City Opens the Doors to ‘Tara’ This Saturday

Tara Laurel Park
“Tara” at 1343 N. Laurel. (Photo by Jon Viscott)

West Hollywood will open the doors Saturday to the mansion at 1343 N. Laurel Ave. popularly known as Tara.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local residents will be able to see the grounds and the interior of the house, which was the subject of a long-running battle between the city and preservation advocates.

The property was donated to West Hollywood in 1997 by its owner, Elsie Weisman, with an oral, but not written, stipulation that the city preserve it. After Weisman died in 2000, the city announced plans to convert the house into apartments and build other apartments on the property, all to house low-income senior citizens. A group called “Save Tara,” organized by Allegra Allison, who lived there for 30 years, launched a campaign that went all the way to the California Supreme Court. The City Council eventually agreed to halt its plans and preserve the property. The grounds surrounding the Colonial style house now are used as a public park.

Saturday’s tour is part of a city plan to develop a vision for the future of 1343 Laurel. In addition to Saturday’s open house, the city’s “vision concepts committee” will meet on May 29 at 6:30 p.m. and on June 30 at the same time to discuss ideas and solicit input from residents. Both meetings will be held in rooms 5 and 6 of the Community Center at Plummer Park, at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd..

Parking is scarce near 1343 N. Laurel. There will be a “park and ride” shuttle available from Plummer Park, running every 30 minutes from its south parking lot facing Santa Monica Boulevard from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, the City’s free Cityline shuttle stops at Crescent Heights Boulevard and Fountain Avenue. Visitors who park the city’s Kings Road garage at Kings Road and Santa Monica Boulevard can have their parking tickets validated during the tour

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Larry Block
8 years ago

The Community Visioning process is fantastic… — but lets give credit to the person who got us to this point. Allegra Allison. Here is a reprint of the article. Nice to see the community being involved in 2014.. but it was a long haul. Allegra Allison stepped up to the plate against all odds… and after the big win it cost the City of West Hollywood $900,000 in legal fees to pay the attorney’s representing the community who just begged to be heard. Remember the lines protesting the Sunset Millennium, and of course the battle over Plummer Park.. which was… Read more »

Juliana Rose
Juliana Rose
8 years ago

Iv lived and worked in LA all my life , we need to save our beautiful historic buildings!!!! There is soooooo much congestion in that area already!!!!!! Enough all ready. Save some space and beauty!!! Stop the overbuilding!!! Juliana Rose

Weho Protector
Weho Protector
8 years ago

The city is greedy

wehoray
wehoray
8 years ago

Beautiful piece of history! So glad it was able to be saved!

Shawn Thompson
8 years ago

Tara to many is a symbol of fighting the city manger, city leadership and city councils agenda to demo great history. The city used I think at least a million of the #weho residents money to fight what many residents wanted in protecting this building from demo. In the end they had to abandon their efforts to demo. So it stands today as a symbol to some of community activism at work, protecting great architecture in #weho from out of town developer speculation of our city and a example of where the residents overcame the city hall agenda, the planning… Read more »

Riley
Riley
8 years ago

W-O-W! How wonderful is this?

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