Exerpts from Nancy Gershwin's Letter to
the City of Bevely Hills
Nancy Gershwin, Director-Writer, third generation Gershwin
Growing up in New York, I had often heard Los Angeles described in less than flattering terms, but when I moved to this city over 20 years ago, I was immediately struck by its magic - a transcendent feeling that amidst the hustle and pace that has kept Los Angeles incontestably on the cutting edge of trend, there existed an undeniable tie to the past. You could feel it on a starry night at the Hollywood Bowl or driving past the Golden Age marquees on Hollywood Boulevard. And you could feel it on Roxbury Drive. Years after the legendary people were gone, the homes remained and a drive or stroll up North Roxbury Drive could still bring back memories and inspire fantasies of the lives lived behind those walls....Summit Drive in Beverly Hills was another toast to Hollywood royalty. Most notably, it had Pickfair - the world-renowned estate of Mary Pickford and Doughlas Fairbanks, Sr. There was great controversy years ago when a wealthy newlywed businesman bought it and tore it down to build his personal mansion. I remember wondering why someone who could afford to build anywhere had chosen to have his own personal monument erase something of such cultural and historic value. A few years later, he and his wife divorced and the property was abandoned as just another piece of California real estate....After I married I had the good fortune to live on Summit Drive, in the home originally built by Fred Astaire and later owned by noted director William Wyler. It didn't have a granite kitchen or a marble entry, but it had character, "soul" and history. When we moved out, it literally became history.....Why doesn't Beverly Hills preserve its cultural and historic landmarks? History is razed with the ease of dismantling yesterday's movie set. And there is no Take Two. No digital fix. When it's dead, it really is dead. Gone..."
Nancy Gershwin Links
bigsight.org - AN INTERVIEW WITH NANCY GERSHWIN By Michael Sheridan
AN INTERVIEW WITH NANCY GERSHWIN - By Michael Sheridan
Nancy Gershwin - Los Angeles, California