The Stories of San Pedro

A special LA Conservancy day celebrates the city and a noted architect.

To hang the #1 Historic City ribbon on any particular place in Southern California is probably a folly. How places were settled, and how they grew, literally changes every few blocks, meaning that there are a lot of stories out there. And pitting them against each other for "most historic" just isn't right.

But then there's San Pedro, which, if it doesn't get the ribbon, should at least get a special button or pin or something. It is a place where the past wasn't mowed over wholesale; some especially charming streets look very much like they did seventy or eighty years ago.

The LA Conservancy is applauding the port-close city and one special building in particular on Sunday, Nov. 11. The building is the YWCA, which is a few years shy of its centennial, and its builder? Julia Morgan, the architect behind Hearst Castle and several other Golden State landmarks.

Ms. Morgan is in the pantheon, certainly, of great architects, here and anywhere; she was also the first woman to gain a California architect's license, back in 1904. No small feat, when you consider women were still years from winning the right to vote.

The Conservancy will pay tribute to her legacy, her building, and the San Pedro of yore. If you can't make the afternoon event, there's a city walking tour you can take any time. Here's your handy pdf. If you haven't visited the U.S.S. Iowa yet, perhaps you can make a full day of it.

Cheers to you, Pedro. Say, when can a person start using the catchy shortened name for the city? We hear some locals use it, and we long to be as inside. Maybe we'll start now. Pedro, we'll see you soon.

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