Love to looky-loo at historical homes? Interested in LAPD gangster-gumshoe struggles? Wish you could travel back in time?
Check out the 21st anniversary of the Museums of the Arroyo Day (MOTA) on Sunday, May 16th for all of the above (well, maybe not ACTUAL time travel…) plus suffragettes, a helicopter, and an Edwardian-era fashionista. You can park once, (or take the Metro Gold Line), pay nothing, and spend the day meandering around the museums that line this leafy tributary of the Los Angeles River.
Ms. Go Go recommends absolutely every museum but if you can’t dedicate the day, here are highlights of events at the participating museums: Heritage Square Museum, Lummis Home and Garden, Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum, Pasadena Museum of History, and the Gamble House.
In addition to the preserved, historic structures, the Heritage Square Museum can be an all day destination in itself for families; myriad, kid-friendly activities include historical storytellers, period crafts, and Victorian games. Be prepared to explain “women’s rights” to any kids in tow; suffragettes will be in attendance in keeping with MOTA Day 2010’s theme: “Women of Early Los Angeles”. Maybe the ladies will wear bloomers, which would further entertain the small fry….
Started in 1898 and finished in 1910 by Renaissance Man Charles Lummis (founder of the Southwest Museum, among many other accomplishments), the Lummis House, with its use of stone, wood and decorative detailing, is considered one of the earliest examples of the Arts and Craft aesthetic. If you only have time for a couple of museums on MOTA Day, check out the Lummis House and Garden (lots of native plants and a nursery/ shop to help you plan your new low-water garden!) then grab a shuttle from Highland Park to Pasadena to see the gorgeous Gamble House, which was built in the Arts and Crafts style in 1910 and is considered one of the finest examples of Greene & Greene architecture. The other big draw? Cookies and lemonade on the Gamble House lawn. (You need sustenance for your stroll through history, right, Go Go’ers?)
The 1925 Renaissance Revival style Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum is the perfect place to take big and little wannabe crime fighters who can climb into a police helicopter, sit on a police cruiser, try on police gear, and pose for a “booking photo”. (Bring your own camera to immortalize the faux felon.) Fans of nonfiction crime can meet John Buntin, author of the well-reviewed L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, which details Police Chief William Parker’s decades-long attempt to thwart gangster Mickey Cohen’s efforts to become the biggest crime lord in the City of Angels. ‘Cause every boy needs a dream….
MOTA DAY ends at 4:00, which is basically cocktail hour. Relax and imbibe at one of the Eight Great Bars of the Arroyo Seco, reviewed in Ms. Go Go’s three-part guide (links after the jump) to Northeast Los Angeles watering holes.
Go Go’ers, history doesn’t have to be dry….
Ready? U Know U Want 2 Go Go….