The Destruction of the Little Red Bungalow

| November 6, 2023 | 0 Comments

By Kate Callen, District 3 Council Candidate

The Little Red Bungalow, a community icon in the heart of Mission Hills, was demolished on Friday, October 6, to make way for an eight-story market-rate housing tower. The Craftsman bungalow was 111 years old. I was invited to speak at Saturday’s vigil at the demolition site. Here are my remarks:

Today, we are mourning two losses.

First, we are mourning the death of a beloved landmark. The Little Red Bungalow was destroyed at the behest of Los Angeles developer Steven Yari. He knew this would hurt the community. He didn’t care.

Second, we are mourning the demise of local democracy, one where elected officials serve all the people and not just the powerful.

Our city government has failed us at every level. The mayor has failed us. Todd Gloria is entirely focused on climbing the political career ladder — governor, senator, president. He needs the rich and powerful to help him climb that ladder. So he puts their interests ahead of ours.

The City Council has failed us. The nine members of the Council are nine rubber stamps. They do whatever the mayor tells them because they need his help to climb their own political career ladders.

The Historic Resources Board has completely failed us. I was at the September 28 hearing where they broke the rules of public deliberation and would not grant historic designation. At last week’s Uptown Planners meeting, we told a City Council representative the HRB committed numerous improprieties. He said the City Council couldn’t do anything because its hands are tied.

Here is the takeaway: When elected officials tell you they can’t do anything because their hands are tied, you tell them: Untie your hands, and find another line of work, because you are not cut out for the job you were elected to do.

Let me end with a message for Mr. Yari: You have badly hurt the Mission Hills community. There is one way you can try to make amends. You can show respect for Mission Hills by installing a marker or a plaque on this site that memorializes the Little Red Bungalow. That is not too much to ask.

I also have a message for Mayor Gloria and Councilmember Whitburn: Stand together with Mission Hills. You have a direct line to the developer. Tell him that he needs to show respect to this community. That is not too much to ask.

It’s time for us to look ahead to the 2024 elections. We have a lot of work to do. We will strengthen our resolve. We will keep up the fight, and we will keep up hope. Thank you all for being here this morning.

Kate Callen is pictured on the far right with other concerned citizens who protested the destruction of the Little Red Bungalow.

Category: Events, Government, Historical, Homeless, Housing, Local News

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