Archive for the ‘Alhambra Historic Preservation Program’ Category

Things are happening fast on the historic preservation front here in Alhambra! Let’s get everyone up to date!

As you know, Alhambra Preservation Group has been advocating for more than 18 years for the creation of a comprehensive historic preservation program. We’ve advocated for three key elements to be included: (1) establish an historic preservation commission, (2) adopt a historic preservation ordinance, and (3) conduct a citywide inventory of historically, architecturally and culturally significant homes, businesses, churches and schools. 

On Monday, September 27, 2021, Alhambra’s City Council voted to create an Historic Preservation Commission – one of three new commissions established by City Council. Then, in their October e-newsletter, the City of Alhambra announced, “City of Alhambra to Establish Historic Preservation Program” stating that, “plans are well underway for the establishment of a Historic Preservation Program in Alhambra to recognize and protect important properties in the city’s history.” The City goes on to describe that Alhambra’s Historic Preservation Program will be developed in three phases: 

Phase 1: Develop a Historic Context Statement

Phase 2: Conduct a Historic Resources Survey and Seat a Historic Preservation Commission

Phase 3: Adopt a Historic Preservation Ordinance 

The City is currently in Phase 1 – the development of Alhambra’s first comprehensive, citywide historic context statement. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a historic context statement is a written document that provides the framework for evaluating properties for their historic significance. In other words, this document will help residents understand what makes Alhambra homes, businesses, schools and churches historic, or not. 

In order to write Alhambra’s historic context statement, the City is asking for EVERYONE’S help to tell Alhambra’s story. They want to hear about the people, places and stories in Alhambra’s history that matter the most to us. 

To begin the process of gathering stories and information to write Alhambra’s first comprehensive historic context statement, the City of Alhambra is having a virtual community outreach meeting on October 13. Please plan on attending. Here’s the information:

Historic PreservationCommunity Outreach Virtual Meeting

Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Via Zoom link to be shared on www.historicalhambra.com 

We also encourage you to visit the City of Alhambra’s new historic preservation website to learn more, share your stories for Alhambra’s historic context statement, get involved in building Alhambra’s historic preservation program and join the program’s mailing list. 

“APG is very pleased to share these announcements outlining the next steps in the creation of Alhambra’s historic preservation program,” stated Oscar Amaro, Alhambra Preservation Group’s founder and president. “We urge everyone to get involved and help tell Alhambra’s story. APG has already contacted the project team to share the myriad stories we’ve discovered over the years, and we strongly urge you to do the same,” continued Amaro.

If you should have any questions, feel free to contact us at info@alhambrapreservation.org.

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It’s hard to believe that we’re almost half way through 2021. Like all of you, here at Alhambra Preservation Group, we’ve been trying to adapt to life post-COVID and figure out what the “next normal” will look like for our organization. We hope to have more information to share later this year.

For now, we’re writing because there are two items of interest on Alhambra City Council’s online meeting this coming Monday, June 14 at 6 p.m. We encourage you to review the agenda and provide comments.

The first item of interest is Item #8: Discussion Regarding the Establishment of New Boards and Commissions

City Council will be discussing the establishment of new boards, committee and commissions and included in this, the establishment of a Historic Preservation Committee.

“Alhambra Preservation Group (APG) strongly supports and encourages the City to establish a historic preservation commission/committee,” stated Alhambra Preservation Group President, Oscar Amaro. “This proposed historic preservation commission/committee’s responsibilities could include the identification of Alhambra’s historic resources as well as assessing properties for any potential historic significance and providing desperately needed oversight,” continued Amaro.

APG recommends that the City establish a five-member Historic Preservation Commission with each City Council member appointing one resident member. Each member’s qualifications should be based on interest or experience in Alhambra’s history, architecture, archeology or related fields. The creation of a historic preservation commission could also assist the City of Alhambra in qualifying for future state preservation-related grant funds and incentives.

How You Can Help: Send an e-mail to Alhambra City Clerk Lauren Myles at lmyles@cityofalhambra.org by 5 p.m. on Monday, June 14, identifying your comments for Item 8. Please voice your support for and urge the City Council to establish a Historic Preservation Commission/Committee.

The second item of interest is Item #23: Council Action to Accept Properties and Assets From The Alhambra Historical Society, Inc.

Unfortunately, the Alhambra Historical Society has decided to dissolve. They will be returning the Alhambra Historical Society building and associated funds to the City of Alhambra on June 30, 2021. While we are saddened to learn of the dissolution of the Alhambra Historical Society, we understand the necessity to return the building and assets to the City of Alhambra. We thank the Alhambra Historical Society board members for their decades of dedication and service.

APG supports the City of Alhambra’s creation of an account to receive any remaining funds and property as a result of the Alhambra Historical Society’s dissolution. We look forward to hearing recommendations on the future use of the building as well as remaining funds.

APG encourages the Alhambra City Council to earmark funds from the Alhambra Historical Society for historic-preservation related needs as was intended when the historical society was formed in 1966 and to consider utilizing these funds for a long overdue citywide inventory of historic resources. 

How You Can Help: Send an e-mail to Alhambra City Clerk Lauren Myles at lmyles@cityofalhambra.org by 5 p.m. on Monday, June 14, identifying your comments for Item 23. Urge our City Council to earmark funds from the Alhambra Historical Society for historic preservation-related needs and request that they consider utilizing these funds for a citywide inventory of historic resources.

We recommend that you e-mail your comments; however, if you should choose to speak on any of the items, the June 14 City Council agenda provides instructions on how to do that.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support of historic preservation in Alhambra. If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@alhambrapreservation.org.

Photo of Alhambra City Hall circa 1960s courtesy of Alhambra Preservation Group.

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Marcello.LA.ConservancyClose to 100 people were in attendance at the City of Alhambra’s kick-off community meeting on December 12, 2017 regarding the development of a historic preservation program. Dozens of members of the Alhambra Preservation Group, as well as a representative with the Los Angeles Conservancy, were in attendance to provide input and feedback to the City of Alhambra regarding which elements need to be included in the City’s historic preservation program.

“We are pleased that the City of Alhambra is finally recognizing the value of preserving and protecting its cultural, historical and architectural resources,” stated Joyce Amaro, President of the Alhambra Preservation Group. “APG is excited to be an active partner in developing a preservation program that fits our unique community,” continued Amaro.

During this kick-off meeting, City of Alhambra Director of Development Services, Marc Castagnola provided a presentation on the development of a historic preservation program and the input being solicited by the City of Alhambra. After the presentation,  attendees were separated into four different working groups to provide input into what elements need to be included and what issues needed to be addressed in the development of a historic preservation program for Alhambra.

“After so many years of talking with Alhambrans about the benefits of historic preservation, it was gratifying to me to witness the very positive response of our citizens to this issue in the General Planning process,” said Christine Olson, Alhambra Preservation Group’s immediate past President. “I was pleased that the City responded with the December public meeting and I look forward to more substantive meetings in the near future,” continued Olson.

The City of Alhambra welcomes additional input regarding this program. Alhambra Preservation Group is in the process of drafting a position letter on the development of Alhambra’s historic preservation program. If you were not able to attend the December 12 meeting, but would like to provide input, please visit the City’s historic preservation program web page.

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