By the late 1970s, the historical legacy of major land use plans and documents for the Los Angeles region was disappearing at an alarming rate. Documents that comprised the framework of pivotal events in city and regional planning were being lost to an overwhelming lack of storage space and the diminishing archival priorities of local governments. Concerned planners from local agencies, such as the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles, and archivists from the Huntington Library, gathered informally in the early 1980s to establish a strategy for preservation and education. From these meetings the Los Angeles Regional Planning History Group emerged (now called the Los Angeles Region Planning History Group or “LARPHG”.)
LARPHG incorporated in 1984 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving municipal, county and private sector planning documents from throughout Los Angeles County. Over the past 20 years, thousands of documents have been collected, cataloged and housed at the Huntington Library for easy research access. These documents complement the American Planning Association, California Chapter, archives located at California State University, Northridge.
LARPHG also has pursued a collaborative effort with the University of California at Los Angeles to record oral histories of leading veterans of the planning profession and development field to document the pressures, the politics, and the methods used to plan the Los Angeles region.
The legacy of important founding leaders of the organization continue to inspire LARPHG including: Edward Holden, former Los Angeles County Director of Planning; Calvin Hamilton, former City of Los Angeles Planning Director; Norman Murdoch, former County of Los Angeles Director of Planning, and Milton Breivogel, former County of Los Angeles Planning Director. Special thanks to Alan Jutzi, recently retired Chief Curator of Rare Books at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California, whose efforts support activities to preserve major planning documents and to apply the lessons of history, which is the guiding principle and mission for LARPHG.