DOWNTOWN — The Santa Monica Conservancy, dedicated to protecting historic structures here, is giving out a record number of awards this year to those who have dedicated themselves to preserving architectural gems.

The awards will be presented at the conservancy’s annual meeting at the historic Miles Playhouse in Reed Park on Jan. 25. Homeowners will be recognized along with local businesses and city staff for their efforts.

“We have some wonderful historic preservation efforts taking place in Santa Monica,” said Carol Lemlein, president of the board of the conservancy.  “By presenting these awards, the Santa Monica Conservancy applauds and encourages those who embrace historic preservation which, in turn, contributes to making Santa Monica a more attractive place to live, work and visit.”

The conservancy’s David Cameron Award will be given to Eileen Fogarty, the director of City Hall’s Planning and Community Development Department. Fogarty led the way in formulating the November 2009 Draft Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) which recognizes historic preservation as a core community value, promotes historic preservation incentives, and integrates historic reservation into the planning process. LUCE is a comprehensive urban planning document that dictates development throughout the city.

The award is presented to individuals or organizations in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments in preserving Santa Monica’s unique heritage, and for promoting the value of historic preservation in the city.

The President’s Award will go to the Pier Restoration Corp. for the 2009 Pier Centennial celebration commemorating the history of the iconic landmark pier, with entertaining and educational children’s programs that promoted understanding of the pier’s history.

The Restoration Award will be presented to Scott Lander for his ambitious restoration of Richard Neutra’s 1937 Barsha House at 302 Mesa Road.  After years of neglect following its 1950s relocation from North Hollywood to Santa Monica Canyon, it is now a premier example of Neutra’s innovative modernism.

The owner of a historic John Byers house at 2101 La Mesa, Cameron Strang, will receive the Rehabilitation Award for restoring the original adobe façade and for renovations that respect the original spirit of Byers’ Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Strang has retained the original scale and architectural features while updating the home for contemporary use.

The Renovation Award goes to Joy Jones, owner of 404 Georgina Ave., an important early (1920) John Byers adobe. Jones rescued the house from demolition and spearheaded a creative renovation that respects its original architectural character.

The Adaptive Reuse Award (Residential) recognizes the creative achievement of Stephen Chao, owner of 211 Alta Ave. (formerly the La Palama Bungalow Court ), for converting a multi-unit Craftsman bungalow courtyard complex into a single family home, preserving its exterior architecture and streetscape presence.

For adaptive reuse of a commercial property, Red Bull North America, Inc., at 1740 Stewart St., will receive an award for transforming a vintage industrial building, originally used for manufacturing, into a unique and imaginative corporate headquarters. This project demonstrates a dynamic collaboration between architect, structural engineer and client.

The Stewardship Award will be presented to Michele Nasatir, owner of the Embassy Hotel Apartments at 1001 Third St., for outstanding dedication to preserving the magnificent Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and decorative enrichment of this landmark building.

In addition to the preservation awards, the Santa Monica Conservancy will recognize two individuals for their exemplary volunteer efforts. For Outstanding Service, attorney Ken Kutcher of the Santa Monica law firm of Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP, will be recognized for his pro-bono work on the Shotgun House lease negotiations and also for initiating zoning changes providing incentives to facilitate new development on large lots with small landmark structures.

The Volunteer Service Award will go to Kay Pattison for her many contributions to the conservancy’s popular Downtown Walking Tour and the Annenberg Community Beach House docent program. Pattison, who began as a Downtown tour docent, now manages the program. She volunteered for the Beach House program, independently undertook significant research into the histories of its original owners, publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and his mistress, silent film star Marion Davies, and served as a speaker for the training program.

The annual meeting is open to members of the Santa Monica Conservancy and their guests. For more information, see www.smconservancy.org or call (310) 496-3146.

Founded in 2002, the conservancy is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to celebrating Santa Monica’s architectural and cultural heritage.


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