Future, Past of Parker Center to Be Discussed

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parker center2Join the Los Angeles Conservancy and community stakeholders for a conversation about the many layers of history at Parker Center on Sunday, March 22, from 3:30 p.m. at the LAPD Police Administration Building, Deaton Civic Auditorium, 100 W. First St., Los Angeles.

While many know it from the hit 1950s television police drama “Dragnet,” this building has a deeper and sometimes controversial history.

The City of Los Angeles, through its Bureau of Engineering, is pressing for a redevelopment project that will demolish and replace Parker Center. The L.A. Conservancy believes that Parker Center can and should be preserved and integrated into new construction. At this panel discussion, you will hear about viable preservation alternatives, and through the conversation with the panelists, you will learn why it is important from a historical and cultural perspective to preserve this building.

Panelists will speak from a number of different points of view about Parker Center’s significance:

· Construction as an early urban renewal project that demolished a major portion of Little Tokyo, as well as subsequently affecting the development of that neighborhood

· Innovative modern design by one of L.A.’s most prolific firms, Welton Becket & Associates, and its integration of public art and landscaping

· Importance as the most modern and state-of-the-art police facility of its day

· Association with Chief William H. Parker, whose time as police chief reduced corruption in the force, but also resulted in strained relations with the African American and Latino communities

· Significance as a site of important historic events, such as the 1992 Los Angeles riots

Panelists include: Mike Okamura, president of the Little Tokyo Historical Society; Cheryl Dorsey, retired LAPD sergeant, community advocate, and author of “The Creation of a Manifesto: Black and Blue”; Glynn Martin, retired LAPD sergeant and executive director of the Los Angeles Police Museum; and Richard Barron, chair of the City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission.

A reception with light refreshments will follow the panel discussion. For more information, and to reserve a seat at this free event, visit laconservancy.org/parkercenterpanel.

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