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West Hollywood mansion saved; residents cheer

August 20, 2011 |  5:13 pm

West Hollywood's 'Tara' is saved

The West Hollywood City Council this week voted to scrap plans to turn a two-story, Colonial-style home and its wooded grounds into a federally funded, 28-unit apartment complex for low-income senior citizens.

The 3-2 vote means the 2/3-acre site at 1343 Laurel Ave. will be used as a park and the sprawling clapboard house, nicknamed Tara for its resemblance to the O'Hara mansion in "Gone With the Wind," can become a community center. 

Backers say that was the desire of owner Elsie Weisman when she deeded the residence to the city shortly before her death in 2000 at the age of 101.

The city originally planned to remove 66 trees and 44 tropical shrubs on the property and construct a three-story, U-shaped apartment building around the house.


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-- Bob Pool

Photo: After an eight-year campaign, Allegra Allison and other land-use activists have helped preserve the West Hollywood estate nicknamed Tara. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times