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Historic 'Struggle' to be Heard at Public Hearing

[UDPATE 9/4: The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission unanimously voted down the Save the First Street Store Coalition's request for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the First Street Store site at the August 29 hearing.

The Pacific Charter School Development can now move forward with its first stage of redevelopment, which starts with taking down a rear section of the former store to handle parking for an additional project next door, a proposed Alliance College-Ready Middle Academy. Full story here.]

The call to action to save a mural as it is installed on a potentially historic building is reaching the public hearing stage.

The East Los Angeles based "Story of our Struggle" (1974) was first threatened by plans to tear and replace the building -- the former First Street Store at East First Street and Towne -- as reported here at KCET. A new Arts Magnet is slated to take over the parcel.

The hearing to save the mural and the building will be held August 29 at the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission, at 9 a.m.

Led by the re-design teams of Don Juan, AKA Johnny D González, and supported by a team that includes educator Irma Beserra Núñez, Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles Executive Director Isabel Rojas-Williams, it is felt that demolition of the building would violate the original scope of aesthetic intent in relation to the corner and streetscape.

Pacific Charter School Development discussed restoring the mural to its street location in revised plans, but supporters of the mural consider that may compromise the works and lose a building that may eligible to be listed in the California Register of Historical Resources.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina was an early supporter of the murals, stating she would want to see the mural preserved, but considers keeping the original building "as not acceptable," reported EGP in June 2012.

Mural supporters hope to sway L.A. County Regional Planning Commission and require the project to provide an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

Don Juan/Johnny D. González, the original project and architectural redesign lead, is now leading the preservation of the mural designed with artist David Botello and the late Robert Arenivar.

About the Author

Ed Fuentes is an arts journalist, photographer, graphic designer, and digital muralist who covers a variety of topics and geographies in Southern California for KCET.
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We must be careful not to depict false or exagerrated scenes and to also include the struggles of all peoples lest we lose credibility!