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Oldest Home in Van Nuys Obliterated

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10:36 p.m., last night: Daily News publishes a story about 14628 Sylvan Street in Van Nuys -- the oldest house in Van Nuys built in 1911 by William Paul Whitsett (now you know where that street name came from). The article tells how this historic house is threatened by demolition for condos. Preservationists want to save the house.

8:23 a.m., this morning: LACityNerd posts and e-mail blasts the blogLAsphere about the article quoting City Councilman Tony Cardenas who represents the district where the house resides; "I am committed to preserving the unique character of our neighborhoods and am looking into every lawful possibility to save this home." The nerd emphasizes the Rule 23 action, which means that there is an eminent need for the City Council to take action on an item that was raised after the official agenda has been posted. This is something Cardenas could have done many meetings before today.

8:59 a.m.: Andrew at Here in Van Nuys also posts about it giving additional history and perspective: "The Whitsett House is worth saving because of its historic value. But Whitsett [a developer in the early 1900s] himself knew the value of land and would today probably side with Mr. Merabi [developer who wants to make it into condos today] against the city."

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9:47 a.m.: Andrew visits and finds that the home was demolished this morning, probably due to pressure of the Daily News article putting the issue into the limelight. Kami A. Merabi, the developer, had the legal right to destroy the home. According to the Daily News, "A monument application could postpone demolition one year. Monument status would require an environmental review ahead of the wrecking ball. A hearing had been scheduled for Thursday, then postponed until July 12." The wrecking ball came today, weeks before July 12.

Photo used with permission by Andrew of Here in Van Nuys

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