I am writing in reference to “City Council Upholds Teriton Designation.”
I come from a creative/artistic background and own and operate close to 300 apartment units in the City of Los Angeles, most of which are either “Truly Historical” or candidates for being Historic. I am also a former Housing Commissioner in the City of Santa Monica, having been appointed by Mayor Ken Edwards and the Santa Monica City Council in 1983-1984. I also have a degree in Real Estate, as well as having taught Real Estate. I believe my credentials are in order and provide the proper credibility to express an opinion.
As a Preservationist I believe that it was an error of the greatest magnitude to designate the Teriton as a Historical Landmark. This property is not even noteworthy. Being an owner of Historic properties, I believe it diminishes the significance of properties that are truly historic. The significance of true historic preservation has been watered down by the frivolous and convoluted thinking of the Santa Monica City Council and Mayor.
I find it reprehensible of a greater magnitude that Mayor Richard Bloom would endorse Historical Status for this so-so structure, then by the comments by Rosario Perry that the so-called pinwheel design looks like a “Convoluted Swastika.” The last time I checked, freedom of speech was still constitutionally protected behavior. Being that Mr. Perry is representing a Rabbi, I take it that he was making a statement as to his opinion of a design, as opposed to being derogatory, as Mr. Perry is not a derogatory person.
Sometimes emotions and the fear of doing what is right get in the way of public officials making sound decisions for the community. In this case the small picture was focused on, instead of the larger picture for the future.
Former Housing Commissioner, City of Santa Monica 1983-1984
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“Freedom of Speech/Expression”
With reference to your June 21-27, 2007 story on the Santa Monica City Council’s upholding of the Teriton Apartments as a City Landmark, I was disappointed in your report of Mayor Richard Bloom’s comment regarding the appellant’s attorney, Rosario Perry. I don’t believe Mr. Perry’s opinion that the Teriton’s unique features resembled “a convoluted swastika” deserved the Mayor’s remark that Perry “should be ashamed of himself and owes the community an apology for his profanity.” Certainly, freedom of speech and expression is everyone’s right, even if it is unpopular or politically incorrect. If the proponents chose to characterize the features of Teriton as a “pinwheel or zigzag layout,” so be it. Mr. Perry’s descriptive choice may have offended some, many or all of the assembly; but he certainly does not owe “the community an apology” for his exercise of free speech. Also, to label the word ’swastika’ as “profanity” is quite inaccurate. If any apology is owed, it seems to me that Mayor Bloom owes one to Mr. Perry.
Irwin Zeke Warsaw