Were you ever a kid? I was. I remember being told to use my imagination or it would wither and die. Pencils became rocket ships soaring through the darkling skies to the volleyball satellite where the evil moss people were holding Princess Pouty Lips prisoner and it was up to you, Captain Dirk Studly, to save her. Or, maybe, as a little girl you imagined yourself as a powerful Queen ruling your lands with a firm, but fair, hand and drinking tea with other Queens until you met King Clean-Cut and held hands beneath the oh-so-romantic moon. Oh, c’mon, you were a kid, all of the other stuff Queens and Kings might do wasn’t even on your radar. If you played a sport you’d picture yourself scoring the game winning goal, run, point, etc., and then make that cool cheering sound that only kids can make. In your head it sounded like the accolades of hundreds of thousands of adoring fans. Poets, artists and musicians all retain a semblance of that childlike innocence and it allows them to tap into your core emotions and resonate with your soul.
All of this brings us to the story of Alan Kimble Fahey. Sometime around 1981 he bought some land and began building on it. And building and building and building. What he built was a true Wonderland. Some 70 rooms scattered so widely that it requires a scooter to travel from one end to the other. It has been the focus of music videos, fashion shoots and numerous positive mentions in so many publications that it boggles the mind. So, naturally, the fine morons who run the Los Angeles zoning department want to tear it down.
I guess they need room for a WalMart.
Liz Goodwin has the whole, stupid, story.
Los Angeles county officials are demanding that a creative homeowner tear down a 20,000-square-foot domicile he calls “Phonehenge West”–or face up to seven years in jail.
Former telephone technician Alan Kimble Fahey began building the structure three decades ago in Acton, the Los Angeles Times reports. Fahey, who christened the project “Phonehenge” because it sits atop pilings modified from phone utility poles, says he intends to turn the compound into a museum.
The labyrinthine network of buildings where Fahey, his wife, and teenage son live even includes a 70-foot tower covered in Italian stained-glass windows, and a barn. Fahey uses a “motorized cart” to get between buildings, an earlier report said.
The paper describes the compound as “a hodgepodge of reddish buildings braced with scores of utility poles and steel beams and connected by bridges and ramps.” Inside, the castle is filled with more than 20,000 books, and a yurt–though Fahey and his wife sleep on a single-sized water bed and cook on a tiny stove. Tourists come from all over to gaze at the creation, Fahey says, and Glamour magazine even staged a photo shoot there.
Fahey has attracted popular support for his labor of love. More than 1,000 people have liked a Facebook page called “Save Phonehenge West.” And a national group that opposes “abusive” building codes, F.A.C.E.OFF (Fight Against Code Enforcement Office), is also backing Fahey. The compound has been admiringly featured on home design web sites.
A jury began hearing the county’s case against Fahey last week: He is charged with 14 criminal misdemeanor counts, including unlawful use of land. L.A. County deputy District Attorney David Campbell told the paper that Fahey repeatedly ignored city officials’ warnings that he was violating multiple municipal building safety and fire codes and thinks he is above the law.
“He has set up his own arrogant interpretation of the law,” Campbell told the paper.
Fahey’s lawyer Jerry Lennon says county officials were negligent in enforcing their own rules, leaving his client alone for two decades before deciding to crack down.
“This is an exceptional place,” an L.A.-area advocate for code reform, David Lewis, told the L.A. Times. “Most of the properties that are involved in code enforcement actions are not visually striking. It’s something the public can look at. It’s something special that shouldn’t be demolished.”
Before I continue I must thank my buddy, Bill Ward, a pretty creative guy in his own right, for turning me onto this story yesterday. Second, if you want to check out, or join, Mr. Fahey’s Facebook page, just click here. He has lots of pics and some basics about the construction of the compound.
For example, the main tower was built on telephone poles and those were reinforced with steel I-beams and can withstand 100 mph winds.
See, this is the problem. This isn’t some ghetto construction, nor is it some shoddy track-home project where every house looks the same and is made from cardboard. No, this is a work of art built to the highest quality construction standards you could ever imagine.
And it isn’t like he built it in a vacuum. It’s been there for 3 decades and has garnered the city of Los Angeles a lot of good press which, considering how most press releases emanating from the left coast usually start with the words “Corrupt” or “Police Brutality Alleged ….,” would make you think they’d welcome Mr. Fahey and his family with open arms.
I know it’s asking a lot for a judge to show common sense, but hope springs eternal.
If not, then all creativity will remain the sole purview of young people who are waiting in line to have their souls crushed by the gnashing gears of a subhuman corporate oligarchy.
Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!