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The Heisler building : cultural impacts to the City

Editor,

City Council member Verna Rollinger’s recent commentary regarding “preservation over restoration” of historic buildings and their ability to comply with Mills Act standards disregarded the fact that historic buildings can also be evaluated based on their cultural significance to the City, and not just the extent to which the original structure remains intact.

The Heisler building is a perfect example of a structure that has significant cultural impacts to the City. The Heritage Committee did a fine and thorough job in evaluating the cultural aspects of the project, and subsequently voted to recommend approval of the Mills Act to the City Council.

Ms. Rollinger is the City Council member liaison assigned to the Heritage Committee, and therefore she should be attending the Heritage Committee meetings (of which there were about 12 that were never attended by Ms. Rollinter) in order to fully understand the complexity and history of the Heisler bulidng, as well as any other historical building in the City.

Ms. Rollinger’s attendance at the Heritage Committee meetings would have given her an awareness that the Heritage Committee weighs these issues and problems very carefully, because of the fine line between the preservation and restoration of many old buildings in Laguna that are in dire need of total restoration (i.e., bringing them up to current building codes), while at the same time requiring the preservation of their original architectural style/design. Restoring historical buildings is a huge and very expensive undertaking in Laguna, and one to which the Heritage Committee is totally dedicated.

Samuel and Pamela Goldstein,

Proud owners of the historic Heisler Builidng

Laguna Beach

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