• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

Downey Carpenters Statue

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
DOWNEY — Councilman Mario Trujillo recently made public his desire to erect a statue in honor of the Carpenters within the city.

At a special city council meeting held Feb. 24, Trujillo announced his intention to establish a monument to the iconic pop musical duo, who hailed from Downey.
He asked city staff to begin looking into the cost, funding, details, and potential locations for the project at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“Pop music has got to be one of the greatest contributions the United States has made to the arts in the world,” Trujillo told the Downey Patriot.
“When you have an international pop group – because for the time they were still pop – from here, I think that’s something we haven’t tapped into.”

Trujillo aims to make Downey a “destination city” while still “preserving the sanctity of our neighborhoods.”
He said he believes the addition of a Carpenters statue could not only help in that mission, but also make the city a hub for Carpenters fans worldwide.

“I think the statue is going to bring people from across maybe the world, but definitely the United States,” said Trujillo.
“I want it to be somewhere where it’s accessible, market friendly, because it’s going to be on social media and hopefully people will tag us.”

"Logistics around the project are non-existent at this point in time but Trujillo said he hopes to have something in front of the council to consider by the end of the year."

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Agreed! I'm just waiting for the Carpenters' family home to be registered as a historic property so that it cannot be demolished. Whoever owns it next needs to be a Carpenters historian, or at least a fan. There needs to be numerous major restorations made as well.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Agreed! I'm just waiting for the Carpenters' family home to be registered as a historic property so that it cannot be demolished. Whoever owns it next needs to be a Carpenters historian, or at least a fan. There needs to be numerous major restorations made as well.
What is so ironic about that is just how much the house has gotten trashed by the current owners. This is the polar opposite of the way the Carpenter family took care of it. Almost a little bizarre. Not to mention, the north side of Downey is still a nicer area, so I'm not sure how they've gotten away with it for so long!
 
What is so ironic about that is just how much the house has gotten trashed by the current owners. This is the polar opposite of the way the Carpenter family took care of it. Almost a little bizarre. Not to mention, the north side of Downey is still a nicer area, so I'm not sure how they've gotten away with it for so long!
Ugh, yes! Makes me incredibly upset and sad. I could talk about this for hours.
Sites like Zillow say its worth over $1 Million right now...
With all the repairs it needs, I hope to God that it's not going to ever be listed for that much, especially looking at other homes in the area. Hopefully their lack of care for it not only brings down the price, but also ensures that the inside still has a lot of its original features that can still be saved. I agree, it's incredibly bizarre.
I recall photos from 1999 showed the house's interior, and they even used the Carpenters' original furniture. For example-- Karen's room had a corner table with shelves that was being used for display by whomever occupied the room. I know they sold a lot at some point, such as the pool table, Karen's bed, etc., but I wouldn't doubt they have kept a few things. It's only been 20 some years after all... I know that the family that lives there is an older couple, and the previous other half of the house (that they demolished and rebuilt into a mini-mansion) is now occupied by their daughter.
I understand that the hype around the house and its visitors are probably annoying after awhile, but why on Earth would someone ever buy a house owned by such a famous family that they don't care about-- and not to mention, keep it all these years? They must have some understanding that this house is incredibly valuable, both monetarily and sentimentally. It's not only a historic house, but in many ways, a memorial as well.
 

GDBY2LV

Well-Known Member
It’s Los Angeles, California. Most all houses of any large size there sell for much more. It’s Downey though, not the best area any longer. Still being the former Carpenters family home, it should be worth more.
 
Too bad Richard can't buy it back, restore it and make it into a landmark......like Graceland. Lol.
Me too... But I really do understand why he decided to sell. It probably became a reminder of the several tragedies that took place there. He had no use for it being that he had his own family and home. He probably wanted someone to raise a family there, to start a new life, but sadly he was duped as well.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
"A chair is still a chair, even when there's no one sittin' there
But a chair is not a house, and a house is not a home
When there's no one there
to hold you tight
And no one there you can kiss goodnight."

We have a "Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,"
We have a nice display at the Downey Public Library.
We have a nice Musical Legacy Book.
We have now serious discussion in Downey for a Carpenters' statue.

Time to let go of the Newville house as some kind of 'Graceland.'
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
This situation (with the Newville house) could have been handled so much better had both the Downey City Council, Mayor, and Richard understood it's value and actively collaborated. It seems like there is, now (but not then), an appreciation with the City of Downey for what Karen and Richard brought to their community. It looks like the current mayor "gets it."

As a former City Planner with decades of experience and having witnessed similar situations in other jurisdictions for which I've served, what might have happened then is that the City of Downey bought the house from Richard and then put it in a non-profit trust. Much of the house could have been staged as a museum much like what the performing arts center in Long Beach and the Downey library now has. The trust could have been used to maintain the house and grounds in pristine condition in perpetuity. Although it is located in an actual residential subdivision, tours of the home could have been conducted on a limited, appointment only, basis (much like the performing arts center does in Long Beach) thus limiting/mitigating any impact to those currently residing in the neighborhood. It could have been a beautifully maintained property that not only preserved Downey history, but honored Richard and Karen at the same time and also preserving property values for the current neighbors. But that was "then" compared to "now" (pardon the near pun related to the album cover on which the house appears).

Right now it's an unmaintained mess that does nothing to preserve property values, honor Karen and Richard, or celebrate Downey history.

As GaryAlan suggests, I'll now "let go."
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
^^Glad you reminded me (how did I forget ?)
that the house is pretty much immortalized on the
cover of a great Carpenters' album, Now & Then.
What an immortalization that is !
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter

Downey Patriot​

Letters to the Editor: Carpenters statue​

Dear Editor:
"On Twitter, I saw the article about a possible statue of Karen and Richard Carpenter in Downey.
As a fan, if this gets the go-ahead, and if there is an online page to donate, I would be happy to oblige.
I have been a Carpenters fan for approximately 50 years, and their music is still very important to me.
My donation would not be a large one; but if all Carpenter fans were willing, we might be able to help with some of the cost.
I hope the statue becomes a reality."

Dear Editor:
"Please highlight, preserve and develop resources to celebrate and sell the Carpenters brand. You own it, so claim it.
It makes common sense to sell the “Downey brand” (good for business), and that historical brand includes the Carpenters.
When I lived in Downey in 1989, I worked as a social worker at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center and it was the 100th anniversary of its founding as a county poor farm (during the 1889 depression). I volunteered as a docent celebrating that important foundational history.
The Carpenters bring the world’s light on Downey - please let that light shine bright by providing resources and leadership."

Long Beach

MARCH 30, 2022

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