[Image by flickr user Donna Grayson]
While co-editor Josh makes his annual pilgrimage to the SPAM Museum (what can we say? he loves to take the Spam Exam!), we're left to compile your Rumblings & Bumblings answers.
1) Storage Facilities: One of you asked "A search of your site produced nothing but maybe you know something about the history of these odd structures?" We had no idea a simple question on public storage would spark so much debate. Everyone seems to have their own theory. A few of the ones you've floated:
· Since commercial parcels in the 1920s generally weren't enormous the way they are now a developer who wanted to build a self-storage facility probably would have had to build up. In the '20s and '30s, people actually gave a rat's ass about how buildings looked; thus, the high-quality stonework and architectural detail.
· These structures are purpose-built for self-storage; the sign on the Pico/Crenshaw advertising as a storage facility is definitely original. You can tell that they weren't offices or residential buildings because they have very few windows, but the areas in which they were built barred industrial uses.
· I understood that many of the storage facilities, particularly those that are/were "fireproof", were used back in the day when film stock, etc. could/would go up in flames...
· As much as I can find out about these buildings: The first concrete and steel warehouse was built by Bekins. They provided of household goods relocation services to corporations, individuals and the US government. The Beverly Hills Bekins Storage Building was constructed in 1926, and I would guess most of the others in LA were constructed in that pre-depression era. Self-storage (you store it, you lock it, you hold the key), was not a concept back then (it was pioneered in the 1970s) but many of these buildings have now been converted into that use. Up to that point, they were simply warehouses holding whatever Bekins clients wanted held.Additionally, half of you want to win the lottery and buy these gothic bohemoths and turn them into your own private pleasure palaces. Kinky! 2) Bel Air: A
stalker reader wanted to know where Sumner Redstone kicks up his heels in Bel-Air. Now if our stalker can get past the security gate, she'll know exactly what tree to climb up with a wide angle lens. Thanks readers! Sumner lives in the ultra- ultra- ultra-exclusive Beverly Park area. According to a recent Vanity Fair article, his next door neighbor is Rocky himself, whom he had bought the house from. Other neighbors (according to VF) include Eddie Murphy, Barry Bonds, Reba McEntire, Rod Stewart, Martin Lawrence, Mike Medavoy, and a slew of Hollywood producers. Apparently Sly bought the house to prevent Suge Knight from moving in, but felt more comfortable knocking on Sumner's door to borrow a cup of sugar. One of our commenters left an address we can't verify, but should you want to send Sumner a season's greetings card, as another reader suggested, we're sure he'd be happy to receive it care of Viacom's corporate HQ.