UPDATE! October 5, 2017 - At today's Cultural Heritage Commission meeting, the City's Cultural Heritage Commissioners voted unanimously to take under consideration Beneficial Plaza and Liberty Park as a Monument. Annette Van Duren, the applicant of the HCM nomination, introduced the nomination and presented a brief overview regarding the historical significance of Beneficial Plaza and Liberty Park. Evanne St. Charles, Architectural Historian and Preservation Planner at Architectural Resources Group (ARG) presented the nomination to the Commissioners. Members of Save Liberty Park coalition participated in the hearing by reading support letters from Alan Hess, Mia Lehrer and The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
On Thursday October 5, 2017, the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission will consider our application to designate Beneficial Plaza and Liberty Park at 3700 Wilshire Blvd as a Historic-Cultural Monument. If landmark designation is granted, the site would be protected from immediate demolition and allow the Cultural Heritage Commission to review modifications to site. The LA City Planning Department determined the 93-page application is complete and that the property may be significant enough to warrant further investigation as a potential Historic-Cultural Monument.
In addition to serving as community open space, Liberty Park was originally intended by Beneficial Insurance Group as a monument to the nation’s heritage and an outdoor museum of patriotic objects heralding great moments in American history. Postwar optimism was highlighted by the display of a replica of the Mercury space capsule in 1968, a full-scale model of the Apollo space capsule for lunar missions in 1969, and an actual Titan rocket in 1970. The first object to go on display, an exact replica of Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell cast by the same London foundry and in the same molds as the original, has been a permanent feature of Liberty Park since its unveiling on July 4, 1968. Beneficial Plaza was dedicated the previous year on Veterans Day, November 11, 1967.In 1968, the Planning Department and the Planning Commission changed the zoning of Liberty Park from commercial (C4-4) to parking (P-4). The P zone was used as a means to ensure that land would not be developed except for specific uses (typically but not always surface parking). In this case, the use of the P designation likely was the most powerful means available to the Planning Department and the Planning Commission, short of City purchase for public open space, to protect an open space resource that is readily acknowledged and significant. Just click "Landmark" button above to read our Historic-Cultural Monument Nomination application. You can show your support by sending an email to Melissa Jones at the Office of Historic Resources and writing to Council Member Herb Wesson, Jr.
Department of City Planning:
Office of Historic Resources
200 N. Spring Street Room 559
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Los Angeles City Council, 10th District
Herb Wesson, Jr.
Jamie Hwang, Deputy