Sidewalk and Bus Stop Taken Over by Owner of Venice Historical Post Office

By Greta Cobar

Joel Silver, the new owner of the historical building that formerly housed the Venice Post Office, does not have permits to block the sidewalk and the bus stop around his property, but he does not seem to care.

The public needs to call inspector Ed Oddone at 213-252-3085 for the limits on Silver’s building permits to be enforced.

However, according to real estate attorney Michael King, “the city is very lackadaisical about temporary fence installation enforcement because the contractors move it when the inspectors show up and move it back when they leave.”

First Silver denied public access to the historical building, then he claimed ownership of the Edward Biberman mural that is still the property of the USPS, and now he is taking over the entire sidewalk, a lane of street traffic, and a very busy bus stop.

Unabated, he might extend his fence to the entire Windward circle and beyond. If that seems unlikely, what he has done so far was beyond our worst imagined case scenario just a year ago.

Although the Venice Neighborhood Council in February passed a motion to move the Edward Biberman mural out of Silver’s office, and put it into a public space such as the Abbot Kinney Library, no further action was taken.

According to the Phase III Design Plan Review, Silver is replacing things like wainscoting, wood paneling, wood-frame bulletin boards, and other defining features of the building, with the provision that “they would be safely and securely stored so that they could be reinstated at a future date, if so desired.”

Angelica Houston, the last millionaire to move into the area, removed the historical Venice colonnades in front of her compound, and they were never to be found again.

Call the inspector or risk getting hit by a car when walking along one of Venice’s busiest streets.