West Hollywood’s Planning and Development Services Department received the governor’s Historic Preservation Award for the city’s commercial historic resources survey, context statement, and preservation website at a ceremony in Sacramento last week. This award is the only official preservation award presented by the State of California in recognition of exceptional achievements in the field of historic preservation.
The California State Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) recognized six projects that best reflected the broad scope of preservation endeavors taking place in California, from restoring historic structures, to innovative uses of surveys and technology, to preserving treasured cultural landscapes, traditions, and histories.
“I’m incredibly proud of the city’s work in preserving our historic heritage,” said West Hollywood Mayor John Duran. “The city has recognized the importance of preserving its cultural resources since its incorporation in 1984. We adopted a Historic Preservation Ordinance in 1989, and the city has designated more than 80 historic and cultural resources, including six historic districts since then.”
OHP is responsible for administering federally and state mandated historic preservation programs to further the identification, evaluation, registration and protection of California’s irreplaceable archaeological and historical resources under the direction of the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), a gubernatorial appointee, and the State Historical Resources Commission.
The underlying reason for assessment and protection of cultural resources is the recognition, by citizens and governments at all levels, that such resources have value and should be retained as functional parts of modern life. The cultural resources extant in West Hollywood give the city its special character and cultural depth. Some cultural resources contain information whose study can provide unique insights about the community’s past, and help answer broad questions about history. In more utilitarian terms, each historic building represents an investment that should not be discarded lightly. Maintaining and rehabilitating older buildings and neighborhoods can offer savings in energy, time, money, raw goods and materials.