On June 26, 2011 Spaulding Square was presented the 2011 Landmark Award by The Windsor Square / Hancock Park Historical Society. The award was given in recognition of our efforts to keep Spaulding Square's intact and true to its original design.
The award was accepted by Barbara Eich and below is her acceptance speech. It is well worth reading, as she spoke about much of the history of Spaulding Square.
Award Acceptance Speech:
I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Spaulding Square. It’s a privilege to be recognized by the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society.
Let me tell you about Spaulding Square: In 1989, encroaching development marching closer and closer to our neighborhood inspired Bill Lustig, Mark Meltzer and me to form Spaulding Square Neighborhood Association. One of our first board projects was to obtain official historic preservation status from the city, and in 1993 we became one of the city’s first HPOZs. Actually I think we were 8th or 9th. We felt Spaulding Square was a very special neighborhood, worthy of being preserved.
What makes Spaulding Square so special? First of all, it’s a late 19 teens, early 19 twenties slice of life, a small area depicting Hollywood in the early 20th century. There are very few intact clapboard bungalow areas left in Hollywood and we’re one of them We’re really a slice of Americana: to people in the northeast, we look like the northeast; to people in the Midwest we look like the Midwest, and that’s what makes us unique and also attractive to production companies for movies, TV shows and commercials. Our modest bungalows and tree lined streets look just like… home.
We’ve had our share of filming just as I’m sure you have. After all, this is Hollywood. “Nightmare on Elm Street” and all the “Freddie” movies, “Frankie and Johnny,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Dancing Under the August Moon,” were all filmed at least partially in Spaulding Square as well as various scenes for “The Rockford Files” and more recently, scenes for the TV series, “True Blood.” Most recently, director Melanie Mayron (you may remember that she starred in the TV series “30 Something”) is shooting her new media/web-based series – “Little Women, Big Cars” in Spaulding Square.
Early celebrity residents of Spaulding Square include Billy Benedict who starred in the Our Gang series, Alan Hale, Jr. from Gilligan’s Island, character actor, Amzie Strickland, and Lucille Ball. Karl Struss lived on Orange Grove with his wife, Ethel, from 1925 until his death in 1983. That name might not be familiar to you, but Karl and co-photographer, Charles Rosher, won the very first Academy Award for cinematography in 1929. The film was “Sunrise”, a silent film directed by F. W. Murmau in 1927. Karl’s grandson moved into the house in 1983 and continues to live there with his family. I’d like to mention one other resident from the past and a little story about him. Alberto Valentino came over from Italy when his younger brother, Rudolph, died. Everyone remembers the name, Rudolph Valentino, but you may not remember that he died fairly young. It was thought that Alberto could replace his brother in silent films. Unfortunately, Alberto didn’t have the charisma or talent and became an accountant instead. I’m told he lived a solitary life for 50 years in the 1400 block of Orange Grove and died in 1980.
So much of the good started when our councilman in district 4, John Ferraro, recognized our neighborhood as a great spot. He and his successor, Tom LaBonge, fostered our neighborhood growth. Early projects included petitioning the city to install the old style street lamps – around 35 of them which add an authentic historical flavor to the neighborhood. Our council office oversaw the repair in the 1920’s style of severely cracked and uprooted sidewalks. As well as regenerating our neighborhood, we refoliated by planting close to 100 trees in our parkways so that now we are green and leafy and a favorite area for dog walkers, both residents and from outside our area. And dog walkers are a friendly bunch - if they don’t know your name, they certainly know your dog’s name. Young families, too, are again finding our neighborhood very much to their liking.
What else is special about Spaulding Square? Of course, the people – warm, friendly, supportive, long time as well as new residents. And we have yearly activities that foster that camaraderie. One evening each Dec. we go Christmas caroling throughout the neighborhood. We also hold an all-neighborhood garage sale in May – a perfect time for spring house and garage cleaning. And in Oct. we block off one street and hold a Harvest Festival. Residents bring their favorite dishes. Hot dogs, hamburgers, beer and soft drinks are provided. There’s judging for the best homemade dessert, a band provides lively music, and there are activities for the children including a costume parade. Fun for all and a chance to enjoy each other’s company for an afternoon – to greet old friends and meet new ones. (Introduce Bill Lustig – co-founder; Richard Paddor – current and dedicated HPOZ board chair; Lynn Lustig – early Spaulding Square board member; Bruce Remick – current and very hard working Spaulding Square board member.)
Spaulding Square is a wonderful place in which to live. We hear compliments all the time from visitors. It’s truly a little jewel set in the midst of busy, bustling, and developing Hollywood. And as Bill and I knew 22 years ago - a neighborhood worthy of being preserved.