Indian American Los Angeles Councilwoman Nithya Raman eyes to fix the historic Beachwood Stairs



Indian American urban planner and Councilwoman of Los Angeles City, Nithya Raman is seeking funding to repair the historic Beachwood Stairs in the Hollywood Hills, which is temporarily closed to the public, the councilwoman said Thursday, February 10.

“The Beachwood Stairs are a beloved and irreplaceable Los Angeles treasure that deserve to be enjoyed by the public,” she said. “I’m grateful to the Beachwood community for their advocacy and partnership in carrying out this important investment.”

The staircase is inside the Hollywoodland area and connects North Beachwood Drive to Hollyridge Drive. The staircase is part of an urban hiking loop that utilizes a series of staircases in the area.

The staircase is also part of a group declared a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1991 as part of the designation “Hollywoodland’s Granite Retaining Wall and Interconnecting Granite Stairs.”

On Jan. 12, the Los Angeles City Council voted to install a gate to temporarily close the historic Beachwood Stairs in the Hollywood Hills until repairs are made.

According to Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who represents the neighborhood and introduced the motion, the stairs require more than $100,000 worth of repairs and funds haven’t been identified for the project.

Raman introduced a motion during Wednesday’s City Council meeting to transfer $107,412 from her office’s portion of the “Neighborhood Service Enhancements” fund to repair the stairs.

“Hollywoodland is an incredibly special part of L.A., visually and historically. As we approach its 100th birthday, some of the neighborhood’s extensive and historic granite stonework is in need of care,” said Christine O’Brien, a 41-year Hollywoodland resident and current president of the Hollywoodland Homeowners Association. “We are thrilled that Councilmember Raman recognizes the significance of these stairs and has found the funding to restore them to their original historic condition so they will be safe for all.”

In addition to that, Raman has been appointed on the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing board charged with promoting clean air in Los Angeles on February 1.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced her appointment saying, “She is a true environmentalist who will bring her passion and experience. She is laser-focused on our climate and public health priorities, and is a great addition to this board.”

Raman, who became the first Asian-American woman and the first South Asian ever to serve on the Los Angeles City Council, with a historic victory in 2019, will replace Joe Buscaino, who joined the board in 2013.

She will be the city’s only representative on the agency tasked by the state and federal government with achieving clean air standards to comply with standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Clean Air Act and California’s Clean Air Act.

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve on the AQMD board — one of the most critical tools we have in Los Angeles for mitigating the effects of climate change,” Raman said.

“I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues on the board to work to ensure that everyone in the South Coast region has healthy, clean air to breathe and that our ports become models for 21st century shipping that center environmental sustainability and environmental justice in their operations.”