Notes from Your City Historian

by Julie Lugo Cerra



One of the ways the society preserves history is by marking historic sites. I am pleased to announce that the CCHS Board has approved marking the site of our first park (Victory, now Dr. Paul Carlson Park) as Historic Site #12.

When the research is complete, which should be very soon, we will take our offer to place a bronze marker on the site to the city. That site, located on a portion of Rancho La Ballona, was once a horse racing track, a Speedway (board racing track), and in 1927, it became our first city park.


Culver City is now 92…..with such a rich history, often recognized way beyond our city boundaries.

In our Archives we have a beautiful photo of the Irving Thalberg Building, which was opened as the new administration building in 1938 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, (now Sony Pictures Studios). Thalberg was often called the “genius head of production” at the studios, and was said to be like a son to studio chief, Louis B. Mayer. Thalberg was married to actress Norma Shearer.

After legendary film producer Thalberg (1899-1936) died, the historic structure was constructed. It has been designated by the city as one of two landmark structures on the studio lot, along with several significant structures.

An event of note: “Irving Thalberg: Creating the Hollywood Studio System” – something to enjoy from September 17-December 13, 2009 at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS will have a new exhibition in their 4th floor gallery. Admission is free. The Academy Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. The address is 8949 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills.


One of our amazing but little known local resources is the Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War, located on Buckingham Parkway. There will be a special event in keeping with the U. S. commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It will take place on Wilshire Blvd. on Sunday, November 8th. For more information, call 310.216.1600 or visit www.WendeMuseum.org.

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