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Alpine Village Is Now An Official Landmark, Not Just A Landmark In Our Hearts

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The exterior of Alpine Village in the South Bay. (Marcello Vavalà/L.A. Conservancy)
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Earlier this week, Tuesday to be precise, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to designate Alpine Village, a Bavarian-themed shopping and dining complex, a historical landmark.

The designation protects the property from major alterations and potential demolition but it does not include the interiors of the buildings, according to Rosalind Sagara with the L.A. Conservancy. The owner reportedly did not oppose the designation.

Located in unincorporated West Carson, what Hadley Meares described as a "picturesque, slightly run-down hamlet of European-style chalets next to the roaring Harbor Freeway," opened in 1969. It boasted the Alpine Inn Restaurant, a movie theater, a soccer field and a bunch of quaint, Alpine-themed specialty shops offering everything from pancakes and ski gear to blown glass andGerman sausages.

The kitschy, approximately 14-acre complex, hosted weekly swap meets, bingo nights and, for several years, a popular annual Oktoberfest celebration.

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But over the years, Southern California residents lost interest. Many shops and eateries closed and it looked down-at-the-heels. In April, the restaurant that anchored Alpine Village announced it was going to close.

Last year, reports surfaced that a Long Beach-based real estate company wanted to purchase Alpine Village, tear down most of it and turn it into a storage center. The perceived threat of destruction made preservationists take notice and they launched a drive to name the complex as a historic landmark.

Sagara told us:

"Especially for German-Americans in Southern California but also a lot of other groups, many of which held annual festivals and events and over the years. It's also served as a meeting place for more than 30 social and cultural clubs."

READ MORE ABOUT ALPINE VILLAGE'S HISTORY

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