Laura Dominguez, preservation manager at the Los Angeles Conservancy, chronicles the importance of Plummer Park’s Great Hall / Long Hall for early HIV/AIDS activists in a story with a video featuring Kevin Farrell and Helene Schpak on KCET’s website that is worth a look.
“Completed in 1938, Plummer Park and its Great Hall/Long Hall reveal essential layers in West Hollywood’s development and identity, from its New Deal origins to its role in LGBTQ community organizing.
“Decades after its construction, at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and ’90s, the facility in Plummer Park hosted meetings of the local chapter of the prominent advocacy group ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), serving as the backdrop to unprecedented campaigns for greater visibility and more effective treatment. The group was instrumental in compelling the federal government to respond to the HIV/AIDS crisis through new research and healthcare programs.
“The construction of Plummer Park, however, predates West Hollywood’s incorporation as a city and its association with the LGBTQ community. In partnership with the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the County of Los Angeles dedicated the four-acre park in 1938 as part of countywide efforts to expand park space during the Great Depression.”
The full story and photos of Great Hall / Long Hall and the early AIDS activists, can be found here.