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Westside Digest

State Agency Seeks Funds for Historic Sites

April 04, 1985

Efforts to preserve historic properties in Westwood Village and Hollywood will be helped along if the state Legislature approves a funding request from the California Parks and Recreation Department.

Under a grant proposed by the department, the El Greco Apartments would receive $100,000 and the Hollywood Studio Museum's DeMille Barn would get $10,000.

The grants would be part of $4 million intended for 44 historic properties in California. Connie Finster, who is supervising the grant program, said the Legislature must approve the funding, but added, "The Legislature doesn't make changes in the list. From past experience, (the properties are) very likely to be funded."

Preservationists and senior-citizen activists are trying to move the vine-covered 54-year-old El Greco Apartments from Westwood Village to a new site on North Hayworth Avenue in West Hollywood. The 14-unit complex, modeled after the home of the Spanish painter El Greco, had been marked for demolition by its owner, W. R. Selby & Co. Inc.

The company plans to replace the building with a modern 65-unit apartment complex. It donated the building and $55,000 for moving costs to Alternative Living for the Aged, a nonprofit agency that is trying to relocate the building and convert it into low-cost housing for senior citizens.

In addition to the state grant and aid from the building's owner, Janet Witkin, director of the housing service, said financial help is being provided by the Community Redevelopment Agency and Community Development Department, Glendale Federal Savings & Loan and proceeds from a private dinner honoring Westside community leader Dorothy Corwin.

"At this point, we're still about $300,000 short," Witkin said. "Before we can move the building, we still have to buy the property."

In Hollywood, preservationists are also trying to find more funding to remodel the barn once used by Cecil B. DeMille as a movie studio. Marian Gibbons, an official of Hollywood Heritage, said the $10,000 grant proposed by the state Parks and Recreation Department would help, but more funding was needed.

"We're a long way off but every little bit helps," she said.

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