What Happens Next?

It’s been the most public vision of the culture shift in Culver City; the building that used to sport a large sign advertising guns, knives and collectibles for sale now has a mural saying “We Are One.” 

When the Martin B.Retting gun store at 11029 Washington closed, it was notably behind the times. It had been ‘grandfathered’ from a state law prohibiting gun sales within a thousand feet of a school; La Ballona Elementary is 952 feet up the road. Selling guns to the west side of Los Angeles since 1953, it was an outpost of a 20th century mindset that had long since ridden off into the sunset. 

At the City Council meeting on May 28, 2024, the council and the community discussed determining the future use of the site. Since the city purchased the building in September of 2023, the exterior has been turned into public art. Culver City’s Artist Laureate Katy Krantz created the temporary mural, offering bright colors and uplifting language, easily seen by passing traffic, giving the old building a fresh look. 

But it is a very old building; the 4,660 square-foot former retail space has had next to no upkeep while it was in operation as a store. All ideas are still on the table; repurpose, demolish, or sell.

The council heard from community members, including Katy Krantz, who offered ideas ranging from a place for public art classes to a CCUSD thrift store. But most supported the idea that this was the beginning of the conversation and not the end.

Finally, the council requested that staff return with a ‘robust’ outreach plan that will come back on a future agenda this summer.

What happens next? 

Judith Martin-Straw

Photo credit – Dani Crum 

The Actors' Gang