Around the Town: Rancho LaBrea founding fêted in Ahmanson family’s garden

| August 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

ITALIAN RENAISSANCE garden in Hancock Park was the setting for the 2019 annual meeting of the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society.

Over 150 members and their guests flocked to the Hudson Place home of Bill and Karla Ahmanson for the annual meeting of the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society (WSHPHS) June 23. Celebrating the founding of Rancho LaBrea, the event was held in the couple’s Italian Renaissance garden overlooking the Wilshire Country Club golf course.

“Bill was the early riser this morning, setting up tables and chairs,” said Society President Richard Battaglia, thanking the Ahmansons for their generous hospitality. Member Kiel FitzGerald installed new officers and trustees for the coming year followed by introduction of the much-anticipated winners of the 2019 Historic Landmark Awards.

One of architect Paul Williams’s gems, a house on Fuller Avenue in Miracle Mile North,  was recognized as a Landmark, with the award being bestowed upon current owners Toby Horn and Harold Tomin.

“I visited the house as a young girl and wished one day I would live there,” gushed Toby. That wish came true for her and her husband in 1994, and the couple has preserved and restored many of the historic features. 

Next, the miraculous transformation of the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple into the Marciano Art Foundation on Wilshire Boulevard was recognized by a presentation to the foundation of the Adapted Re-Use Award. The road to rescue for the existing building fell to brothers Paul and Maurice Marciano, among the world’s top collectors of contemporary art and co-founders of Guess Jeans, Inc.

In taking on the re-use challenge, the foundation consulted with Windsor Square homeowners and hired renowned architect Kulapat Yantrasast and his firm wHY Architecture. Today, the Marciano Art Foundation is an inspired private museum combining the restoration of the structure and its history with the Marcianos’ extraordinary art collection, plus visiting exhibits.

There to accept the award were foundation Artistic Director Olivia Marciano and foundation staff member Therese Lepine.

OLIVIA MARCIANO and Therese Lepine receive WSHPHS Landmark Award.

 Thanks to a gift from a WSHPHS member, the late Raphael de Marchena-Huyke, an Excellence in Education Award was presented to Lindsay Strurman, Rebecca Hutchinson and Heather Boylston for their roles in founding Larchmont Charter School. Following the awards and the congratulatory remarks offered at the formal meeting’s outset by Councilmember David Ryu, a sumptuous barbecue buffet was served amid the laughter and chatter of neighbors and friends. Among them, Linda Wolverton, Colette Amin, Susan and Hugh Wilton, Joyce Davidson, Carolyn Layport, Sandy and Bill Boeck, Juliet Brumlik, Ginger and John Barnard, Karen Gilman, David Harralson, Damona and Seth Hoffman, John Winther and Randi and Chris Rose.

WSHPHS is gearing up for a big Homes Tour on Sun., Oct. 6, featuring five estates on Rossmore Avenue. Proceeds from this not-to-miss event will go to the permanent monument sign to be installed in front of the benevolent Ebell of Los Angeles.

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The Hancock Park home of Susana and Peter Funsten was the setting for a reception to raise funds for the Urban Sanctuary of Blessed Sacrament Church July 11. Locals Susan and Jack Humphreville, Jennifer and Bill Fain, Carol and Daryl Holter, Maggie and Matthew Kuhns and Yvonne Cazier were among the guests who enjoyed savory nibbles and delicious wines while toasting the success of a place to give comfort and rest to the homeless in the church’s vicinity.

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MAYOR PETE Buttigieg (center) speaks in the garden of the Hancock Park home of Mike Rose (left) and Ruben Rodriguez. At right in the photo is Chasten Buttigieg.
Photo by John Gile

Ruben Rodriguez and Mike Rose welcomed hundreds of interested friends and neighbors to their lovely Hancock Park home to meet 2020 presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg on July 25. It was a sunny afternoon for the guests and the candidate (and his campaign coffers).

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ART EXHIBIT patrons include neighbors Neville Anderson, Hancock Park (second from left), and John LaBombard, Windsor Square (fourth from left), greeting friends Mimi and Warren Techentin. At far right, Carl Anderson talks with Jenny Schreiber.

The Gregory Ain-designed home of Brooke Anderson and Randy Ferguson in Citrus Square was the scene of an art exhibit July 27. On display were lovely botanical drawings by artist Liz Young, Brooke’s talented daughter-in-law. More than 50 friends and neighbors enjoyed the art and the company of one another, including Carlotta Keely, Court Young (the artist’s husband, who grew up in Hancock Park), Betsy Anderson, John LaBombard and Carl Anderson. Marlborough School classmates and former Hancock Park residents Nancy Peck Birdwell and Suzan Ellis Renwick were there with classmate Louise Hendricks Korshak, joined by her husband, Stuart. Others enjoying the art were Mimi and Warren Techentin, Neville Anderson and former residents Jenny and Dick Schreiber, now in Beverly Hills.

BOTANTICAL DRAWINGS by artist Liz Young, left, were on display at the residence of her mother, Brooke Anderson, right.

  And that’s the chat!

By Patty Hill

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Category: News

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