Born in Hollywood, Steve Luftman gained a lifelong appreciation for art and architecture in the mid-century cultural institutions of Los Angeles: at five he opened a savings account at Lytton Savings on the Sunset Strip, he took art classes at the then brand-new William Pereira-designed L.A. County Art Museum, took in movies at the Cinerama Dome, and with his mother and sister experienced L.A. Philharmonic rehearsals at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. After graduating from the Craig Ellwood/James Tyler-designed campus of Art Center College of Design, he moved to New York City to work in advertising.
Returning to Los Angeles in 1997, Steve used the seminal Gebhard & Winter's "An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles" in his search to find the perfect apartment. With some luck, Steve and his partner Karen found themselves in what would become the Mendel and Mabel Meyer Courtyard Apartments---LA Historical-Cultural Monument 1096. While always a preservationist and a social activist at heart, it wasn't until his beloved home of eighteen years was threatened with demolition in 2015 that he wrote his first Historic-Cultural Monument application. To date, Steve has written or co-written ten HCM applications, and has been an active participant in trying to save fifteen historically significant buildings. He also campaigns for affordable housing and is active in the tenant rights movement, and can regularly be found in at City Hall supporting the preservation efforts of others. Steve longs for the day when greedy developers take a break from trying to destroy the historic buildings and neighborhoods of Los Angeles so he can take enough time off to enjoy his other passion, racing his 1978 Crossle Formula Ford.