News & Advocacy

Conservancy Launches Ocean Park Neighborhood Initiative

July 3, 2024

A host of new programs and outreach efforts celebrate the Conservancy’s headquarters at the Shotgun House just off Main Street in Ocean Park as a center for neighborhood history and authentic experience of place.

SANTA MONICA, Calif.– July 2, 2024 — The Santa Monica Conservancy announced today a new initiative to engage the community in a program of events, neighborhood walks, garden tours, open houses events and community meetings, based at its headquarters at the Shotgun House. These programs spotlight local culture and history for neighbors and visitors to Ocean Park and beyond.

This summer the Conservancy launched its first new signature tour in seven years. Offered the second Saturday of every month from 10:30 am to noon, the new Main Street Walk is designed to reveal the vibrant assemblage of personalities, dreams, real estate transactions, politics, urban planning, transportation, construction materials that make up the neighborhood. A new Third Street Historic District Walk will also make its debut on Sundays July 14th and July 28th at 10am.

In addition to expanding existing free weekend walk-in visitor tours of the Shotgun House itself over the summer, the Conservancy is opening the little house to a series of community gatherings. These include bi-monthly roundtable discussions to share stories about the city’s neighborhoods and histories, starting on Saturday, July 20 from 11 – 1 pm.

Educational programs also include a series of Shotgun House Native Plant Garden tours, led by volunteer and poet Hilda Weiss.

Further, the Shotgun House, is a meeting point and focus for Preservation Next, the Conservancy’s affinity group for emerging and mid-career professionals interested in cultural and historic heritage to engage in interdisciplinary discussion and networking events. Interested parties should contact the Conservancy directly to be put on the Preservation Next mailing list.

There is an ongoing effort to recruit volunteer storytellers to support these developing programs.

“We hope to create a cultural commons,” says Kaitlin Drisko, Executive Director, Santa Monica Conservancy. “We are excited to focus our work locally to promote understanding of the role that heritage conservation can play in creating a sense of belonging here in your own back yard, and beyond.”

About The Shotgun House

The Conservancy and other community groups saved the Shotgun House from demolition in 2002. After two moves and much effort, the Shotgun House found a new home at 2520 Second Street. It was lovingly restored by the Conservancy and partners, thanks to many generous contributions, and opened to the public as a Preservation Resource Center in 2016. Built in 1897, the little house is the last remaining dwelling of its type in Santa Monica and is a designated City Landmark. Today it stands as an authentic piece of Ocean Park’s history, a LEED Gold example of adaptive reuse, a Preservation Resource Center and the hub of the Conservancy’s operations. The little house is a starting point for tours, a repository of information about heritage conservation in Santa Monica and a community center for the Ocean Park area.

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