Our Website Renovation

Our www.westadams-normandie.com website was begun in 1999 by the Van Buren Place block club, formally known as the Van Buren Place Community Restoration Association, here in Los Angeles' historic West Adams area. It was our way of telling people in the rest of the city about our neighborhood, and providing sources of old house restoration materials and craftspeople for our neighbors. Over time we added sections on nearby restaurants, theaters, historic photos of West Adams' past, and the extraordinarily rich set of museums clustered nearby.

 In the beginning everything was hand coded in simple html. In 2002 we added a community news section, laboriously uploaded with every change from a home computer. There was a major revision in 2007 when we went to a full-featured content management system where everything was online, which allowed faster updating and easier use of photographs.

 But in the computer/internet world a few years is enough to make any piece of software creaky. We found we were getting hacked, as our software was too old and not getting security updates. It was time to make a major upgrade. This proved to be more complicated than we supposed. The old articles wouldn't transfer directly to the new software, so we hired a skilled programmer to rebuild the site. She did a great job.

 Having to look closely at what we had up, we found that almost every section needed to be revised. The Magic Johnson theatres had been sold and changed their name. Many of the restaurants had failed. Even some of the museums had gone under. Not to mention craftspeople who had retired, stores that had folded.

 We have done a thorough housecleaning. Every category, from nearby restaurants to suppliers of old house fixtures has been checked, new suppliers and businesses added, defunct ones deleted, links checked.

 You will find lots of new restaurants in our listings, among other advances.

 We made one major change in the layout. At the suggestion of our programmer we simplified it and added programming to automatically resize photos on small screens so that our site is now compliant to display on iPads, tablets, and smartphones.

 Take a look.

 Finally, we cannot recommend too highly our programmer, Peggy O'Connor of Mariposa Graphics. You can reach her at: peggy@mariposagraphics.com  323-466-2362 She is also the programmer for the West Adams Heritage website.


-Leslie Evans, webmaster
Van Buren Place Community Restoration Association