On Thursday, November 1, the Historic Cultural Monument application for Tom Bergin’s Bar and Restaurant cleared its first official hurdle, as it was accepted for consideration by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission. “I’m glad that this has been brought to us,” said Commission President Richard Barron at the meeting.
The nomination was co-sponsored the Miracle Mile Residential Association and the Los Angeles Conservancy. MMRA Vice President Ken Hixon and Adrian Scott Fine, Director of Advocacy for the Conservancy, made a detailed presentation about the property, prepared by consultants from the Architectural Resources Group, at the CHC meeting.
Now that that CHC has taken the Bergin’s application under consideration, the next step will be for Commission members to conduct an in-person inspection of the property. After the inspection, the CHC will prepare a report and make a recommendation on the proposed designation, followed by a public hearing and vote. (According to Hixon, however, that last step probably won’t happen until after the first of the year.)
If and when the CHC does vote to recommend approval of the application, it would then go to the City Council for final approval.
In his opening comments to the Commission last week, Hixon noted that “It is difficult to convey in emotional terms what Tom Bergin’s has meant to so many generations in our city. The late great Jonathan Gold hit the nail on the head when he said that ‘Bergin’s has always been decent, comforting, and most of all there.”
It’s a sentiment many others have echoed recently. Hixon told the Buzz today that the MMRA has received 700 letters and e-mails so far, expressing support for the historic designation. The application has also received a fair amount of media coverage (including this recent piece in CityWatch by local writer Tim Deegan), expressing fond memories of the neighborhood institution…and it has received an official vote of support from the nearby PICO Neighborhood Council.
According to Hixon, there were no voices of opposition to the application at the November 1 CHC meeting, and the property owner also did not attend.
“People care so deeply about Bergin’s because it has always been there,” Hixon wrote in a statement about the property last week. “Our responsibility is to ensure that it will be there for generations to come.”