Historic Persons

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The Ahmanson Center on Wilshire Blvd is an iconic piece of L.A. architecture, built by Howard Ahmanson Sr., one of L.A.’s great businessmen and philanthropists. His son Howard Ahmanson, Jr. shares his father’s story–and the transformation of his father’s vision into today’s Koreatown–on Zócalo Public Square.

Thanks to Antal Neville for passing this along to us!

Starting this month, the Oviatt Library at California State University Northridge will be showing artifacts from its Catherine Mulholland collection in the C.K. and Teresa Tseng Gallery. The exhibition runs from September 20, 2011 until July 27, 2012. From the Oviatt Library website:

“Over the years, Catherine Mulholland, who loved libraries and the Oviatt in particular, donated her personal archives and those of her family to the Library, understanding the importance of preserving the past for future generations. This remarkable collection, dating back to the 1860s, is a journey through Valley history as seen in the photographs, scrapbooks, memorabilia, clothing and ranch records of this pioneer family. We invite you to come share the story of the Ijams, Haas, Perret, Ferguson and Mulholland families. Curated by Holli Lovich.”

photo: Catherine Mulholland at the LACHS Holiday Gala in December 2010.

Press release from the LADWP website:

LOS ANGELES — Catherine Mulholland, the granddaughter of William Mulholland, who wrote a comprehensive and critically praised biography of the storied founder of the Domestic Water Works System, later the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, died today at her home in Camarillo.

To the world at large, Ms. Mulholland was known mostly as a noted historian and author of William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles, which challenged many of the prevailing notions of her grandfather’s legacy as the chief engineer who built an aqueduct to bring water to Los Angeles via gravity alone from 233 miles away. Completed in 1913, the Los Angeles Aqueduct then, as now, is considered one of the engineering marvels of the 20th Century.

To LADWP employees of recent decades, Ms. Mulholland was known for her willing participation in activities that celebrated the Department’s history and William Mulholland’s accomplishments. She generously loaned numerous family artifacts to the LADWP for its lobby exhibit “William Mulholland: The Man and His Vision” that celebrated the sesquicentennial of his 1855 birth. The exhibit is currently open at LADWP headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles.

“We are very saddened to learn of Catherine Mulholland’s passing,” said Ronald O. Nichols, LADWP General Manager. “Ms. Mulholland was well known to the LADWP family through her gracious participation in events that celebrated her legendary grandfather, William Mulholland, a revered figure here at the Department. We are all going to miss her and the link she provided to our historic past.”

By bringing water to a semi-arid former pueblo that could only sustain a population of 400,000 with existing sources, Mulholland’s aqueduct helped the city grow to ten times that size. His achievements are marked by such well-known public landmarks as the Mulholland Dam at Lake Hollywood, the Mulholland Memorial Fountain adjacent to Griffith Park and the scenic Mulholland Drive.