In 1963 Larchmont Boulevard sported four grocery stores, a record store, a department store, and a singular restaurant. Jane Gilman arrived on the boulevard that year, sized up the picture-perfect small-town block in the heart of a fast-paced city, and smelled opportunity. Shortly thereafter Gilman and business partner Dawne Goodwin started the Larchmont Chronicle with a 12 page edition that was mailed to local residents. The paper still survives and thrives today, celebrating 50 years of serving the Larchmont community.
“It’s amazing to have a job you look forward to every day,” Gilman told the Buzz from her cozy office at 542 1/2 North Larchmont. “The area has grown from a sleepy neighborhood in the 1960s to a happening location these days with beautiful historic housing, an excellent selection of schools and real neighborhood involvement.”
Gilman remembers Larchmont life in the early days of the paper, when the construction of the Larchmont Medical Building was the controversy of the day, looming tall above the rest of the neighborhood. The days when the boulevard shut down at 5 pm every day and businesses were closed on Sundays. The days when a Beverly Hills Freeway was under discussion – an eight lane wide belt of high speed traffic routed along Beverly and Melrose from the 101 to Beverly Hills and beyond – that would have cut up the greater Hancock Park area. Thanks in part to the Chronicle covering that story, and many others throughout the years, the neighborhood has had a voice – a voice for historic preservation, for community interconnectivity, and for people to learn about one another.
Throughout the fifty years of delivering news, real estate listings, school reports and “On the Boulevard” columns once a month to the front doorsteps of residents, the Chronicle has become a mainstay of life in Larchmont community. We have Jane Gilman to thank for that.
This Friday, May 17th the community will honor Jane Gilman and the Larchmont Chronicle‘s Golden Jubilee Anniversary at the Ebell Club. Tickets are sold out for the evening dinner gala. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Ebell’s Preservation & Restoration Fund.