The Los Angeles Conservancy is out with its preservation award winners for the 27th year. Of the residential restoration of the Eastern Columbia building downtown, they say: "Magnificent yet long neglected, one of Los Angeles Art Deco jewels was adapted from commercial space into elegant condominiums, breathing new life into a beloved landmark and furthering the renaissance of historic downtown." Flickr photo is by Jim Winstead. List of winners after the jump.
LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2008 -- The Los Angeles Conservancy has announced the recipients of its 27th annual Preservation Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation. As always, this years winning projects reflect a wide range of efforts to preserve L.A. Countys architectural heritage. This was a particularly competitive year with a number of excellent projects, said Linda Dishman, the Conservancys executive director. We applaud the winners, as well as everyone who works so hard, year in and year out, to preserve greater L.A.s cultural heritage.
The winners are:
Presidents Award: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP -- Each year, the president of the Conservancys Board of Directors presents an award for special achievement in historic preservation. This years Presidents Award honors the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher for nearly twenty years of pro bono legal assistance and volunteer leadership -- particularly, for seeing us through the final phase of the long fight to preserve the Ambassador Hotel. Although we ultimately could not save the hotel from demolition, Gibson Dunn made it possible for the Conservancy to sustain the fight and secure much-needed funding for preservation at historic schools throughout Los Angeles.
Media Award: The Young and the Restless -- The highest-rated daytime drama on American television has introduced millions of people to preservation in the past year. In a storyline involving a development that threatened historic buildings, The Young and the Restless had key characters fight for preservation as a way to revitalize a community. This one bold stroke conveyed the value of historic resources to an entire nation through popular culture, a vital element in creating a true preservation ethic.
Claremont Packing House, Claremont -- The last visible link to Claremonts pioneering history in the citrus industry was transformed into a thriving center for arts, entertainment, retail, and community services, becoming a model of adaptive reuse and an anchor for revitalization.
The Eastern Columbia, Downtown Los Angeles -- Magnificent yet long neglected, one of Los Angeles Art Deco jewels was adapted from commercial space into elegant condominiums, breathing new life into a beloved landmark and furthering the renaissance of historic downtown.
Ennis House Stabilization and Restoration, Los Feliz -- Frank Lloyd Wrights 1924 Ennis House, the last and grandest of the four textile block homes he designed in Los Angeles, suffered severe deterioration until three organizations joined forces to stabilize the structure and launch its restoration.
Historic Homeowners Education Program, City of Los Angeles -- New multilingual publications demystify Los Angeles historic districts and offer clear, easy-to-use guidelines for the proper maintenance of historic properties, illustrating that preservation is practical and motivating new audiences to take pride in their architectural heritage.
History of Transportation Mural, Inglewood -- A small group of dedicated citizens worked with city officials to rescue, restore, and relocate a rare Works Progress Administration mural depicting the areas early transportation history, getting the community deeply involved and providing a new source of civic pride.
The Maltman Bungalows, Silver Lake -- A historic bungalow court (one of many that are vulnerable to demolition) was preserved through the creative use of a new city ordinance, providing quality housing for first-time homebuyers as well as a model for sustainable, higher-density development.
Pasadena City Hall Seismic Upgrade and Rehabilitation -- A ten-year, $80 million project painstakingly upgraded a highly significant monument of civic architecture, retaining and restoring its historic features while exceeding seismic standards and serving as a model of sustainable design.
The Conservancy will present the awards at a luncheon on Thursday, May 8 at downtowns Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles. The luncheon will be sponsored by City National Bank for the eighth consecutive year. Tickets are $125; group sales are available. For more information, e-mail email@example.com or call (213) 623-2489.
Since 1982, the Conservancy has given more than 200 Preservation Awards to recipients ranging from community grassroots efforts to major development projects. Eligible projects encompass restoration, rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, historic landscape projects, and efforts to advance preservation planning, education, or program development.
Winners are selected by an independent jury of leading experts in architecture, historic preservation, and community development. This years jury included: (chair) Lauren Weiss Bricker, Ph.D., associate professor of architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Carolyn Doepke Bennett, landscape historian with Nancy Goslee Power & Associates; Cedd Moses, president of 213 Inc.; Juan John R. Noguez, councilmember for the City of Huntington Park; and Arturo Yanez, AIA, founding partner of fsy Architects.
The Los Angeles Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization that works through education and advocacy to recognize, preserve, and revitalize the historic architectural and cultural resources of Los Angeles County. What began as a volunteer group in 1978 now has more than 7,000 members, making the Conservancy the largest local organization of its kind in the U.S.