Lummis Day Festival set for Sunday but trouble may lie ahead
By Carl Kozlowski 05/29/2014
For the past nine years, the Lummis Day Festival has been a key part to kicking off the summer for history buffs in Pasadena and the Los Angeles area. Packed with music, dance, poetry, art, theater and kids’ activities, it’s a fun way to enjoy the sun while honoring the accomplishments of one of LA’s greatest pioneers, Charles Lummis.
But this Sunday’s event may be the last one of its kind at the historic landmark, as the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department is considering a request for proposal (RFP) for a new tenant to take over the site from the Historical Society of Southern California, which has leased the historic Lummis home for the past 48 years. According to Lummis Day chief organizer Eliot Sekuler, the city is hoping to “find an entity with deeper pockets than can maintain the structure to higher standards.”
“So far, they have not found a taker,” said Sekuler. “They will be announcing their decision around June 10, and they will either revise the RFP to make it more attractive to a taker, take over the site themselves, or allow the Historical Society to remain on a temporary or permanent basis. We hope whoever takes it over maintains public access to the site and maintains it as a cultural center with public access.”
Public access will be freely offered at the festival Sunday, which offers its eclectic range of entertainment and activities from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The home teams up with the Heritage Square Museum for the event, with the museum offering entertainment starting at 12:30 p.m.
Sekuler noted that if the Lummis Home falls into the wrong hands, it could join other public landmarks such as the Southwest Museum and the Casa de Adobe in slipping away from the public. Both were taken over by the Autry National Center, which only opens the Southwest Museum on Saturdays and does not operate the Casa de Adobe at all presently.
“We’re hoping that whoever takes over is required to maintain the building, maintain public access and guard the building with the import it deserves,” says Sekuler. “Gil Cedillo is the City Councilman that deals with Recreation and Parks in this area, so we urge people to contact both the LA Recreation and Parks department and Cedillo’s office as soon as possible.”
The 9th Annual Lummis Day Festival takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lummis Home, 3800 Homer St., Los Angeles. Admission is free. For more information, visit LummisDay.org.
Councilman Gil Cedillo’s office number is (323) 341-5671. The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks can be reached at (213) 202-2633.