Community Conversations

Site Specific, Episode 2: Why and How We Care – Maintaining the Annenberg Community Beach House, Livestream presented on Friday, March 15, 2024

What does it take to balance the needs of a nationally significant historic site with the demands of a wildly popular and inclusive community space? Look no further than the Annenberg Community Beach House. On 3/15/24, Conservancy Executive Director Kaitlin Drisko hosted a live conversation with Annenberg Community Beach House Manager Nan Friedman and John Lesak, Principal of Architecture, Planning and Conservation firm Page & Turnbull about operating and maintaining the unique site.

Site Specific, Episode 1: Restoring the Church in Ocean Park, Livestream presented on Friday, November 10, 2023

Site Specific is the Conservancy’s lunchtime livestream series that looks at the nuts and bolts of conservation from an architectural perspective. A preservation architect with over 30 years of experience, Conservancy Executive Director Kaitlin Drisko invites community members and colleagues to share about their current work. Episode 1 features the team responsible for the current restoration work at the Church in Ocean Park!

Everything Old is New Again: Adaptive Reuse in Santa Monica
, a live virtual program presented on November 6, 2022

Over time, the needs of a community can change. Buildings with rich histories and architectural value often become outmoded, underutilized, or abandoned altogether. Yet they can live on to serve new and different uses through the process of adaptive reuse. Everything Old is New Again: Adaptive Reuse in Santa Monica, explores how local adaptive reuse projects conserve resources, help the environment, save the city’s historic heritage and preserve a sense of place and identity.

The program offers insights into several high-profile projects from around Santa Monica, as well as a presentation of other notable projects by preservationist and Conservancy Board member Ruthann Lehrer.

Featured projects include:

Pono Burger, once a military building now a hamburger restaurant. Presented by KFA, LLP Partner John Arnold, AIA.

The Proper, an office building now an upscale hotel and office complex. Presented by Howard Laks, AIA, principal at Howard Laks Architects, and historic architect Robert Chattel, president of Chattel, Inc.

The Conservancy’s own Preservation Resource Center, formerly a shotgun house. Presented by Mario Fonda-Bonardi, AIA, Principal of Fonda-Bonardi & Hohman Architects.

A special preview of the Gehry/Worthe Ocean Avenue Project offers a look at the future of adaptive reuse in Santa Monica. Presented by Historic Architect Robert Chattel.

Santa Monica Wall to Wall: Exploring the City’s Street Murals and the Stories They Tell, a live virtual discussion presented on November 14, 2021, as well as a self-guided tour. Download tour pdf here.

This special livestream and self-guided tour highlight the social, historic and aesthetic significance of Santa Monica’s outdoor murals. The city is home to over 130 murals – some stand boldly on our boulevards while others are hidden in alleyways, obscured by development or faded by time. Each has a story to tell or an issue to air, adding vital strands of inclusion to the fabric of our city.

The program features Santa Monica College art history professor Elizabeth Dastin and artists Marcel Blanco, Jules Muck and Ruben Rojas who offer insights on creating their own work and the importance of finding community-based solutions to saving significant murals.

Special thanks to Santa Monica College for supporting our program.

Our self-guided tour of 36 murals is available for you to enjoy at your leisure using the digital tour booklet here.

Santa Monica’s Food Legacy, presented on July 18, 2021

On July 18, 2021, we celebrated Santa Monica’s rich and diverse food legacy with Evan Kleiman, host of the popular KCRW radio show, Good Food, and special guests Michael McCarty, owner and proprietor of Michael’s Santa Monica, Raphael Lunetta, co-owner and chef of Lunetta, and pastry chef and co-founder of Tartine, Chad Robertson.

This conversation was part of our week-long Plates in Places virtual silent auction and fundraiser, from July 18-25, 2021.

Santa Monica’s Farmers Markets

On July 25, 2021, we learned about the impact Santa Monica’s Farmers Markets on the city’s dining and food legacy, with Laura Avery, former Santa Monica Farmers Market Manager, and special guests Peter Schaner of Schaner Family Farms, Barbara Spencer of Windrose Farms and Rich Mead, owner and executive chef of Farm House.

This conversation was part of our week-long Plates in Places virtual silent auction and fundraiser, from July 18-25, 2021.