In Defense of Neighbors

Re: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” news, Oct. 8

Your article about Airbnb misses half the point. It isn’t just the noise and parking trouble we get from these rentals, but what we lose to them.

I want neighbors. I want people with whom I can build a relationship, who participate in community and neighborhood and street activities, who watch each other’s homes when we are not home, who get to know each other’s kids, who call LAPD when there are burglars lurking, and who have a stake in our community.

These overnight transients destroy the cohesiveness of our interpersonal relationships.

Councilman Bonin: Make absentee-owner short-term vacation rentals illegal!

Jack Schwartz

‘A Touchstone to the Past’

Re: “Choose History over the Wrecking Ball,” opinion, Oct. 8

I just finished reading Susan Suntree’s piece and wanted to add my voice for her proposal.

I lived in Santa Monica for nearly 10 years in the 1980s and was even then alarmed by the erosion of Santa Monica’s unique character as more box-like structures took the place of original dwellings.

Her argument is a sound one — that this cluster of bungalows on 11th Street can and should be saved so we have an attractive touchstone to the past.

Buzz Wilms

Preservation = Identity

Re: “Choose History over the Wrecking Ball,” opinion, Oct. 8

I was so glad to read Susan Suntree’s argument for giving her home landmark status — not only because it is beautifully written, but because she makes such a powerful case for the preservation of our layers of history.

“A city needs to know itself” — I couldn’t agree more!

Janet Owen Driggs
Los Angeles

‘Take Care of Our Story’

Re: “Choose History over the Wrecking Ball,” opinion, Oct. 8

I was born and have spent much of my life in Santa Monica. While I have lived in Topanga for the last 19 years, I’m often in town and have seen the enormous building and population growth in Santa Monica over the years — not all of it positive, in my perspective. There has not always been enough careful consideration of historical roots that people should value and remember.

I am moved to write in regard to Susan Suntree’s column about the possible demolition of her home and other bungalows on 11th Street. Developers may profit, and more people could live in whatever new apartment complex would be built, but something of the history and significance of the place will be lost. There are also issues of population density in an area that is overcrowded and expensive already.

I could not say it better than she did: “A city needs to know itself. A photo or a notation in a book on a shelf is soon lost to the community imagination and outlook. …Protecting 1223 11th St. as a city-designated landmark would preserve an important piece of living history that bridges the eras and grounds our understanding of where we are. The house and its neighboring bungalows should be joined together to form an 11th Street Bungalow Cluster, with the property owners enjoying a generous package of new historic building benefits. We need living references to our history and an urban fabric that offers alternative ideas. We need to take care of our story.”

Amanda Foulger

Don’t Shortchange Middle-Class History

Re: “Choose History over the Wrecking Ball,” opinion, Oct. 8

I strongly support giving landmark status to the bungalows on 11th Street. Many places I have visited around California have lost their place in history: There is not one reminder of what comprised the early life, struggles and character of those who lived there and built homes and gave the place a unique character that is still the bedrock of its identity.

The bungalows that Ms. Suntree describes are unique to California and reflect the lives of those who worked, raised families and contributed not to the extravagance of a region, but to the simple daily needs of creating a sustainable life.

Where is there left one place that reminds any of us of the times we could order our house from the catalog and build our dreams? Imagine seven of them in one place.

To deny these bungalows landmark status is a denial of all we Americans claim to be important: family, hard work and creating the great and sustaining middle-class values that are essential to our way of life.

It would be a great American tragedy to ignore what those seven bungalows represent.

Ruth Ghio
West Sacramento