This letter is in response to the letter of Joe Galliani (Times, Oct. 12), which attempts to lay the blame for the demolition of the Pacific Coast Club at the feet of Mayor Ernie Kell. The Coalition to Preserve Historic Long Beach devoted countless hours and thousands of dollars to try and find a way to preserve this local landmark. As chairpersons of the coalition since its inception, we would like to set the record straight.
The Pacific Coast Club fell to the wrecker's ball because of unsolvable economic problems and the legal complications of building a private hotel on a public beach. When local preservationists were working with developer Rob Bellevue to find a way to save this important part of Long Beach history, Mayor Kell directed the city manager and staff to work with us and to do whatever was necessary to preserve the club. Alas, it was hard economics and not a lack of will that caused the club's demise.
Galliani's broadside attack on the insensitivity of the mayor to preservation issues is also misplaced. In addition to the creation and staffing of the Office of Neighborhood and Historic Preservation, other pro-preservation measures have been supported by the mayor. He has directed the drafting of two ordinances for consideration by the City Council.