in these parts, that several thousand years worth might, even now, be tossed in the bin without a backward glance.

The pond at Kuruvungna Springs

Gabreilino Tongva Springs Foundation

Last edited by tovangar2; Dec 12, 2012 at 8:12 AM. Reason: spelling
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