News & Advocacy

SM Conservancy Launches First Capital Campaign

August 16, 2013

The Santa Monica Conservancy announces a $1.6 million capital campaign to create a new, professionally staffed Preservation Resource Center in a rehabilitated shotgun house. Campaign funds will also be used to expand programming, including an innovative local history curriculum in Santa Monica schools, and support the ongoing operation of the new Center. To date, the Campaign has raised $860,000 in contributions from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Mark Benjamin Foundation, the National Trust of Historic Preservation, the Friends of Heritage Preservation, and the City of Santa Monica, as well as from generous businesses and individuals. The campaign will enter its public phase as the Conservancy begins a year-long celebration of its decade of leadership in preservation.

Click here to donate to the campaign!

“We have accomplished a great deal in 10 years as an all-volunteer organization. The time has come to hire professional staff and open a site easily accessible to those who want to learn more about historic preservation,” said Carol Lemlein, President of the Santa Monica Conservancy. After a successful bid to lease the landmark 1890s shotgun house owned by the City, the Conservancy agreed to rehabilitate the house and relocate it to city property across from the Ocean Park Library at 2nd Street and Norman Place, a neighborhood with other landmark buildings reflecting the history of Santa Monica. “By establishing our Preservation Resource Center in this small historic house, we will provide an instructive model of the adaptive reuse of a structure that many might have thought had long outlived its usefulness,” Lemlein added.

Rendering of the Preservation Resource Center by Fonda-Bonardi and Holman Architects

The local history curriculum, “Building a Neighborhood,” is the brainchild of Santa Monica Landmarks Commissioner and Conservancy board member Nina Fresco. Geared to third grade students and fulfilling California Standards for social studies and the visual arts, the curriculum gives students an understanding of how the story of a community and its residents is reflected in the changing materials, styles, and uses of its buildings. The lessons are interactive, using kits that provide students the opportunity to build models of actual homes in the city’s Third Street Neighborhood Historic District.

Click here to donate to the campaign

For more information about the Preservation Resource Center or other aspects of the Campaign, send email to or leave a message at 310-496-3146.

About the Santa Monica Conservancy: Founded in 2002, the nonprofit Santa Monica Conservancy works to promote public understanding and appreciation of the cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits of historic preservation. The Conservancy developed the weekly Historic Walking Tour of Downtown and the popular docent program at the Beach House, as well as tours of Adelaide Drive, the Third Street Historic District, Palisades Park, mid-century homes in Santa Monica Canyon, and most recently “Living in a Landmark,” demonstrating how landmark homes have been adapted to meet the needs of their current owners. In addition to these educational programs, the Conservancy has led efforts to improve incentives for preservation and make the processes for landmarking and adaptive reuse easier and more attractive to property owners, and has advocated directly to save buildings that connect us more closely to our community’s heritage.

Posted September 05, 2012

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