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Is L.A.’s Past Worth Saving?

North Rodeo Drive and Via Rodeo street signs

L.A. is often thought to be the embodiment of youth culture and our national collective impulse to stay “forever young”, so it’s no wonder that we often tear our own history down to build say, a car park. It has long been the assumption that in the City of Angels new is most certainly better. However, there has been an awakening among the current generation of Angelenos who seem to prefer a little preservation with their gentrification. The loss of the Ambassador Hotel in 2005 as well as that of Ray Bradbury’s house last year left deep wounds that call for a cultural reevaluation.

Enter HistoricPlacesLA, which launched its website in February. It’s an online inventory of historic preservation sites designed to help protect relevant landmarks and local resources from our future selves. After all, if memory is tied to place, then shouldn’t we do all we can to make this place a little more memorable… a little more like home?

Tonight’s event presented by Zocalo will be moderated by Saul Gonzalez, news director at KCRW, and will feature panelists from KCSN and LA Weekly. Maybe they will address today's demolition of the 75-year old Hollywood Park's racetrack grandstands.

How old is L.A. anyway? Check out this cool interactive map.

125 Paseo de la Plaza, 7:30pm, FREE

[postcard of the Ambassador Hotel via LA History Archive]