The No Tell (Allen) Hotel – What Goes Around, Comes Around

Gee, Molly. You Didn't Think We Would Remember, Did You?
Gee, Molly. You Didn't Think We Would Remember, Did You?

Almost twenty years ago Fullerton made its first significant foray into the quagmire of affordable housing, acquiring the the Allen Hotel and turning it over to a fellow named Jose Zapeda. Mr. Zapeda’s job was to accept a huge subsidy to “renovate” the original building and build a new addition. Apartments were to be low income.

The total taxpayer payout exceeded one million dollars – a tidy sum, to be sure – over $70,000 per unit, in fact. Cynics claimed that the exorbitant subsidy was just a way to buy down the quickly escalating affordable housing spending requirement of Redevelopment law that the City had ignored for years.

The usual suspects were on board. Perhaps the most comical (and racially charged) comment came from then City councilmember Molly McClanahan who bragged: “we’re giving them one of their own” as if Mr. Zapeda, because he was Mexican American, was more qualified to build and run a low income housing project – inhabited by – Mexicans!  Molly also proclaimed that she liked the simplicity of the proposal, as if a stucco box with flush vinyl windows and stick-on brink lintels over the windows was somehow virtuous.

dsc00256
Allen Hotel - The Once and Present Tenement

The replacement of the original fenestration with plastic windows, and the transom glass with fake leaded lights (grid glued on the back!)  just showed that historic preservation was being used as a pretext for the big subsidy. With the passing of the years it’s truly hard to see how this eyesore has avoided targeting by Redevelopment as blight – since it was blighted from the moment its “designer” put pencil to paper.

The Morgan Group Adds Its Indelible Signature to Downtown Fullerton

What happened to Whiting Ave.
The monster that swallowed Whiting Ave.

Almost ten years ago the Morgan Group developers contributed this gem to downtown Fullerton’s inventory of beautiful buildings. For some reason Fullerton’s leaders thought the idea of another faux-Renaissance palazzo built of wood studs, stucco, and styrofoam details was just what the doctor ordered.

Well maybe the doctor did order it. Sometime check out the contributions made by partners of the Morgan group to Dick Jones’ 2000 city council campaign. Hmmm.

Well, we got more high-density, crappy architecture,  more traffic on an already deficient intersection, the aesthetic engulfment of the beautiful and historic church next door, etc., etc.

A picture is better than a thousand words
A picture is better than a thousand words

What did The Morgan Group get? Free land, plus a gift of a public street (the 100 E. block of Whiting – an original street from the 1886 town site grid) and who knows what else. Who approved this disgrace? Let’s have a looksee:

Don Bankhead (current Councilmember)

Dick Jones (current Councilmember)

Jan Flory (former Councilmember)

Chris Norby (former Councilmember and current County Supervisor)

Julie Sa (twice elected former unintelligible Councilmember, current whereabouts unknown)

We Have A Winner….

Okay So It's Not Cash.....
Okay, So It's Not Cash.....

A few weeks ago we (when you blog you get to refer to yourself in the first person plural – like royalty and editors) solicited alternative mottos for Fullerton from our Loyal Friends. We (I) have chosen a winner that seems to adequately reflect the disaffected Fullertonian zeitgeist. It comes courtesy of our Friend  “EW”:

Fullerton: Smug and self-assured, welcome to the city that sleeps

Well done, EW.

What Kind of Idiot….

 

A Million Dollar View
A Million Dollar View

…would put a bench facing a blank wall six feet away. Oops, forgot – those bars in the blocked up windows are a real attraction. Seriously, has any sober person ever sat on this bench?

By the way, this 90s remuddle of Fullerton’s first Masonic Temple that you see was subsidized by us – the taxpayers of Fullerton – and approved by the Redevelopment Agency “experts” and the city council. Be sure to thank Molly McClanahan and Don Bankhead next time you see them.

Win an Original FFFF “TERM LIMITS” t-shirt

fake3392135869_b2ae8a32751
ADMINS #1 CHOICE

 

Dear Loyal Friends, considering the number of comments received on the prior post , the majority of you have agreed that WTF’s idea for a contest to see which is the ugliest and cheapest looking piece of cardboard crap to come from Redevelopment is a good one. So, email images of your ugliest and cheapest looking piece of cardboard crap to come from Redevelopment to: fullertonsfuture@yahoo.com. I’ll post them, and our loyal Friends will select the winner.

The lights on the floor sealed the deal for me
The lights on the floor sealed the deal for me

 The winner will receive an original Friends For Fullerton’s Future “TERM LIMITS” t-shirt.

Fullerton Friends Around the World!

Fullerton Friend Yoshii Kawamura Blogs Hard Before Milk Break
Fullerton Friend Yoshii Kawamura Blogs Hard Before Milk Break

Four-and-a-half year old Yoshii Kawamura of Minamiechizen Village, Nanjo District, Fukui Prefecture, and penpal of Golden Hills Elementary’s March Citizen of the Month, Trevor McGrath, takes a break from precalculus class at the Nanjo Normal School to enjoy a riveting FFFF blog post by the Fullerton Shadow.

Does Fullerton Hate Modern Architecture?

We Really Like This
We Really Like This Sort of Stuff

It’s bad enough that the City of Fullerton has always shown a penchant for fake old, with its attendant brick veneer and styrofoam cornices. Sooner or later we may actually come to accept this affront to taste by the bureaucratic boobeoisie. What really adds insult to injury, however is the cavalier way that modern architecture is treated by the City. By “modern’ we really mean functional, original architecture that encloses space creatively that employs abstract patterns, uses modern materials, and that expresses its structure in its outward appearance.

32424589551_f8119ca3781

What really bugs us was to watch last year’s “Jefferson Commons” abomination approved unanimously by the City Council. Bad enough was the proposed monstrosity; we’re used to architectural crap. Even worse was the propsed demolition of three mid-century modern gems on Chapman Avenue without so much as a backward glance.

3424582647_9cd14b8cec

So why do we bring this up again? Last night the Council voted to extend the permit deadlines for an additional two years since the new developer (the old one already bailed out) can’t get financing. Several speakers pleaded the case that the buildings in question have historical merit that was not recognized by a faulty CEQA process (wow, no surprise there!), and that demolition should be postponed at least until a final project looks like it could start. These seem like a pretty prudent path to us.

Why these buildings were not originally identified as historic resources is not hard to explain. The City ignores anything not listed on their register of significant buildings; that accomplishes the bare minimum of CEQA requirements, but doesn’t say much for the integrity of the process. The out-of-town lobbyist had done a good job of spreading around the wealth and the buildings never stood a chance. Meanwhile, Fullerton’s Heritage group, that should have been raising Holy Hell, was apparently too busy putting brass plaques on things and telling NOCCCD administrators how much they prefer fake old to modern architecture.

So Where Does Tom Daly Stand on Redevelopment Expansion?

dalycrop

The proposed vast expansion of Fullerton’s Redevelopment Project Area is an issue with countywide implications. The County Board of Supervisors has established a policy of opposition to the expansion: practically because it will divert property tax from other governmental agenices; and, philosophically because it raises the specter of eminent domain, and potential impacts to businesses and residents, alike.

Since Mr. Daly is running for 4th District Supervisor to replace Chris Norby we wonder what kind of position he might take on this issue, if any, before the May hearing at our city council. Fullerton City Councilman Shawn Nelson, an oft-rumored opponent of Daly, has already staked out a position of opposition to this intrusive government expansion.

shawnnelson

When Daly was mayor of Anaheim the that city pursued an active role of redevelopment sterilization and homogenization – just the sort of thing many Fullertonians are justifiably concerned about.

I'm From the Magic Kingdom and I'm Here to Help
I'm From the Magic Kingdom and I'm Here to Help

Stand by Friends. If we hear anything we will let you know.