Boyle Heights preservationists seek to protect a former farmhouse *

The new Gold Line Eastside Extension through Boyle Heights is expected to bring more visitors, business and – some fear – unwanted development near the stations. That is why today the Boyle Heights Historical Society plans to ask the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission to consider granting historic landmark status and protection to a Queen Anne-style farmhouse built in 1886 on Boyle Avenue. The Simon Francois Gless Farmhouse was built for a French-Basque family (Simon Gless is pictured above standing at the front door) who lived in an area that was then being transformed from open fields into one of Los Angeles’ first suburbs. Today, that same farm house – now inhabited by some mariachis and other tenants – is located only about a block away from the new Gold Line station at Mariachi Plaza. The appearance of a giant “for sale” sign in front of the narrow lot generated concern among neighborhood preservationists that the former farmhouse would be replaced by a new development designed to take advantage of its Gold Line Station-adjacent location.

Their monument application sums up their concern:

“After 125 years, it is threatened with demolition: a ‘LARGE LOT FOR SALE’
sign beckons developers to buy this ‘teardown,’ luring them with the opportunity to build less than one-half block from the just-opened Mariachi Plaza Metro station on the Gold Line Eastside Extension”
A current online sales listing for the property could not be found. But Boyle Heights preservationists apparently don’t want to take any chances by seeking the protection for this former farmhouse.

* Update: The Cultural Heritage Commission voted today to take the application under consideration. A member of the Gless family, architect Aric Gless, a great grandson of Simon Gless, was on had during the hearing to speak in favor of the nomination. Gless said that he and his sister, actress Sharon Gless, have submitted letters of support to have the property declared a landmark

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