Fall 2012 ARC Update

by Julie Lugo Cerra, Vice President, Museum/ARC and City Historian

A Busy Summer At The Arc

First, let us say that this simmer has not been without its challenges, but we are now very “cool” in many ways! We are back in business with air conditioning in “the West Wing” which is so important for our collection and our volunteers, alike.

This summer, we hosted many visitors, including youngsters from the Parks & Recreation Community Services (PRCS) camp program on August 1. CCHS Board members Jeanne Conklin and Joy Jacobs helped to make them feel welcome, sharing historical information about the Society and the city’s heritage.

A Variety Of Costume & Photo Displays

We have had a lot of foot traffic to see our summer exhibit. The LA84 Olympic display is on loan from founding member Pat Clapp. We even have her uniform from her time at the UCLA’s gymnastics venue where she volunteered.

Costume Chair Sharon Shore’s choice of costumes was very well received, especially the bodysuit worn by Esther Williams in Neptune’s Daughter – and watch for an Esther Williams “presence” at the entry to the plunge.

Look for some great oversize movie photos in the hall in the Veterans Memorial Building. We have been working on this display with Susan Obrow – thanks, Susan!

The Fiesta La Ballona exhibit included a princess dress from the early days of the Fiesta, along with other early items including some great photos, buttons, trophies, and even a young boy’s shirt on loan from Cathy Zermeno.

Display & File Cases Add Structure To Presentations

Organization in small spaces is never easy, but we are really making headway with the presentation of our wonderful collections. Special thanks to Bill Barnett who searched for, found and graciously donated many flat files, which are now numbered and being loaded with many prized items. President Louise has been vigilant finding other display options, including a glass display case. We are getting ready to load our new winged files as well.

Society Videotapes Noted Archeologist Charles Rozaire

At a special ARC event on September 18, we had the opportunity to videotape one of our most noteworthy members, Dr. Charles Rozaire, who grew up in Culver City and attended Culver Grammar School with friends like Virgie (Tinger) Eskridge. Charles, a noted archaeologist and anthropologist, offered keen insight into our early inhabitants from a professional perspective, and especially enjoyed talking about growing up in the city, near prominent city officials such as Mike Tellefson, Bill Douglas and others. Special thanks to all who attended and helped – notably our own photo/video guy Kevin Lachoff. The guest of honor was accompanied by media expert and friend Michael David McGuire, who came in from NY to transport Charles to our picnic and for this interview.

New Culver City Expo Line Station Profiled

Culver City is covered in the summer edition of Metro Motion – for the opening of our Expo Line station. Go to www.metro.net/news/metro-motion/ to view the summer edition – you may recognize many familiar faces and local spots.

Archives and Resource Center Plays Various Roles For Community

Prior to the Fiesta, I enjoyed speaking at local service clubs, like the Exchange and Rotary clubs. They loved the photos of “the olden days” and they were good sports with my Fiesta Trivia Quiz. Fiesta weekend, we visited with many delighted and delightful guests. It was great to see the old “Pokey”, refurbished by the Rotarians!

In advance of the city’s 95th Anniversary, legendary Oscar-winning icon, Margaret O’Brien donated a number of her personal photos to our collection. We will be pleased to enjoy them on a special exhibit at the Archives.

A Big “Thank You” To Our Wonderful Volunteers!

The Archives is changing due to the hard work of our volunteers like Sharon Shore, Bill Barnett, Joy Jacobs, Steve Rose, Lydia Spiegelman, Martha Sigall, Cathy Zermeno, Tami Eskridge, Jeanne Conklin, Carol Schwab, Jerry Sallus, Linda Forman, and of course president Louise. Some work out front, and others in the background, but a huge thanks to all!

Summer 2012 ARC Update

by Julie Lugo Cerra, Vice President, Museum/ARC and City Historian


The acquisition of new flat files has augmented our ability to safely store many precious items, including the oversize book on City Founder Harry Culver’s trip across the country in 1929-30. It contains an amazing collection of HHC’s press clippings from this yearlong trip – when he served as head of the National Real Estate Association.

We have also purchased a new display piece – a free-standing swing panel display unit. This will be “loaded” with history very soon! It will be especially helpful for our tours and it will free up some cabinet display space as well.


The Society has kept in “protective custody” many scrapbooks containing the history of the Culver City Parks and Recreation Department (PRCS). These oversize books are going “home” – and into the same building we share! We are delighted that PRCS Director Dan Hernandez has such a keen interest in history, and we know they will be well cared for and enjoyed. Watch for interesting displays soon!


Special thanks to member David Pelayo for assisting with a display to complement our musical program on Broadway Melody for the April 18th General Meeting. It is always a pleasure to host guests after our program meetings, and to offer relevant exhibits is always our goal. (The Arthur Freed and Cole Porter contracts with MGM are spectacular!)

Our next exhibit will be geared towards summertime and the historic Fiesta La Ballona. We will be open from 12:00 noon to 4:00pm on both Saturday and Sunday of the Fiesta (August 25 & 26). Our own Cathy Zermeno will be honored – so try to join us in celebration at the main stage at 11:30am on Fiesta Saturday.


Look for the touches of your Historical Society in the history of Culver City being presented by the Metro Transit System for the opening of the Culver City portion of the EXPO line – what’s old is new again – or should that be more in the line of history repeating itself?!


Last year, numerous contacts pointed us in the direction of the Mann Theatre on Washington Blvd. (just outside the city limits), and to a collection of oversize movie photos. The property owners donated them to the Society and Stu Freeman was able to transition them to our space.

We’ve kept some of the smaller photos for background display in the oak cabinets. As the VMB has been so nicely renovated, what better way to help dress up our home facility than to share with the city?

Look for some fine evidence of Culver City, “the Heart of Screenland,” in black and white soon! We are working with the PRCS staff including Diego Cevallos, Tom Dunham and Susan Obrow, who is now located in the VMB complex.

Also in the area of donations, we have received some very pragmatic things – such as a gift of tools in a box from Bill Barnett. Bill put together the new display rack, and is also very adept with online research! Thank you, Bill.

And thanks to David Starkman, we will be doing a little adaptive reuse of a fine cabinet. For backup support and transportation, Kevin Lachoff was assisted by Marc Naylor. More good space to help organize the collections!

Things are poppin’! With a recommendation of our hardworking Treasurer, Linda Forman, we are hoping to have two new volunteer interns, both of whom have experience with the Getty Museum. I just want to add that we have a fine Museum Committee and I am SO grateful for our Costume Chair, Sharon Shore – thank you all for pulling together!

If you would like to become an ARC volunteer, please call or email the Society.

Spring 2012 ARC Update

by Julie Lugo Cerra , Vice President, Museum/ARC and City Historian


First, let me thank all of the folks who have expressed interest in the Museum Committee. We had our first meeting in January with Bill Barnett, Louise Coffey-Webb, Sharon Shore, Michelle Bernardin, Carol Schwab, Steve Rose and David Warshaw joining in a discussion of our goals and available help – and we are open to all suggestions.

Also, we are exploring some added display methods, and have invited bids from those who can help us enhance our display space. If you are interested in volunteering in the ARC on our open days – the first and third Saturday of each month (see Calendar) – or for our work “parties,” please let me know.


Stu Freeman, with some contact assistance from Kevin Lachoff, rescued the large movie photos displayed in the former Mann Theatre, which is being demolished! Some are eight feet tall and up to five parts! Now, where are we going to put them…..stay tuned!


Women’s History MonthMarch is Women’s History Month, so some special pieces will remain on view for everyone to enjoy through April. There is a lovely portrait of Mrs. Harry Culver and her daughter, Patricia. In addition, a book written by Harry Culver’s great grandson, Robert Battle, is on loan for this exhibit, opened to pages on Mrs. Culver.

We will also be showing off some of Harry Culver’s 1929 scrapbook that depicts the Culver family’s travels across the country. Harry Culver was head of the National Real Estate Association and his family joined him on his cross-country trip.


Visitors to the ARC have been numerous and with varied interests. We enjoyed hosting Erin Stennis from the office of our 2nd District County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and had a group of Early Settler descendant genealogists from the Santa Monica area.

Sister City visitors are always a pleasure and we were able to furnish downtown tours in March for the US/Mexico Sister Cities Conference attendees. We have also spent time with the runners from Kaizuka, Japan, here to run in the L.A. Marathon on March 18th, who were visiting last month.

Coming up, CCHS President Louise Coffey-Webb, Jeanne Conklin and I will host a group of Brandeis ladies in early May. They are coming in from “the Valley” to visit the ARC, and afterwards they will stay in town to enjoy lunch in one of our wonderful restaurants.

Some items from our collection were shown off at the recent Rotary Club fundraiser in March. Their theme was “The Yellow Brick Road.” Thanks, Linda and Joel Forman for your help!


Kim Upton from the MTA asked for help on basic history of the city, with an emphasis on “The Heart of Screenland.” Kim took time to visit the ARC twice, first for background information and second with a film crew. We will be featured in their upcoming cable TV piece for the arrival of the EXPO in Culver City, “the Heart of Screenland.” They also visited and taped at Sony Pictures and around town.

And speaking of taking to the road, as City Historian, I visited the Mar Vista Gardens Continuation High School. Many of their students have a fondness for Culver City, its history and strange boundaries. Vitaly, the teacher, arranged for Sue McCabe and I to drop by with a power point presentation and field questions. It was great fun!

We will also participate in El Marino’s tour days in the spring, and La Ballona has also expressed interest in our historic help!


It was nice to get a call from Chris Sedens at KNX Radio, who was interested in Culver City’s history. He did some taping at the ARC, and around town before the March 9th broadcast of their “KNX On Your Corner” program.

They broadcasted live from Culver City at our historic Culver Hotel. Many of our members were taped in advance – others live that day, including Mayor O’Leary and councilmember Jeff Cooper, former mayor and CCHS president Steve Rose, and Dannie Cavanaugh, as well as Kevin Lachoff, Goran Eriksson, John Byers and yours truly.

We have also been working to help a woman in search of her biological father who was stationed at “Fort Roach” during WWII. He was apparently in the First Motion Picture Unit (FMPU) during WWII, and his “barracks” were in the Pacific Military Academy. There is a display of items from the collection of former FMPU combat photographer, Robert Elliott, in the Archives which help to bring back a few memories!

In the meantime, we are very much a part of the Veterans Memorial complex so we stay in touch with PCRS Director Dan Hernandez. The building should be re-opened by the time this arrives!