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Landmark Status of Charles Bukowski Bungalow Postponed

Bukowski in his home at 5124 De Longpre Avenue in Los Angeles

For the last couple of months, a movement has been underway to turn an apartment once rented by poet and novelist Charles Bukowski into a historic landmark. The bungalow apartment, located at 5124 De Longpre Avenue, is where Bukowski wrote Post Office, Factotum , and where Women was set. He also drank a lot there, living out much of the hard knock life he became famous for and chronicled in his work. Bukowski also mentions the apartment in a poem: "5124 De Longpre Avenue / somewhere between / alcoholism and / madness."

As of now, the row of bungalow houses composing the property are boarded up. The property owner bought the real estate in East Hollywood in 2003 for $450,000, but recently posted the property as a "tear down" on Craigslist for $1.3 million.

The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission was to decide on the landmark status last Thursday, but the hearing was postponed due to an extension filed by the property owners' attorney. The attorney plans to challenge the landmarking on two counts: that Charles Bukowski was a Nazi sympathizer and that he was a person of low moral character.

The accusation of being a Nazi sympathizer stems from claims by Ben Pleasants, a former friend of Bukowski's who published a book about the author in 2004. Apparently, Pleasants came to his conclusion based on a conversation he had with Bukowski on the topic of Adolf Hitler.

If the Commission recommends the landmark status, the decision then goes to the City Council for approval. Lauren Everett, a Charles Bukowski home preservation activist, told Culture Lust the accusations put forth may due more damage at the City Council level because, "the members of the Commission all know Bukowski. They all know that Bukowski drank. The City Council has to consider all kinds of different things in their decision and these allegation could be used there." She was also quick to point out that the notion of Bukowski being a Nazi sympathizer is "unsubstantiated and ridiculous."

The Commission meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday, November 29th at 10 am, where preservationists and the property owners will both make their case. If you are interested in attending, you can find out more information here .