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Panel Urges Adobe Be Declared a Monument

August 04, 1988|ESTHER SCHRADER | Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission on Wednesday recommended declaring a 145-year-old adobe in Griffith Park a historic-cultural monument.

One of the oldest structures in Griffith Park, the Adobe of the Rancho Los Feliz is the only adobe remaining on the site of El Rancho Los Feliz, one of the first Spanish land grants in California.

The commission's recommendation was made despite city Department of Recreation and Parks' protests that the five-room building does not warrant monument status. "We don't believe that it bears a reasonable resemblance to its original form," Ted Heyl, the department's assistant planning officer, told the commission Wednesday.

The building, at 4730 Crystal Springs Drive next to the Griffith Park ranger station, has an open fireplace and a pitched roof. It is used by Griffith Park rangers for meeting space and one room houses nature and historic exhibits. The adobe was modified in recent years with a porch addition and new roof tiles.

Bill Eckert, a ranger at Griffith Park for 16 years before he retired in 1981, said he is pleased the adobe has received city protection.

"I'd kind of like to leave it as a nature museum, just as it is," he said.

If the City Council approves the board's recommendation, all alterations of the building would be subject board approval.

Park rangers, who say their operation has outgrown the ranger station, had planned to convert one room of the adobe into additional office space.

"I don't plan on altering the building at all, but I do plan on using it," Chief Park Ranger Lucia Ruta said. "If it's a monument, I'll probably have to go through a lot of red tape to put things in there and I don't want to."

Times staff writer David Ushery contributed to this story.

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