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Homes, a Church and a Commercial Building Receive Awards

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The Santa Monica Conservancy’s 2011 Preservation Awards were presented to a host of projects at its Annual Meeting in the historic Church in Ocean Park on January 23.

“It is very gratifying to see the efforts of so many giving our architectural heritage new life,” said Carol Lemlein, President of the Board of the Conservancy. “By recognizing these accomplishments, we provide the community with excellent examples of how historic preservation can contribute to Santa Monica’s vitality and attractiveness.”

The Restoration Award was presented to Myra and Earl Pomerantz for exemplary restoration of their Craftsman Bungalow, known as the landmark John and Anna George House, at 2424 Fourth Street. This project pioneered a growing appreciation for historic preservation in Ocean Park in the early 1980s.

American Commercial Equities LLC, the owner of the historic Edwin Building at 310-312 Wilshire Boulevard, received the Rehabilitation Award for preserving and rehabilitating this small-scale jewel of a commercial building designed by renowned architect Paul Williams in 1928. The building was designated as a city landmark in 2008.

The Renovation Award was presented to Sam Simon, who preserved and renovated Case Study House #20, designed by Richard Neutra in 1948. This landmark of mid-Century design had deteriorated significantly over the years, but thanks to Mr. Simon who rescued and renewed it, the home continues as an important contributor to the architectural heritage.

The Adaptive Reuse Award recognized the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica for converting an adjacent Craftsman Bungalow into classrooms and meeting space for its congregation, choosing preservation and adaptive reuse to retain a link to Santa Monica’s heritage. The church, located at 1260 18th Street, is also architecturally valuable, designed by local architect John Byers in the 1920s.

Deborah Levin received the Stewardship Award for her dedication and leadership in preserving Hollister Court on Fourth Street, a dozen Craftsman Bungalows grouped as a courtyard complex and designated as a city landmark. Since Ms. Levin purchased one of the bungalows 17 years ago, she has worked to save the homes from demolition, protected them from inappropriate remodeling, and provided guidance to other property owners in respectful rehabilitation of the homes.

Recognition for Outstanding Volunteer Service went to the seven docents who lead the Conservancy’s weekly downtown walking tours every Saturday morning: Julie Berger, Winston Chappell, Dorothy Jewel, Kay Pattison, Jerome Robinson, Thomasine Rogas, and Rita Schneir. The popular tour has been in operation since the spring of 2007.

In other business at the Annual Meeting, Ocean Park resident Cristyne Lawson was elected to the Board of Directors and current Board members David Kaplan, Sherrill Kushner, Carol Lemlein and John Zinner were re-elected. The meeting was concluded by an illustrated talk on “Ocean Park and its Amusement Piers” by author and historian Jeffrey Stanton.

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