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