Special acknowledgements.......

to the many people who contributed to the historic certification of the Village Green (Baldwin Hills Village) as one of the nation's most important historic sites.

Early Contributors (1970's)

Crombie Taylor--Architect, prominent preservationist, and former associate dean in the School of Architecture at USC. Taylor began the lengthy historic certification of the Village Green when he co-authored the Village Green's Los Angeles city landmark nomination in 1977. He also played a critical part in the preparation of the Village Green National Register and National Historic Landmark nominations. Crombie Taylor was a Village Green resident in court 11 from 1973 to 1988.

Kathryn Smith--Distinguished preservationist and architectural writer. Smith c0-authored the 1977 Los Angeles city landmark nomination for the Village Green. In addition, she contributed significantly to the preparation of the Village Green National Register and National Historic Landmark nominations. Kathryn Smith was a Village Green resident in court 10 during the 1970's and 1980's.


National Register of Historic Places (1989 to 1973)

Robert Alexander-- In 1990, the last surviving founding member of the four founding architects came to the Village Green for a week stay. Robert Alexander presented the early history of the Village Green, which was unknown to the community. He also outlined standards for the long-term preservation of the Village Green. Robert Alexander made an invaluable contribution to the National Register nomination (submitted on October 1, 1992). Robert Alexander died in 1992 on the day that the written nomination was accepted as completed by the State Office of Historic Preservation. Lived at the Village Green for nine years in the 1940s and early 1950s in court 12.

Dorothy Fue Wong----Village Green resident who continued Crombie Taylor and Kathryn Smith 's historic certification of the Village Green (Baldwin Hills Village). She organized community activities, involving approximately 500 homeowners, and prepared the history section of the National Register nomination (1990 to 1992). Court 11 resident.

Wesley Robbins---Architect and Village Green resident wrote the description section of the National Register nomination and gave invaluable assistance in its preparation (1992). His highly professional work was the basis for the description section of the National Landmark nomination. Court 11 resident.

Cynthia Howse--State historian. Cynthia Howse guided the research and writing of the Village Green National Register nomination from 1990 to 1993. At the 1993 hearing in Sacramento, the California State Office of Historic Preservation recommended that the Village Green (Baldwin Hills Village) be granted National Register status. It also recommended that it apply for National Historic Landmark status. Cynthia Howse provided critical help during the preparation of the National Landmark nomination from 1995 to 2000.

Loretta Rooney Hess---Professional editor and writer for three decades. Loretta Hess provided long service to the Village Green's historic certification process. She served as copy editor for all materials related to the National Register and National Historic Landmark nominations during a ten-year period (1990 to 2000). Her expertise and conscientious oversight contributed to the high professional standards required by the Department of Interior for the National Landmark nomination. Court 11 resident.

Christy McAvoy-- Nationally known preservationist and principal of Historic Resources. In 1989, McAvoy met with the Village Green community and outlined the steps for the preparation of the National Register nomination. Later in 2000, she presented a lecture with preservation architect Peyton Hall on National Landmark preservation standards for the Village Green.

Village Green Community-- In 1993, the State Office of Historic Preservation conducted an election of the homeowners as the final step to the National Register certification. According to federal procedures, the Village Green would be ineligible for the National Register if more than half of the homeowners objected. The State Office of Historic Preservation reported that there was no objection to this status.
The Village Green (Baldwin Hills Village) became a National Register site mid-year 1993.

 


National Historic Landmark (1994 to 2001)

Dorothy Fue Wong---- Village Green resident who prepared and funded the National Historic Landmark nomination for the Village Green community and the Stein Garden cities during 1994 to 2000. The Village Green was declared a National Historic Landmark on January 3, 2001 by the Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt. It was in the last group that were recommended by President Bill Clinton for National Historic Landmark status.

Wong was helped by many people who were located at the Village Green, city of Los Angeles, the state of California, the east coast, and the community of Kitimat, British Columbia.


Preservation Professionals from the East Coast

James Charleton and Antoinette Lee---Department of Interior officials who met with Wong in November 1994 in Washington D.C. They gave critical help and support for the Village Green (Baldwin Hills Village) Landmark project. Previously in 1993, the Department of Interior wrote that the Village Green Landmark nomination was not possible because of the high preparation cost. This agency again evaluated the project in 1996 and wrote that it was too expensive to fund because of its complexity and the high scholarship required.

Kermit Carlyle Parsons---served as both Dean of Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and also professor of city and regional planning. Parsons was the foremost authority on Clarence Stein, and wrote The Writings of Clarence S. Stein---Architect of the Planned Community (1998). He was responsible in transferring Stein's papers to Cornell University and was the founding director of the Clarence S. Stein Institute for Urban and Landscape Studies. Parsons gave invaluable assistance to the Village Green's National Landmark nomination from 1996 to his death in 1999.

Michael Tomlan---Director of Preservation Education at Cornell University; second director of the Stein Institute; and expert in the international Garden city movement. Tomlan provided the critical direction and support for the completion of the Village Green's National Landmark nomination (1996 to 2000). During this period, the Department of Interior did not have a specialist in town planning, and Tomlan (with a PhD in urban planning and an M.A. in architecture) assumed that critical role.

Robie Lange---Department of Interior historian. Lange supervised the Village Green's National Landmark nomination from 1995 to 2000. His high standards and conscientious oversight contributed significantly to the successful presentation of the Village Green's National Historic nomination at a federal hearing in Washington D.C. (fall of 2000) and its final approval on January 3, 2001.



Village Green and Los Angeles city Contributors

Constance Crown---Daughter of Reginald Johnson. Constance Crown contributed invaluable information on Village Green's lead architect for the National Historic Landmark nomination. She lived at the Village Green during the 1950s. Her husband was Rico LeBrun, who designed the Village Green's clubhouse mural. Constance Crown was a resident in court 11 in the 1950s.

George Totten---Professor Emeritus of Political Science at USC and prominent international figure for world peace. George Totten worked for six years in supporting the National Historic Landmark. He helped to prepare the Landmark budget and edit the nomination concerning political theories and social movements. George Totten facilitated the Landmark process by meeting with the Board on various issues, including preparation expenses. Court 17 resident.

Eugene Lambert--Retired senior school administrator. Lambert helped to organize the community in supporting the National Historic Landmark during a three year period. Because of Lambert's efforts, the Department of Interior did not receive any objection to the Landmark status during the 2000 federal hearing in Washington D.C. Court 3 resident.

Ralph Wiggen, Sten Jonsson, and David Mellin---members of the 1999 Board who were instrumental in reinstating the National Landmark project. This was after the 1997 and 1998 Boards eliminated the project in a closed meeting and against the wishes of the community. These individuals' courage and diligence were critical in having the Village Green become a National Historic Landmark in a timely manner at the end of the Clinton administration (2001). Courts 5, 10, and 14 residents.

Robert Nicolais---Architect and Village Green resident. Nicolais prepared the description section of the National Historic Landmark nomination based on the National Register nomination and available documents. He wrote this section during the last three months of the Landmark preparation period (first half of 2000). He went to Cornell University in 1999 and found the key evidence that completed the nomination---Clarence Stein's contract for work at Baldwin Hills Village.
Court 9 resident.

Mark Ridley-Thomas--Member of the Los Angeles City Council. Supported the National Historic Landmark status for Village Green since 1994. Mark Ridley-Thomas authored the Mills Act in the mid-1990s for Los Angeles, and provided a special provision for the Village Green when it became a National Historic Landmark. In 2010, the Village Green became part of the Mills Act (property tax reduction program for historic properties), and was awarded $6,000,000 during a ten-year period. This program can be renewed after this period.

Los Angeles Conservancy--The largest local nonprofit preservation organization in the United States. Ken Bernstein, director of preservation issues, provided a decade of help to the Village Green in its National Landmark nomination and preservation efforts. Linda Dishman, executive director, was notified by the Department of Interior to comment on the National Landmark nomination prior to the 2000 hearing.

Julius Schulman--Noted architectural photographer. Julius Schulman produced many photographs of the early Village Green---these are critical in the future preservation of this site. He also provided the photograph for the Village Green's nomination for the AIA's prestigious Twenty-Five Year award (1972). During the early 1940s, he met Clarence Stein and was acquainted with Robert Alexander. In the late 1990s, Julius Schulman provided key information during the preparation of the National Landmark nomination.



Contributors on the East Coast and Kitimat, British Columbia

These individuals generously contributed information about their communities to Dorothy Fue Wong on her various research trips to the east coast in 1996 and British Columbia in 1997.

Larry and Felice Koplik---Architects and residents at Radburn (Fairlawn, New Jersey) who provided the critical information and 1996 tour of Radburn needed for the Village Green Landmark nomination. The idea for the design of Village Green was directly influenced by Radburn.

David Vater---Architect and resident at Chatham Village (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania). Provided 1996 tour of Chatham Village and invaluable information about this community during the preparation of the Village Green nomination. Manager Kathryn Nelson also provided in-depth information about Chatham Village.

Oscar Shaftel---Lived at Sunnyside Gardens for fifty years. Gave 1996 tour of Sunnyside Gardens and Phipps Garden Apartments. This critical information about these communities were incorporated into the Village Green National Historic Landmark nomination.

Mary Linstrom---Member of the Greenbelt Historical Museum who gave a comprehensive tour of Greenbelt, Maryland during 1996. Resident Barbara Havekost generously offered her home in order that more historical information can be gathered for the Village Green Landmark nomination.

Gwendolyn J. Sewell (city planner), Luanne Ives, Anne Berrisford, and Lynda Rocha at Kitimat provided invaluable insight to Clarence Stein's vision and final community project during the early 1970's. This research took place in 1997 during a week visit.

These librarians and archivists provided invaluable assistance in finding the proper documents which would prove Village Green's important significance to the nation.

Tony Wren (The American Institute of Architects---Washington D.C.), Ann Analoski (Municipal Art Society--New York city), Elaine Engst and Nancy Dean (Cornell University---Ithaca, New York), Michel Harvey (Museum of Modern Art---New York city), and Kimberly Shillard (M.I.T.---Cambridge, Massachusetts).



Professionals Who Wrote Letters of Support

In 1994, the Department of Interior recommended that letters of support be collected from professionals in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning in order to determine if the Village Green was nationally signifcant. Dorothy Fue Wong collected 27 letters---these documents offered critical insight on the major impact that the Village Green has made on the nation.
Participants include scholars Mel Branch, Leland Burns, Larry Gerckens, Kathryn Smith, Patricia Morton and Allan Temko; urban planners Reba Wright-Quastler, Amy Anderson, David Mellin, Craig O'Connor, and Stephanos Polyzoides; preservationists Christy McAvoy, Ruthann Lehrer; architects Jeffrey Samudio, Anthony Anella and Crombie Taylor; landscape professionals Alden Kelley, Shirley Kirens, and Tom Lockette; and ornithologist Kimball L. Garrett; political leaders Governor Pete Wilson, Mayor Richard Riordan, city councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas; and congressional representatives Julian Dixon, Barbara Boxer and
Diane Feinstein.


The Village Green (historically known as Baldwin Hills Village)

Village Green Community-- In 1994, the Department of Interior stated that the Village Green community must give consent before work can begin on the National Historic landmark nomination. At the annual 1995 election, the homeowners voted unanimously for this status.
In the fall of 2000, the Department of Interior conducted an election of the homeowners as a final step to the Landmark certification. No objection was recorded. According to federal procedures, the Village Green would have been ineligible for the National Historic Landmark if half or more of the homeowners objected.


Village Green Board--The Department of Interior stated that a letter of approval from the Village Green board was required for the November 2006 Landmark hearing. President Tom Brown signed this letter on October 31st. Without this letter, the National Historic Landmark nomination would have been placed in the inactive file.


Loretta's  memorialLoretta Rooney Hess (1924-2006)
A memorial tribute to the copy editor of the Village Green's National Register (1990-1993) and the National Historic Landmark nominations (1996-2000).

 

 

July 2007 (2017)h

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