December 31, 2019 - SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) is pleased to announce the five recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards. Each of the projects represents exemplary achievements on behalf of preserving California’s richly diverse heritage.
Governor Gavin Newsom is honored to recognize these most recent award recipients, continuing a tradition that has taken place annually since the awards program was established in 1986. The Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards Program is distinguished from other preservation awards in two important respects: it emphasizes involvement by community groups, and it recognizes a broad array of preservation activities, from building rehabilitation to archaeology, education, and preservation planning.
This year’s award recipients range from dedicated citizens coming together to document and honor shared heritage of a historic district in Los Angeles, to public outreach program that provides access to historic buildings not typically open to the public in Riverside.
Below is a brief description of the 2019 award recipients:
- Beverly Fairfax Historic District National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) Listing is the result of dedicated citizens coming together to document and honor their shared heritage. The NRHP listing highlights the cultural and architectural significance of the Beverly Fairfax neighborhood in Los Angeles. The district is significant as an early Jewish enclave, representing the earliest movement of Los Angeles’ Jewish community westward from areas like Boyle Heights in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Beverly Fairfax became home to many Holocaust survivors, providing them with a safe community to plant roots and start their new lives, and remains strongly associated with the Los Angeles’ Jewish community today.
- Contra Costa Florist Building represents a successful public-private partnership that preserved a tangible link to a community’s heritage while also making this historic building a central part of an affordable senior housing project. The building is a remnant of the well-documented community of Japanese American nursery owners and others associated with the flower industry in western Contra Costa County during the first half of the twentieth century.
- Doors Open Riverside is a highly successful public outreach program that provides access to historic buildings not typically open to the public. Through the Doors Open event, residents and tourists alike gain a greater understanding and appreciation of Riverside’s history and the value of preservation. The first Doors Open event took place during California Preservation Month in May 2016 drawing 1,000 attendees from across the region touring Riverside’s historic downtown area and learning about the history and architecture. Since 2016, Doors Open Riverside has become an annual event on the second Tuesday in May.
- Livermore Railroad Depot Rehabilitation and Relocation succeeded in preserving a treasured public building that faced an uncertain future. This project both literally and figuratively, placed the Depot back in the heart of community life, restoring its role as a center for public transportation. Originally built in 1892, the Livermore Railroad Depot served as the city’s depot into the early 1960s.
- Manzanar Community Archeology Program is a highly successful program that discovers, documents, and restores historic features of the Manzanar National Historic site. The program has allowed thousands of volunteers of every age and from all over the world to actively participate in the recovery work while learning the stories of Manzanar, including its time as an internment camp of over 10,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Inspired by the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, some of the former incarcerees began a grass-roots effort to have the injustice acknowledged and recognized. Congress declared the former Manzanar Relocation Center a National Historic Site in 1992 to help educate the public.
California State Parks’ Director Lisa Mangat and State Historic Preservation Officer Julianne Polanco will recognize award recipients at a Jan. 22, 2020 ceremony in Sacramento. The ceremony will be streamed live via OHP’s Facebook with time information to come at a later time.
For more information about the awards program, please visit OHP’s Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards Program.
Top left: Some of the many residences in the Beverly Fairfax Historic District, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo Courtesy of Architectural Resources Group; Top right: The restored Contra Costa Florist Building, now part of the Hana Gardens affordable senior housing complex. Photo courtesy of Chris Treadway, Local News Matters. Bottom left: Restored Livermore Railroad Depot in its new location and role as part of the city’s transportation hub. Photo courtesy of Sherman Takata, Takata Photography. Bottom right: Doors Open Riverside allows the public to tour and learn the history and value of Riverside’s historic buildings. Photo courtesy of the City of Riverside.
Garden features from Manzanar’s internment camp era, restored by volunteers, including the son of the garden’s original builder. Photo courtesy of Manzanar National Historic Site.
Office of Historic Preservation
Responsible for administering federally and state mandated historic preservation programs to further the identification, evaluation, registration and protection of California's irreplaceable archaeological and historical resources under the direction of the State Historic Preservation Officer, a gubernatorial appointee, and the State Historical Resources Commission. Learn more at ohp.parks.ca.gov.
Source: CA. State Parks