It’s a sad irony for those of us who crave more mass transit that a special spot has to fall to make way for the Expo Line. Wine-sipping, art loving visitors have flocked to the galleries at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica for nearly 20 years, but the building that houses the massive 13-thousand square foot wonder known as Track 16 will be razed soon, and in its place, a train platform will eventually rise for the Olympic and 26th Street stop. (Next door neighbor Robert Berman’s Gallery and Auction House has found other space on the grounds, but there’s no space to accommodate Track 16.)

Out back, where the train will be

The workmen had already arrived last week to prep the site, even before the December 7th move-out date. I went to talk to Hollywood writer and producer Tom Patchett (“Alf,” “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” “The Bob Newhart Show”) who helped develop Bergamot Station back in 1994, when it was a warren of abandoned warehouses.

The 1929 diner inside the main space is up for sale.

If you’ve ever visited Track 16, you know it wasn’t a typical gallery. It was enormous, crazy, fun-filled with Americana, like this old diner from the twenties, and lots of memorabilia, like the original Brown Derby neon sign.

Patchett and his crew prided themselves on what they offered the community, often for free: “Theater, performance, all kinds of events,” he said. “Our specialty has not been selling art because we didn’t want to be dependent on the things that were commercial and salable so we tried a lot of experimental things. In fact during the Occupy Movement we did a show called Occupy Track 16 where people were allowed to write on walls and the young woman who was on the cover of Time Magazine as the Person of the Year “the occupier” came and lived in our gallery for a month, pitched a tent, so we’ve done some really crazy, kooky wonderful things.”

Those days are over now. Patchett and his staff are moving what they haven’t sold off to an industrial area in Culver City, where there’ll be on their own. And, as a result, Patchett says, Bergamot’s days as a cloistered fine arts village are done. “It was just one of those really flukey things, in the middle of a large metropolitan area that will never, cannot be replaced,” he said. It’s likely a hotel, parking lot and retail space will be built on the site.

While the remaining tenants are hopeful that more traffic won’t spoil the feel of Bergamot, there’s no way to know what will happen once the train comes in. “While Bergamot will survive in whatever way shape and form, I wish everyone well, we are really devastated,” said Patchett. “I just don’t see how we could possibly duplicate what we were doing here anywhere else.”

 

 

KCRW Radio App TuneIn Stitcher SoundCloud iTunes
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Nate

    There's a slight bit of tone-deafness to this story. If the worst that is happening as a result of the new train stop is that one art gallery has to relocate to Culver City, then that's fantastic. Given this country's history of gutting black neighborhoods with freeways, in which people lost actual homes and entire communities, I'm not sure this gallery owner really knows what it's like to feel "devastated."

  • Wanderer

    Bergamot Station was always known to be an interim site. And it only existed in the first place because of the old railway line.

  • Pingback: Update: Bergamot’s Track 16 is now really history | Which Way L.A.?

  • gasd

    This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this.
    tapetes para desinfectar

  • http://www.fitnessrepublic.com/store/fitness-accessories/tpe-yoga-mat.html TPE

    Excellent is the only word i can give u for this wonderful blog, keep it up. I will come back again to read some more interesting things on this topic.

  • Pingback: Track 16 reincarnates, with a twist, as the Expo Line barrels toward the beach | Which Way L.A.?

  • http://pinnaclehiplawsuit.webs.com/ DePuy Hip Implant Lawsuit Blog

    I found some interesting story here. I enjoyed reading and I can relate to the story. Anyway thanks for this post.

  • http://www.tohfay.com Send Gifts

    That's wonderful stuff you've written up here.

  • Pingback: Dine amid the rubble, and ‘dig the dig’ at Bergamot Station | Which Way L.A.?

  • http://www.seminterie.com rare

    Its really a very interesting posting indeed. Thanks for sharing such interesting posting with us.

  • Pingback: Lisa Napoli Reviews Bettina Hubby’s Dig the Dig « KLOWDENMANN

  • awesome site

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really eyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon….
    Best advertising Agency in the world | advertising agencies in Lahore | advertising agencies in Karachi

  • Scott Moline

    It's truly a nice and useful piece of info. I am satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing..Handy orten

  • Ralph Beaver

    You have a natural way of writing yet seem to have so much passion about this issue. i always feel obligated to read article from this page.. This web page has a wide variety of pieces and written in awesome style of writing. Obviously interesting to read..http://kostenloshandyorten.in

  • http://www.ndir.org/ best tv to buy

    I cling on to hearing the news broadcast lecture about acquiring absolutely free on the internet grant programs so I have been looking all around for the top internet site to receive one particular. Could you convey to me remember to, in which could i get some?

  • http://bestexercisebikesforsale.net/ exercise bikes sale

    Retain working ,remarkable task!

  • http://pointandshootcamerareivews.com/ best cameras shot

    Super-Duper web site! I'm loving it!! Will arrive again again. I am bookmarking your feeds also

  • Pingback: Bergamot blowout: How the Expo line complicates, divides, a busy corner of Santa Monica | Which Way L.A.?

  • http://kitokid.com/tag/العاب-اطفال/ العاب اطفال

    your post so great, please keep going and i'm wait to see another post

BROUGHT TO YOU BY