| December 4, 2019 | 1 Comment

SEVERAL readers wrote about the demolition of a home on Citrus Avenue, top.

‘Historic Citrus Ave. house quickly

This is so sad and infuriating! Having been in the home many times, I can attest that it had been lovingly and professionally maintained and was NOT a teardown. In fact, there had been recent upgrades to the plumbing, etc. The deceptive way [the buyers] went about it is disgusting and this is a huge loss to the neighborhood. I hope that someone is watering those beautiful sycamore trees while that lot sits vacant.
Gabe M.
Sherman Oaks

That letter to the sellers is as underhanded as it gets. Anything to get their offer accepted! As a realtor, most of the dishonesty I’ve seen is on the part of the public — not the real estate agents who get a bad rap for being shady.
Clint Lohr

The neighbors didn’t stand around watching; I for one stood in front of the bulldozer while the workers went around us with axes to hack out the leaded glass windows and hand carved beams and to deface the facade in a matter of minutes. The neighborhood is distraught, but through lies, deception, manipulation and not following the law regarding posting intent to demolish signs, Reuven and Shevy Gradon got exactly what they wanted. We look forward to welcoming them to the neighborhood.
Johnson Hartig
N. Citrus Ave.

This was such a beautiful and special home! It is devastating it is gone and extremely disappointing that lies were told that it would remain protected and loved by the new owners. And that letter is so morally corrupt after what he did. What a disgrace! And I wish he would have decided to at least remove parts of the house in a historical preservation way. I would have bought a number of parts of that incredible home.
Kat J.
N. Las Palmas Ave.

I completely agree — so sad that deception was used to tear down a beautiful home.
Casey Towle

Thanks for a great article that focuses on what truly matters in this case. I’m a property rights kind of guy, and it’s a shame to lose such a lovely house. But the real travesty is that we now have a morally bankrupt, lying [person] living in our neighborhood that sold his name and soul for a piece of dirt. Thanks for exposing him, and may karma act swiftly.
Mansfield Neighbor

Isn’t this a violation of the Demolition Notification Ordinance (Scorched Earth), and can’t this Gradon putz be subjected to a 15-year moratorium on building in that now-vacant spot?
Gregory Z.
Hollywood, CA

I live on North Mansfield Avenue, one block west of the recent thoughtless and unnecessary demolition of the home at 361 North Citrus Avenue. I did not have the pleasure of knowing the Cole family who previously lived at this location, but I did know another family who lived there prior to the Coles. Like the Coles, this family sold the property to the Coles with the express desire that the house be preserved.

The Cole’s recent letter to the Larchmont Chronicle regarding the sneaky, surprise demolition of this beautiful home moved me to write this letter. I am so sorry that they were deceived by the purchasers of their property.

The attitude of disregard for promises made, disregard for neighbors and neighborhood, can be summed up in a popular saying, “Get over it.”

Those of us who love beauty and history will never “Get over it.”
Nora Summers
N. Mansfield Ave

Heartless, selfish criminals, plain and simple. What you wanna bet they plan to build a McMansion…
Yoo Mei

Too bad they cannot be sued for misrepresentation and forced to rebuild that home as it was before they got their grubby paws on it. It will be a mitzvah when what they did comes back as karma.
Gail Landers

How very sad to lose this charming piece of special architectural history, but even more so, to lose another bit of trust in humanity and feel the hurt for the rest of your life.
Lesson learned: put it in the contract!
Michael Scheidt
S. Sycamore Ave.

As I write this, I still feel emotional about the needless and selfish demolition of 361 North Citrus Ave.
Ancient teachings tell us that it is unethical to deceive someone to achieve one’s selfish gain. Other property owners have been levied with “scorched earth” penalties for similar destruction. The penalty that new owners Reuven and Shevy Gradon will endure will be distrust and shunning by their neighbors for however many, if any, years they live there.
As my grandmother and mother would say, “What a shanda.”
Toby Horn
Miracle Mile

Thank you for your accurate and honest report regarding the demolition of the culturally historic home at 361 N. Citrus Ave.
Without proper notification, we, the neighbors, stood in horror at seeing hammers blasting out the leaded glass windows alongside a bulldozer hard at work even before a fence was in place to protect the house next door.

What was heartwarming was witnessing so many caring people from various city agencies and neighbors offering a commitment to make this area an HPOZ.

It is my hope that the new dwelling will meet the standards of height and setbacks without overbearing the houses that have integrity of size with lovely front gardens.

As David and Cassidy Cole so beautifully stated, “Our neighborhoods and our communities deserve better than what happened at 361 North Citrus Avenue.”
Thank you for allowing our voices to be heard.
Brooke Anderson
N. Citrus Ave.

There’s a moratorium to build? New homes add value to the neighborhood. Why do you all care so much?
It’s America friends — we build and improve…
HPOZ is to the south — not here. Wake up!!
Fishel Cohen
Los Angeles

‘Larchmont loses two
large ficus trees’

Shame on Councilman Ryu and Ronald Simms for ignoring the wishes of our neighborhood. You both lose my support over this issue!
Finian Shea Johnson
Windsor Square

Tree Wells

Your article (Nov. 2019) about the placement of the southernmost tree re-sparked my interaction with Rob Fisher from Councilman Ryu’s office.

I had previously written to him indicating that the placement of the trees led credence to the narrative that Mr. Simms and company were the drivers on all action taken.
He had indicated that Urban Forestry had been the decider on tree location.
His response to my “Something is not kosher” follow-up email, where I pointed out your  mention of the eight feet from driveway comment from Urban Forestry.
The following is his [Mr. Fisher’s] response. Please ignore his, I assume, typo in the agency name.

“Yes. I don’t know where they got that information, since it is not attributed to a specific individual.  The locations of the wells we identified under the direct supervision of the head of Urban Forestry Tim Tyson.”

I’d sure like to learn the real story, as I know you would also.
Dennis Levin
Norton Avenue

New voting machines?

On the John Oliver show [“Last Week Tonight” / HBO], I have recently seen a segment on the vulnerability of the nation’s voting machines, and I was wondering if there was anything a teenager like myself could do to improve the situation or, at the very least, if I could find out what kind of voting machines my local voting center uses. I am worried that when the time to vote comes, I will not be able to trust that my vote will be counted.

I hope that I will be confident in the safety of the nation’s voting infrastructure in the future, but I cannot be confident while these vulnerabilities in the system exist.
Again, if there any way for me to make a difference?
James D’Atri
Larchmont Village

Ed. Note: See our article this month on the new voting machines, Sec. 2, page 12, also online this month.

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  1. Mark Farzad says:

    not saying what the buyers did was not wrong, however……Sellers received an above asking price buyer that paid $2.3 for a 2300 sq foot property, comps do not support that value at all, and this property would have sold for about 100k-200k less had it been sold to an owner occupier , did they think a buyer paying that much for a property is not buying if for the land value? or did they know?…. just saying

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