After suffering a at the hands of the Los Angeles City Council this week, the Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition plan to meet on Wednesday, June 29 to discuss the next step in their battle with the Autry National Center over future of the historical Mount Washington museum.
The coalition plans to meet on Wednesday, June 29 at 7 p.m. inside the Highland Park Ebell Club on 131 S. Ave. 57.
The Autry National Center merged with the in 2002 and took possession of its historical 300,000 item collection. Autry leadership has argued it is financially unfeasible to reopen the nearly 100 year old Mount Washington museum, which has been closed for public exhibitions since 2009.
In turn, the Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition have launched several efforts to block all of the Autry’s planned expansions of their Griffith Park campus, arguing they should instead focus their efforts in Mount Washington.
In a mass e-mail sent out the membership of the friends, coalition leaders thanked members for showing up to a pair of meetings related to the Autry’s latest planned renovation of their Griffith Park campus at the Los Angeles City Hall on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
Those meetings included an arts, parks, health and aging committee meeting on Monday and a full city council meeting on Tuesday.
“Thank you to the over 100 people that took volunteer time to attend City Hall two days in a row. Thank you to even more people who emailed, called, faxed and wrote to the council,” the e-mail reads. “Many more people, including Council President Eric Garcetti, Councilmen [Bill] Rosendahl, [Paul] Koretz, and others are more engaged and spoke publicly that they want a future for the Southwest Museum.”
Though some council members did indeed express an interest in working with the Autry National Center to secure a future for the Southwest Museum in which it would function as an actual museum, two motions supported by the friends to impede the Autry’s $6.6 million renovation of their Griffith Park campus were denied.
Those motions included a CEQA appeal submitted by local resident Charles Fisher and the Mount Washington Homeowner’s Alliance, which argued that the Autry expansion violated the city’s Northeast Community Plan, and a Section 245 motion introduced by Councilman José Huizar, which would have instructed the Recreation and Parks commission to reconsider their May 20 approval of the Autry plan.
In the e-mail, the coalition leadership stated that their belief that the city council acted out of a fear that they would jeopardize the $6.6 million proposition 84 Grant the Autry received to conduct the renovation.
“Legitimate issues were all rejected for expediency of time and chasing the funding,” the e-mail read.
Soda Pop Tasting At Galco's Soda Pop Stop to Benefit Friends
In other Southwest Museum related news, the friends and Galco's Soda Pop Stop will host a soda pop tasting on Sunday July 24 to benefit the coalition's efforts. Tickets are $12 in advance. In addition, the store will be open throughout the event, with all proceeds going to the friends.
Tickets are available on the Friends website.