Dec. 7

It’s the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The survivors, inevitibly aging, are fewer and fewer and one day soon we will read of the passage of the last one. And a page in our history book will turn and close, I guess.

But the history is still with us.On a side note, there is a loosely related local conflict in which a group of local artists from Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro (where we had the kerfluffle about showing Tora Tora Tora a few years ago) are working witrh the City Council to use more of the historic Ft. MacArthur site as a part of the arts community. This conflicts with the local military history crowd, based in the Ft. MacArthur museum.

If you had a moment today, you might drop a note to the local city councilwoman, , as well as an email of support to , on the board of directors of the little-used military museum, and you might even encourage the executive director of Angels Gate to find a path that supports both expanding the arts, and preserving our history.

It’s a difficult problem, because the museum is not well-visited and resources are scarce. But at some level , we need to preserve parts of our history regardless of whether doing so results in blockbuster traffic – just as we need to support the arts even when the market doesn’t necessarily do so (cue gnashing of conservative/libertarian teeth).

7 thoughts on “Dec. 7”

  1. … we need to support the arts even when the market doesn’t necessarily do so (cue gnashing of conservative/libertarian teeth).

    Who’s gnashing teeth? Find some art that isn’t made of elephant droppings and I’m down for public support – although the market has supported more real art in this country than the government ever has. Robert Frost didn’t die in poverty. You know what an Edward Hopper original costs?

    But you suggest that we pay off some San Pedro artists because they’re threatening a museum? What happened to No Negotiation with Hedonists?

  2. _we need to support the arts even when the market doesn’t necessarily do so_
    Sounds like, “you people aren’t spending your money as I would like, so I want the government to take your money so my priorities are satisfied.”

  3. Just to clarify here a bit…
    There is no threat to the Ft. Mac Museum going on here. Most everyone involved and the community wants to keep the museum intact. The “conflict” is over a desired historic status which would include the buildings used by the A.G. Cultural Center. If historic status were to be achieved (which Janice Hahn has said would complicate and add cost to future plans at the park) the Cultural Center would not be able to alter or replace any of the buildings they have been using. It’s possible for both the arts and the museum to thrive at this beautiful location.

  4. Well let’s just start by saying that I reject the “little used” comment from the article. The museum has a visitorship of around 30,000 people a year and that number continues to grow. Maybe “little known” museum would be a better description. The problem we have been having with Janice Hahn’s office is that the conversation has been one sided with her office listing to the cultural center and not even bothering to talk to us. I find this strange because the museum is a city facility, supported by a non-profit, and AGCC is a tenant of the park who just over a year ago received a 30 year no-fee lease for around 12,000 square feet of building space, 500 feet from the Pacific Ocean. The historic designation would provide state and federal guidelines for the future development of the property. In the past 32 years since the city received the property as a gift of the federal government, the Department of Recreation and Parks has been too broke to spend any money to maintain the structures and tenants such as the cultural center have not been willing to spend much of the money it has taken in from studio rentals (around $160k in 2005 if memory serves) to even maintain the roofs over their heads. All this has lead to what I would say is poor stewardship of this historic property, thus the need for a historic site designation by the state. Such a designation would open new pathways to funding, and still allow for development that is consistent to the historic look of this historic post which has had such an important roll in the history of our community and country.

  5. I lived a few blocks away from Ft. Macarthur and had no idea that the museum even existed. Incidentally, in 1954, my brother was born at Ft. Macarthur.

  6. If you have never visited the museum, I certainly encourage you to do so. We are located at 3601 S Gaffey St. in San Pedro on the site of the fort’s former Upper Reservation (now called Angles Gate Park) The museum is open on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12noon to 5pm.

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