Hats off to Western Built Construction, the general contractors who’ve been working on a huge, two-story, concrete-and-glass structure at the northwest corner of Melrose and Westbourne, which is near my place. I complained about some obnoxious lighting mounted on the rear of their building, and one of the WBC principals responded in a reasonable, mild-mannered way in a matter of minutes. Life should be so simple and easy in other realms.
“[Name] and [name] — I’m Jeffrey Wells, a Hollywood columnist (www.hollywood-elsewhere.com) and longtime journalist who lives near that massive, two-story commercial space you’ve been working on for…what’s it been, eight or nine months? I’m writing to complain about those three obnoxiously bright lights mounted on the rear of your building. I’m asking you to please replace them with lights that are quieter, amber-ish, toned down and not so aggressively bright.
“Right now these lights are a nocturnal eyesore. I don’t know the wattage but the level of brightness and intensity is ridiculous — the kind of lethal, industrial-strength lighting that might be used by a state prison or some warehouse with truck bays in the middle of nowhere.
“Westbourne Drive is a quiet residential street, and having lived here for many, many years I assure you there’s no need for that kind of illumination. We have no escaped convicts running around (or none that I know of) and there’s no need to have lighting so fierce and glaring that jets flying over Los Angeles at 35,000 feet can easily pinpoint the corner of Westbourne and Melrose.
“This may sound curious, but some of us believe that the night should be allowed to be what it is, which is to say allowed to be dark. You know, the way it was on the planet before guys like you and your commercial lighting schemes came along?
“Walk down Westbourne south of Melrose — each and every home is lighted quietly, softly, with a certain restraint. Your building is the only one using an aggressive state-prison aesthetic.
“I’m hoping you’ll agree with my viewpoint and replace the current lights with a much lower and softer wattage.”
Within minutes the WBC guys explained that they’re just the contractors and that the intense lighting isn’t their idea or plan, but that they’ll be happy to take it up with the owner and change the lights if everyone is in agreement, etc. I replied with a “thanks so much” and moved on to the next thing. I don’t know what to say