Cathy Seipp writes in her "From the Left Coast" column at the National Review Online that she misses the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, which the Hearst company folded 15 years ago next month.
The Times interior has been indistinguishable from an insurance company since at least the '70s. But until the day it closed in 1989, the retro-style Her-Ex looked the way scrappy, tabloidesque papers are supposed to look: grimy phones; old wooden desks piled so high with debris the fire marshal would periodically complain; drunken, brawling reporters; editors who knew that when a hippo escaped from the zoo, the story could (and should) be played on the front page for weeks.
The grand, empty dinosaur of a building — designed by the same archiitect who built William Randolph Hearst's San Simeon (the Her-Ex was a Hearst paper) — is sometimes rented out for Hollywood parties. When I got invited to one not long ago, I immediately snuck upstairs to take a Her-Ex mailing envelope as a souvenir (the hastily abandoned executive offices still contain a few relics).
A copy of the final Herald front page (with a staff photo under a banner headline reading 'SO LONG, L.A.!') hangs on the wall in Phillipe's, the old-L.A. French dip emporium downtown. HerEx alumni page
* Speaking of...: A half-dozen ex-Herald photographers were among about 200 invited guests at tonight's opening reception at the Central Library for "Play by Play: A Century of L.A. Sports Photography, 1889-1989." Many of the exhibit's photos come from the library's Herald Examiner collection. The exhibit, which opens to the public Saturday, was made possible by the library's Carolyn Kozo Cole and curated by David Davis, the former LA Weekly writer who contributes frequent sports pieces to Los Angeles magazine. Davis's book of the same name, published in conjunction with the exhibit by Angel City Press, also made its debut tonight.
I wouldn't recognize all the Herald photogs in attendance, but I know they included Paul Chinn, Javier Mendoza, Mike Mullen, Jim Ober and James Ruebsamen. All had images up on the wall. I'm reminded by Saul Daniels there is another HerEx memories website here.
And: There's a photo from the book of a teenage Don Drysdale in his Van Nuys High uniform linked at America's Suburb.com.