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Iconic Hotel, Former Department Store Win Preservation Awards
By Lookout Staff
June 16, 2023 -- The rehabilitation of two prominent Downtown buildings and projects that chronicle the history of two minority neighborhoods are the winners of the Santa Monica Conservancy 2023 Preservation Awards.
Members of the winning project teams were honored during the Conservancy's Annual Meeting on June 10.
The projects "demonstrate that preservation practice in Santa Monica is multidisciplinary, collaborative, creative, and rooted in authentic storytelling about people and place," Conservancy officials said.The Rehabilitation Award was given to the 84-room Georgian Hotel at 1415 Ocean Avenue, whose new owners "completed a thorough rehabilitation program that honors its glamorous history and art deco styling" nearly a century after the hotel opened in 1933.
The new owners of the designated landmark building designed by architect Rowland H. Crawford "launched an ambitious program to adaptively reuse the building as retail and office space.
"The project team referenced original photographs and design/construction drawings to replicate original materials and details, removed years of ad hoc modifications and successfully brought the building back to its original clean art deco styling."
In addition to making structural modifications, "the team worked to bring in more natural light through a large skylight on the roof and a central opening and smaller skylights on the third floor while preserving the intact historic facades."
The Conservancy's Cultural Heritage Award was given to an exhibition at the Santa Monica History Museum and a culture mapping project by the 18th Street Arts Center.
The Museum’s exhibition, "Broadway to Freeway: Life and Times of a Vibrant Community," featured "the tight-knit neighborhood along Broadway, built by African American, Mexican American and immigrant communities in the mid-20th century."
The exhibition has "helped bring (back) the stories, meaning and impact of this historically significant community" that was "forcibly displaced" and many of its buildings razed in the 1960s to build the 10 freeway.
"With period photographs, advertisements, oral histories, and songs," the exhibit "focused on the neighborhood’s families, businesses, churches, and civic and educational institutions," Conservancy officials said.
The other Cultural Heritage Award was given to the 18th Street Arts Center's "Culture Mapping 90404" project, "a community produced GIS Story map that highlights the history and cultural assets of the city’s Pico neighborhood.
"Since many cultural assets carry historic significance, the process of collecting and sharing their stories is central to keeping history alive through place," officials said.
"This is especially important in the Pico Neighborhood which until recently, was largely ignored by history keepers and unknown to new residents."
The media award was given to Mark Gorman for his popular blog "The Street Seen," which has chronicled Ocean Park's streets twice a month since January of 2020.
Catherine Conkle and Robin Venturelli were the winners of the Conservancy's Volunteer Award.
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