April 19, 1987
I was angered when I read one reader's attack (March 22) on Sam Hall Kaplan for his March 1 article, "Viewing Downtown in Wheelchair." No, Mr. Kaplan was not being "mushy and condescending." He was referring to a very real problem for thousands of people in Los Angeles alone. The barriers Mr. Kaplan referred to prevent many of us from fully participating in our responsibilities, rights and freedoms as citizens. The reader who attacked Mr. Kaplan was upset by the Title 24 "Disabled Access Regulations," saying they "lack a strong sense of common sense."
May 15, 1988
I couldn't help but chuckle after reading the column by Sam Hall Kaplan (April 17) regarding his neighborhood travails. Welcome to the real world of selfishness Mr. Kaplan, as exhibited by the Montana Avenue Task Force. Where have you been all these years? As long as someone else's ox is being gored, it's OK. As soon as the social engineers take over, you have this chaos and irresponsible, unthinking acts. Yes, Mr. Kaplan, the patients have taken over the insane asylum. JERRY MONKARSH Santa Monica
January 21, 1990
Sam Hall Kaplan's column, "Closing a Decade of Design, Some Hits and Misses" (Dec. 31), strikes me as shallow and confused. I agree with Mr. Kaplan that the last decade has seen a rising design consciousness, but I feel that the '80s saw a new richness and variety, not a worsening, in the built environment. As design partner at Albert C. Martin & Associates, the architectural firm that designed the new Home Savings Tower, I disagree with Mr. Kaplan's brief appraisal. However, what I find much more disturbing than a negative remark about our firm's work is Mr. Kaplan's glib and shorthand approach to 10 very important years in Los Angeles' architectural development.
December 20, 1987
Sam Hall Kaplan's impression of British architecture is misguided. It was not American influence but a European one that gave London much of its present architecture. The National Westminster Tower (Richard Seifert, c.1980), the London Hilton (Lewis Solomon, 1961) and any number of other tower blocks, such as the eponymous London Wall (L.C.C. Architects, 1955, etc.) owe their development to the influence of the German architect Mies van der Rohe, who designed similar tower blocks as early as 1922, long before he moved to the United States.
April 20, 1986
This is in response to Sam Hall Kaplan's "Citizens Want a Hand in Zoning" (April 6). In case Mr. Kaplan is unaware, urban planners throughout history have been among the leaders in actively promoting better cities and the environment, regardless of the propensity to be criticized and admonished for all the ills of civilization, including being dismissed from employment. The history of our cities is filled with cases of planners, once they have expressed their concerns for sensitive community issues, seeking other employment.
December 21, 1986
As members of the faculty of USC Planning School's graduate program in real estate development, we share Sam Hall Kaplan's concern about student awareness and sensitivity toward design. But we feel that he was unduly severe on students who, after all, have come to the program to learn. The design curriculum consists of four parts: 1--How to think in three dimensions. 2--How to understand and visualize architectural and engineering drawings. 3--How to approach design issues with a critical eye, based on an in-depth understanding of why certain buildings and spaces are acclaimed by architects and developers.