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El Pueblo Panel

March 18, 1994

* Laurels are in order for "A Vital and Important Symbol for the City" (Feb. 28). The editorial clearly and accurately underscored the need for leadership at El Pueblo Historic Park, urging Mayor Richard Riordan to make long overdue appointments to the oversight commission. The emphasis upon the selection of appointees "who will make historic preservation their top priority" was of essential importance. Having worked as a consultant to El Pueblo and having served as founding president of its support group, I am keenly aware of the cross purposes of competing interests which have contributed to an impasse in such restoration efforts as the Getty Conservation Institute's critical work on the David Siqueiros mural.

The urgency of your message is justified, for "a land without memories is a land without history." Our city's past is centered in El Pueblo, where the oldest remaining adobe stands across from the earliest remaining brick building. Between them are traces of the zanja madre, the original water system for Los Angeles. Overlooking this scene is the mural, "America Tropical," a unique testament to a tradition of subjugation which is part of the "buried pain of Angeleno history."

GLORIA RICCI LOTHROP

Professor of History

Cal Poly Pomona

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