Dana Torrey (310) 230-3278
Dana Torrey / 15332 Antioch St. #806 / Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
October 1, 1998 Palisadian-Post Page 17
Homage to Angels Flight Marks Conservancy's 20th
By Libby Motika

Senior Editor

Even though it's hard to believe a Los Angeles with-out the Coliseum, Bullock's Wilshire, Watts Towers or Angels Flight, it could have happened, given the city's notorious love for fabricating the future rather than preserving the past.

With the bold, uncomplicated mission of the safeguarding L.A.'s rich history, The Los Angeles Conservancy has been working together with the public, property owners, city officials and developers to save the city's most treasured buildings since its inception in 1978.

The nonprofit organization, in marking its 20th anniversary Sunday, October 11, noon to 4 p.m., has invited local architects and artists, restaurateurs, musicians and the public to participate in the fanfare celebration at the coliseum.

The artists and architects have each designed a banner celebrating their city, which will be auctioned off the day of the party. Palisades artist Dana Torrey, who has painted a series of canvases depicting Los Angeles landmarks, will be contributing his own perspective on Angels Flight, painted in the polychrome plein-air style that was used by a number of artists in early California days.

In his "Angels Flight of Fancy," Torrey depicts the little red car with the yellow roof chugging up Bunker Hill with the City Hall in the background.

While the 90-year-old funicular remains a part of visible Los Angeles history, its preservation is a positive reminder of the work that the Conservancy has done over the last two decades.

Angeles Flight has been one of Los Angeles' most enduring landmarks, first installed in 1901 to shuttle patrons up and down a steep incline between the lower station at 3rd and Hill Street to the Olive Street station, near the summit of Bunker Hill. This was considered one of the most desirable residential neighborhoods at the time.

For 68 years, the little funicular remained familiar and dependable as the city was transformed from small boom town to sprawling metropolis. But, by the late 1950s, the neighborhoods surrounding bunker hill had changed from prosperity to blight and, in time, were slated for redevelopment.

To make way for the redevelopment, Angels Flight was dismantled in 1969, and for 27 years kept in storage. Preservationists prevailed in persuading the city to restore the route and maintain it as part of the Bunker Hill Urban Renewal Project.

Making good on its promise, the city refurbished the railroad and resumed its operation in 1996, a half-block south of its historic location. The actual restoration and reconstruction was overseen by a team representing the Community Redevelopment Agency, the city's Cultural Affairs Department and the Conservancy.

The lower station at the foot of Bunker Hill is next to the 4th and Hill Street entrance to the Metro Red Line. From there, Angels Flight runs up the hill, adjacent to the California Plaza. At the upper station, passengers board and disembark in "The Watercourt" retail and performance space adjacent to the Hotel Inter-Continental. It operates from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week for 25¢ a ride.

Tickets to the Conservancy's anniversary celebration may be ordered by calling (213) 896-9144. Proceeds help support a variety of services, programs and guided walking tours. Contact: (213) 623-2489.

Angel's Flight of Fancy
Acrylic on canvas
by Dana Torrey