March 15, 2016
The Santa Monica Conservancy recognized ten exemplary contributions to the preservation of Santa Monica’s architectural and cultural heritage by honoring individuals, building owners and architectural firms at its Annual Meeting on Saturday, March 12, 3-5 pm in the Grand Pavilion at Saint Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica.
This year, the Preservation Awards Committee was chaired by Margaret Bach and included Mike Deasy, Barbara Flammang, AIA, David Kaplan, Ruthann Lehrer, and Carol Lemlein. The meeting concluded with a brief talk by Libby Motika on the history of Saint Monica Catholic Church, now the centerpiece of a large campus featuring a school and meeting facilities. The beautifully restored church sanctuary and campus was open for self-guided tours before and after the meeting.
A long-term champion of the Shotgun House, Nina Fresco has made outstanding contributions to the interpretive program at the Preservation Resource Center, including a history of the house and its preservation, the Building a Neighborhood curriculum guide, and a model of the house furnished as a Victorian-era home. In her public roles as a Landmarks Commissioner, chair of the Civic Working Group and now as a Planning Commissioner, she continues to have a great impact on City policies that protect and incentivize the preservation of Santa Monica’s historic resources.
Bob Lynn and Sara Abbott were recognized for the restoration and renovation of the 1946 Streamline Moderne commercial building at 1213-15 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, now home to Ingo’s Tasty Diner. The terrazzo floors and the eating counter have been restored, the lowered ceiling removed to reveal a dramatic skylight, and the tall “Restaurant” sign rehabilitated. Although the property was not on the Historic Resource Inventory, the owners applied for landmark status and it was designated as Groves’ Bakery/Callahan’s Restaurant in 2015.
Philip Orosco and Pacshore Partners extensively restored, updated and seismically retrofitted the1937/1946 Associated Telephone Building at 1314 7th Street. Renovated over three years, existing windows, doors, hardware, glass and stone were restored or reused, the ceiling painting in the lobby was preserved and the non-code compliant rear fire escape was replaced with a new catwalk system designed by LA-based Rios Clemente Hale architects. Two restaurants with outdoor seating, Cassia and Esters Wine Bar, revitalize the ground level. The building has achieved some of the highest lease rates in Santa Monica, demonstrating that the adaptive reuse of historic buildings can attract a strong market.
An intact Spanish Colonial Revival house built in 1926 sat vacant for a number of years when Zenna Lim and Roy Burstin hired architect Ralph Mechur to remodel and expand it to accommodate their family. While all major systems required replacement, original features were carefully retained and restored. The Burstin-Lim residence is an outstanding example of a sensitive renovation and expansion of a Santa Monica home by owners who value the character, scale and history embedded in this 90-year-old structure, giving it new life and preserving it for the future.
The Boldt-Garcetti house demonstrates skillful preservation and innovative expansion that serves as a model for maintaining the scale and character of Santa Monica’s fast-disappearing historic neighborhoods. Owners Glen Boldt and Dana Garcetti hired Shimizu-Coggeshall Architects to create a sustainable family home with interior spaces reconfigured to create a unique relationship to the outdoors. Both passive and contemporary technologies were utilized, enabling the project to achieve LEED platinum certification upon its completion in 2010.
When the City Council gave a green light to considering a courtyard historic district between Ocean Avenue and 7th Street, this group of residents, mobilized under the leadership of Phil Brock, Phillis Dudick and Diane Miller, generated local grassroots support. In partnership with the Santa Monica Conservancy, tours of the proposed district were offered over several weekends to raise public awareness. The district was nominated unanimously by the Landmarks Commission, and designated unanimously by City Council in December 2015, a triumphant moment for successful neighborhood activism.
Faced with a threat to the historic integrity of their neighborhood in the late 1980s, residents of what is now the District banded together to research and document their neighborhood history and historic resources. They generated constituent support for the district, and presented their findings to the City in a request to become the first historic district in Santa Monica. The district was designated in 1990, more than 25 years ago, paving the way for future residents interested in protecting their neighborhood’s historic character and older built environment.
The Rustic Canyon Eucalyptus Grove today represents the sustained dedication and commitment of the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association. Originally planted by Abbot Kinney, the grove became part of the first U.S. Forestry Station and is recognized as a California State and Los Angeles City landmark. The Association spearheaded the restoration of the grove, which had suffered from neglect over several decades, with financial and hands-on support, culminating in the rededication of the grove on May 29, 2014.
Karen Ginsberg, Director of Community and Cultural Services for the City of Santa Monica and previously the City’s Planning Manager, was recognized for outstanding service in managing City historic resources and collaborating with historic preservation partners. Ginsberg was instrumental in the creation of the Annenberg Community Beach House, including the restoration and adaptive reuse of the Guest House and the challenging restoration of the historic pool. She was also essential to the preservation of the landmark Shotgun House, identifying its final location just a few blocks north of its original site, overseeing City-funded improvements to the site and helping to overcome numerous obstacles, paving the way for the successful completion of the Conservancy’s Preservation Resource Center.
Hilda Weiss was recognized for her leadership, dedication and effectiveness as a member of the team that managed the transformation of the Shotgun House into the Preservation Resource Center. She led planning the Center’s interiors and contributed extensive research into the history and extent of the shotgun house building type across the United States. Working with her partner Wayne Lindberg and their associate Neel Cruz, she is creating a record of the Preservation Resource Center’s development and activities, including the Grand Opening and a recent interview of members of the Neville Quintet regarding their lives growing up in Louisiana shotgun houses.