This is truly an auspicious time for historic preservation in Santa Monica. This past weekend, an 1890s “shotgun” house was moved to a new home adjacent to the Third Street Historic District, becoming part of a cluster of notable historic structures. Although designated a city landmark, and likely the last of what were many such structures in early 20th century Ocean Park, the house was slated for destruction just over a decade ago. Only the persistence of dedicated community members, working each step of the way with City Hall, and the generosity of individuals, businesses, and foundations have ensured that the shotgun house would survive and be rehabilitated to enjoy a new life as the Preservation Resource Center for Santa Monica.
In addition, the Los Angeles Conservancy recently praised Santa Monica as one of the few southern California communities with a landmark ordinance and other basic protections for historic places. We are indeed fortunate that these policies are in place, but we cannot be complacent. Many residents have little understanding of the benefits and methods of preservation. Much remains to be done to ensure that the objectives of the Historic Preservation Element of the General Plan are realized, that the new zoning ordinance is preservation-friendly, that owners and buyers of historic properties receive incentives for their preservation and that the provisions of the State Historic Building Code are known and applied.
I encourage you to join with the Santa Monica Conservancy in celebrating our successes and recommitting to the historic preservation principles and practices that can contribute so much to the unique character of our city.
President, Santa Monica Conservancy