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Challenge: Where in Eagle Rock Was This Photo Taken?

Hint: On one of the major boulevards.

Can you recognize this location?

rebecca niederlander November 20, 2011 at 05:19 AM
The drug store that should never have been allowed to be built? The Walgreens that would not do adaptive re-use of Eagle Rock's larget streamlined moderne building and instead torn that building down and built the boring big box in its place? The entrance to that new building?
mj November 20, 2011 at 02:38 PM
It's the entrance to Walgreens across Quizno's.
Tracy King November 20, 2011 at 05:02 PM
I completely agree with Rebecca's answer.
Ajay Singh (Editor) November 20, 2011 at 08:44 PM
Thanks, Rebecca—as always—for yet another value-added correct answer! (Now, then, not a whole not lot really green in Walgreens, is there?)
Joanne Turner November 20, 2011 at 09:13 PM
So do I. This community fought for two full years to get Walgreens, yet another drug store we don't need, to at least adaptively reuse the existing structure, as our Specific Plan fully supports. Our then-Council member, Nick Pacheco, was of no help. He short-sightedly refused to listen to the overwhelming objections of his constituents to the drug giant's plan to demolish the historic building, replace it with a less-than-mediocre structure, and install an eyesore street-fronted parking lot. Consequently, Pacheco lost his job and his political career. That development has cheapened and ruined the historic center of Eagle Rock.
Ajay Singh (Editor) November 20, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Thanks, Joanne—I'm sure a lot of Eagle Rock residents agree. But I believe at least part of the reason why Nick Pacheco acted the way he did was because Walgreens had threatened the City with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit if its successful bid to build over a historic site was denied. How things got to that point is probably another story.
Joanne Turner November 20, 2011 at 11:01 PM
Yes, it is another story. When Pacheco's office first got wind of community objections to the proposal early in the process, the proposal was stealthily approved by the city without any community input, which is illegal. We found this out when the Council office scheduled a community meeting with a flyer that said, "Together, We Can Make It Happen!" It was clear the project had already been approved. Needless to say, the packed meeting quickly turned into an angry yellfest, and the Walgreens representatives didn't know what hit them. They stupidly thought a Walgreens would be welcomed by the community as needed improvement, but not so. Not only was Eagle Rock already inundated with drug stores (while bereft of other needed businesses), but also restoring historic structures is central to our community's land-use laws and has been since 1992. Even more stupid was Pacheco, the lawyer, for not realizing this. Also of note is the fact that Walgreens has adaptively reused historic buildings before, in places such as Florida, for example, so this was not foreign to the company's experience. It takes leadership from the city to work with corporations to realize such an adaptive-reuse project, and this is where Pacheco miserably failed (and got what he deserved).
rebecca niederlander November 20, 2011 at 11:48 PM
I completely agree with Joanne Turner's comments. More than 20,000 signatures were collected to help the city understand the value Eagle Rock places on its history and culture. Many people went to city hall meetings and spoke to the possibilities of compromises that could be worked to meet everyone's goals. That streamline moderne building, was the flagship store for the Shopping Bag Grocery chain. And had a place in La's history. But the LA Conservancy will tell you now, as they told us back when they offered, pro bono, all the help they could to try to get the building saved, that Los Angeles governmental agencies do not often work for the citizens and smaller communities of our city. And so we as a community lost the possibility of having the Walgreens rehab and beautify our history, and the 14,000 sq. ft. building (pretty much the exact size of the one they built) was destroyed. Side note, the old building was so well built that the destruction crews had to get much heavier equipment to take it down. Sad.
Joanne Turner November 21, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Rebecca is correct. The developers claimed reinforcing the building for earthquake purposes was necessary but too expensive, and that they had "no choice" but to demolish it. That building contained the thickest rebar I'd ever seen and wasn't going anywhere by means of natural disaster. We tried using historic preservation as leverage, but the developers quickly sold the building to a church (only temporarily), which nullified any preservation laws to prevent us from using those laws to our advantage. Then, when the coast was clear, the church sold it back to the developers for a profit. All very sneaky, very underhanded, and one lousy outcome all in the name of the bottom line. Screw the people who have to live with it.
Joe Walker November 22, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Well, I respect the preservationists views...but...the so called Market Basket Flagship building had been an auto paint business for many years,,30 at least..and was an abandoned derelict building when the ER community discovered it. I lived in ER from 1972-74 and it was a painting business even then...
Jeff November 22, 2011 at 09:05 PM
streamline moderne lol, still get a chuckle over that
Joanne Turner November 23, 2011 at 01:49 AM
Joe, whatever business was housed in the Shopping Bag flagship building (you mistakenly called it the Market Basket building, so you don't even know your facts) for however many years doesn't matter in terms of its merit as architecturally meaningful to this community. I moved to Eagle Rock in 1976 and instantly recognized it as a significant building that could be better used. So was the building next to it, which was replaced by yet another ugly parking-lot-fronted mini-mall. You should know that "abandoned, derelict" buildings are not a simple, black-or-white issue to deal with, particularly when trying to work with a city that for many years felt no connection to its architectural history. And you, Jeff, whoever you are, what qualifies you as a judge in what makes a structure "Streamline Moderne" or not? Finally, Joe, several years ago I asked you to meet me for coffee -- twice -- regarding such an exchange about land use issues in Eagle Rock, and neither time did I hear from you. Are you still afraid?
Joe Walker November 23, 2011 at 04:58 PM
Joanne,,,You and your TERA people are to be commended for your hard work. However, the Walgreens and Starbucks that took the place of a long vacant building is providing hundreds of jobs to local people and waking up that area. Sorry for calling the building by the wrong name...it was never a grocery store when I lived in Eagle Rock.
rebecca niederlander November 23, 2011 at 07:16 PM
Joe, we could have had all that and historical splendor. The original building restored through adaptive reuse as a thriving drugstore, lots of smaller shops around it, parking behind ( where it belongs for small local pedestrian areas). All those jobs would have been there. As would the cool super tall signage column Walgreens was offered at street point that used to proclaim the shopping bag store. That, in particular, had the demo crews scratching their collective heads about how to get down. It wouldn't budge, so well built it was. Our town boasts some of the most visionary and creative people in LA. What folks like Tracy, Joanne and I want for the future of our community is not to loose any more significant buildings. Look at what fatty's, coffee table, loft hair, cardo barre, cafe bojoullais, colorado wine and more have done with some pretty drab spaces along the boulevard. Look at what places like peekaboo playland (a consistently gorgeous and well used space) have brought by using our older spaces along the boulevard. Did you know there was talk of tearing down the building that houses peekaboo??? When will we learn in LA that new built doesn't always mean better?? Rebecca
Joanne Turner November 23, 2011 at 07:49 PM
When all else fails, play the "jobs" card. A project that included adaptive reuse of the original building while developing the rest of the site for other business uses would have provided at least the same number of jobs, if not more. It would have maintained the integrity of the pedestrian-friendly focus that has proven to be the correct way to restore commercial areas and attract more business (look at Old Pasadena -- no mini-malls, no street-fronting parking lots, historic buildings intact), as laid out in the Specific Plan. It takes forward-thinking individuals, as well as open-minded city officials, to develop a successful project. Over 10 years ago, with the Shopping Bag building in mind, I did research about our community's needs for an art-supply store, since Northeast LA is a well-known haven for artists. In both a three- and five-mile radius, I discovered the existence of many venues that teach art and design, further obviating a need for supplies. The Shopping Bag building would have been ideal for a Pearl Art & Craft, or something like it, but Pacheco's office wasn't interested. To me, it was a no-brainer business need waiting to be filled. All these years later, I still don't know of any good art supply store in Northeast LA. All those artists and schools have to spend their dollars in Glendale, Pasadena, or elsewhere -- a huge loss for our corner of Los Angeles. We NEED an art-supply store. Did we NEED another drug store? Absolutely not.

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