The proposal to turn the grounds around Tara, the stately 1915 West Hollywood residence, into a temporary park has come to fruition, reports the Los Angeles Times. Laurel Avenue Park opened to the public on Saturday, with “new landscaping, pathways, picnic tables, a fence and a sign.” Some locals are hoping the park sticks around permanently, but there’s still a chance that the grounds could become part of a 20-unit senior housing complex proposed by the city. Imagining it as a park and a community center, the former owner of Tara, Elsie Weisman, donated the Colonial-style home and grounds to the city before she passed away in 2000. The city wanted the senior housing development instead, but locals fought against their plan. A federal grant for the senior housing expired as the city battled the preservationists in court, so with the future of the space up in the air, two city councilmen proposed turning the space into a temporary public park. The green space has become an issue in the March 8th elections, with councilmember hopefuls like Steve Martin (no, not that one) advocating Laurel Avenue Park stick around indefinitely.
· Preservationists Celebrate Opening of Laurel Avenue Park [LA Times]
· West Hollywood Considers Temporary Park on Tara Site [Curbed LA]