Brian Wallace popped me the news that Raymond Chandler’s home in La Jolla — given how often he moved around, kind of his main lair — is up for serious renovation and the addition of a second story.
If that goes through, it won’t look the same. Now I can drown my regret in a drink or three that I didn’t make the effort to prowl into La Jolla last time I hit San Diego, since I don’t get much past Musso & Frank all that often.
Especially when something has been left largely untouched for many years, you get to thinking that the building will be there forever, unless fire or earthquake or something intervenes. In San Francisco, I think of the place where Jimmy Stewart “lived” in Vertigo — the building on the northwest corner of Lombard and Jones.
Most of my time in the city you could recognize it from the film, but with the addition of a couple of bushes that had been planted on the outside. Then a few years ago someone nabbed it and had a complete facelift done. Take my word for it, same building, but you wouldn’t be able to stand cattycorner today and get hit with the shock of recognition.
La Jolla is on the edge of losing its most significant lit landmark — The Long Goodbye, anyone? — but then Atlanta almost knocked down the house where Margaret Mitchell wrote most of Gone with the Wind. That one got moved.