Morgan, Walls & Clements building destroyed

KEHE (KFI) Radio Building, 1936

133-141 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles

LA Streamlined

Morgan, Walls & Clements: KEHE (KFI) Radio Building, 1936

Nicolai Ouroussoff's article in the Los Angeles Times, “Failing a Landmark; When a school district's building plan hinges on demolishing a historic site, something is amiss”, July 15, 2002. (“As architecture, the importance of the KEHE Radio building is hard to dispute...”) Ouroussoff is now at the New York Times.

The Los Angeles Unified School District followed a questionable policy in condemning this building. An archeologist was brought in from Riverside County to fulfill the requirements of historical research. The State Office of Historic Preservation may not have been informed, and made no comment.

The Los Angeles Conservancy was not informed, and could do nothing (its slogan is now At Home with History).

The School Board ignored such research as was done, and issued a Statement of Overriding Consideration approving demolition. 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation explains: “Unfortunately, once the final EIR has been approved by the lead agency (here LAUSD), there is little that can be done to change the outcome of the proposed project.  If the project were challenged in court, the adequacy of the EIR would be determined based on a review of the record.  A good record is contingent on the opportunity to comment during the environmental review process.  However, even assuming there were irregularities re the KEHE Radio Building, i.e. LAUSD failed to notify proper parties/public, it's unlikely the school district's decision can be challenged in court.  This is because the building [would] already [have]  been demolished, rendering the issue moot.”

In other words, you have to be notified of any proposed demolition to oppose it, and if you’re not notified, you have no recourse.

LAUSD’s Superintendent is the former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Governor of Colorado, Roy Romer, “hand-picked” for the position by homebuilding magnate and Postmodern art collector Eli Broad, who recently obtained the replacement of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with a new one by the Dutch design firm of Rem Koolhaas (LACMA is now scheduled to be made over by Renzo Piano). ("Billionaire's clout swaying LAUSD", Los Angeles Daily News, January 11, 2003)



A quality of loss

Affecting our Content

As Trade had suddenly encroached

Upon a Sacrament.

Emily Dickinson

stereophotograph by
Heather Lowe


How did it happen, my poor boy?

     Yon wanted to be Buonaparte

And have the Tuileries for toy,

     And could not, so it broke your heart?


Robert Browning