Studio City community discusses historical status of Weddington


Sandra Koretz

Varsity golf team members practice alongside community members after school at Weddington.

Julian Andreone

The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission officially recommended that the Los Angeles  City Council consider designating Weddington Golf & Tennis a historic monument April 15. Such a designation would slow the school’s construction plans for their River Park project by establishing narrower restrictions for the development of the 16-acre-property.

The school purchased Weddington Golf & Tennis in 2017, but  Studio City community members have still been able to use the facilities when student-athletes are not present.  Despite concerned community members’ claims that the River Park project would strip an asset from their neighborhood,  Head of Communications & Strategic Initiatives Ari Engelberg said the new River Park project would actually increase public access to the property.

“The River Park plan offers numerous opportunities for the community to enjoy the recreational and natural amenities of the site,” Engelberg said. “When completed, members of the community will have access to the putting green, tennis courts, playing fields, community room, walking and jogging trails and the clubhouse cafe. This is a much longer list of publicly accessible  amenities than is currently available.”

The new athletic facilities included in the River Park site plan also present new opportunities to student-athletes.   Girls tennis player Jade Zoller ’22 said she is excited for the River Park developments at Weddington. 

“I think that River Park will be a great addition to Harvard-Westlake athletics,” Zoller said. “Although the tennis courts we currently use are amazing, I’m sure that the [renovations they will] make for River Park will be incredible. It would be very nice to have a new location just for tennis alongside the beautiful scenery that will border the courts.” 

Representatives of the Save Weddington movement, a group of Studio City community members who originally nominated Weddington Golf & Tennis as a historic landmark, said they agree with the findings of the Cultural Heritage Commission. 

“We strongly urge the Planning and Land Use Management Committee  Committee and City Council to adopt the Cultural Heritage Commission’s findings, as written, and support the recommendation for Weddington Golf & Tennis to be designated a Historic-Cultural Monument,” Save Weddington representatives said in a written statement to The  Chronicle.  “Community members are counting on Councilmember Krekorian to help preserve a significant piece of Studio City history and community for the benefit of future generations.”

Despite its efforts to move forward with the River Park project, the school supports the designation of parts of Weddington as historic monuments.  Engelberg said the school’s site plan, which outlines the development strategy for the River Park facilities, specifies which preservation measures they support. The entire property, however, is not historic and should not be designated as a monument altogether, he said.

“Harvard-Westlake believes that certain aspects of Weddington Golf & Tennis are worthy of historic preservation,” Engelberg said. “These include the putting green, clubhouse  and iconic golf ball floodlights. This is why the school integrated these features into the site plan before the historic preservation effort even began. The property as a whole should not be designated historic because it is not historic.”

The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission declined to comment on their findings from their April 15 meeting.