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Posts Tagged ‘membership’

Parade-f-house

A 1912 photo of one of the Arts and Crafts homes that caught APG President Joyce Amaro’s eye in 1984.

by Joyce Amaro, Alhambra Preservation Group President

My sister Jeanette rolled her eyes from the passenger seat of my mom’s 1960 white Oldsmobile as I began slowly backing the car out of the garage. Our father stood in front of us, pumping his forearms up and down like an airport maintenance worker and Jeanette always found Daddy’s “guidance” annoying. It was the fall of 1984, and I was a high school senior with newly earned driving privileges. I knew the road to Alhambra High School well from my parents’ home in Monterey Park. I would drive up Sixth Street from Garvey Avenue, always slowing down just north of the San Bernardino Freeway to glance at a few of my favorite homes in Alhambra, a small collection of Spanish Colonial Revival and Arts and Crafts houses.

Unlike that well-traveled route to Alhambra High, the road to preservation here in Alhambra hasn’t been as smooth. Alhambra Preservation Group has worked tirelessly for the past decade to educate Alhambrans on the value of preserving cultural resources. We’ve hosted home tours, sponsored candidates’ forums, lobbied Alhambra officials, and organized educational events – all with the goals of raising awareness about Alhambra’s diverse architecture and adopting legislation that would preserve and protect historically and architecturally significant homes. This past spring APG board members presented information on an APG-created Google map that documents Alhambra’s myriad architectural styles at the California Preservation Foundation’s annual conference. This past summer, APG sponsored a “Coffee with a Council Member” event, providing Alhambrans with the opportunity to meet and ask questions of Alhambra’s newly elected council members, Jeff Maloney and David Mejia.

As Alhambra Preservation Group celebrates its 10th anniversary I am pleased to announce that we are finally seeing the fruits of our labor. This past summer, the City of Alhambra stated that it would pursue a historic preservation ordinance. We are thrilled with this development and happy to see that the City of Alhambra is finally serious about an ordinance that will preserve and protect Alhambra’s architectural gems. Another recent victory was the decision by the developer of the Camellia Court project to retain the historically significant Chapel of Saint Simon and Jude. This decision represents a shift in how historically and architecturally significant structures are viewed in Alhambra. APG is proud of the role our organization played in advocating for the adaptive reuse of this chapel.

So, while we are closer to a preservation ordinance and positive changes in how historically and architecturally significant structures are viewed in Alhambra, APG’s work is far from done. We continue to need your financial support as we work with the City of Alhambra to shepherd a preservation ordinance through the approval process. It is our hope that you will choose to support Alhambra Preservation Group in 2018, so that we can shift gears and begin the very real process of enacting a preservation ordinance in Alhambra. We invite you to join or renew your membership in APG during our annual membership drive and to give as generously as you’re able. As an all-volunteer non-profit organization, we rely on your contributions of time and money. We thank you and appreciate your ongoing support!

More than 30 years later, I am still admiring that quaint cluster of homes on South Sixth Street in Alhambra’s Ramona Park. The difference is that now I call one of those beautiful Craftsman houses my home, and I’m thrilled that Alhambra is closer than ever to legislation that will protect it for generations to come!

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januaryWe’re all well into our 2017 new year resolutions by now, and no doubt, some resolutions are proving harder to keep than others. So to make things a bit easier, here are two simple ways to support your community and Alhambra Preservation Group in the new year:

1. Make a special donation to APG. We know protecting Alhambra’s neighborhoods is important to you. Won’t you consider making a special contribution? Your financial support ensures that we can keep working towards protecting and preserving Alhambra’s historic and cultural resources. Contact us today at info@alhambrapreservation.org to learn more.

2. Get involved and stay informed: Attend an APG-sponsored event, volunteer with APG’s Advocacy and Action Committee, attend a City of Alhambra Planning Commission, City Council or Design Review Board meeting, talk to your neighbors about APG and the importance of protecting Alhambra’s neighborhoods, like APG on Facebook or visit our website to learn about preservation myths and facts.

While we can’t help you lose those pesky holiday pounds, we can help you feel better about getting involved in Alhambra and being more engaged in your neighborhood. We’re asking for just two in the new year! And, thanks!

Photo courtesy of Imams Online.

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img_9564by Joyce Amaro, President

It took my breath away! This past spring as I was driving through Alhambra searching for homes to feature in Alhambra Preservation Group’s summer event, Alhambra’s Amazing Architecture, I saw a house that made me catch my breath and hit the brakes. It was a small, yet quaint Spanish home sited diagonally on a corner lot. A “crown” was perched atop three arches that framed its front porch, giving it a regal look. I marveled at the uniqueness of its design. I admired the intricate inlaid tile work in its arches. I smiled at finding a new architectural gem in my hometown.

Discovering new architectural gems is just one of the benefits of being a member of Alhambra Preservation Group (APG). From our home tours to our Meet the Candidates Forums, from our educational talks to our field trips, APG strives to provide programs and events to further our mission of historic preservation. This past year was no different. I am immensely proud of APG’s recent accomplishments:

  • Residential awareness about Alhambra’s architectural and historical resources is at an all-time high because of events like the one APG sponsored this past June that highlighted our city’s architecture and established Alhambra as one of the most architecturally diverse cities in Southern California.
  • Fifty-two percent (52%) of Alhambrans who submitted a written survey as part of the city’s General Plan process in 2015 said that historic preservation should be a priority for the City of Alhambra. This was a direct result of APG’s education of residents about the need for a preservation ordinance and APG’s promotion of the survey.
  • APG’s online presence continues to grow with a new interactive Google map documenting more than 500 historic homes in Alhambra.
  • APG’s newly-formed Advocacy and Action Committee monitors city meeting agendas for items of interest and will create “calls to action” when issues arise.

So, what is APG’s goal for 2017? Alhambra’s adoption of a preservation ordinance! This has always been our #1 goal, and we won’t stop fighting for this until Alhambra enacts one. We’re closer than we’ve ever been, but we still have a lot of work to do. Even as I write this, a beautiful three-story Victorian home on South Garfield Avenue faces an uncertain future because Alhambra has no legislation to stop the razing of historically or architecturally significant homes, schools, churches or commercial buildings. Alhambra is long overdue for the adoption of a preservation ordinance. We need your help to do this!

We invite you to join or renew your membership in Alhambra Preservation Group during our fall membership campaign and to give as generously as you’re able. As an all-volunteer non-profit organization, we greatly value and rely on your contributions of time and money. We thank you for your support in helping APG to continue its programming and advocacy for the preservation of Alhambra homes and buildings of architectural significance.

As a special thank you, we’re inviting APG members to an exclusive event on November 30 at my home. This “Evening with the Author” event will feature a discussion by Dr. Denise Lawrence-Zuniga, a professor of Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona and APG member. At this evening event, she’ll be discussing her recently published book, Protecting Suburban America, which includes a section on APG and its preservation work here in Alhambra. I’d love to meet you and welcome you into my home, so I invite you to join APG!

And, yes, that unique Spanish home is still there, on the southwest corner of South Electric Avenue and Acacia Street, just south of Main Street. Why don’t you drive by yourself and discover another one of Alhambra’s architectural gems that deserves to be preserved and protected?

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IMG_5884Well, it’s that time of year again! Despite our recent spate of record-breaking heat, the first signs of autumn are appearing all around us. Leaves are just beginning to turn; the first Halloween decorations are appearing on porches and in windows throughout our neighborhoods; our local store shelves are well stocked with an astonishing array of pumpkin items. Fall is truly upon us—and, with it, APG’s annual membership campaign!

This is the time of year when we ask you to contribute your financial support to our ongoing effort to preserve Alhambra’s past for its future through the enactment of sound and effective development policies that will incorporate historic preservation into planning and decision-making about the character of our city’s buildings and neighborhoods.

This year, we’re making it easier than ever to contribute to APG. Taking a page from Public Television, Radio, and scores of our community-based nonprofit counterparts, we have added a new “pledge” category to our membership payment options. Those choosing this option will have the opportunity to specify the amount of their gift and to spread it over 10 automatic monthly payments. This e-commerce service is safe, secure and accessible through our website. Understanding that cash flow is an important issue for most of us, our hope is that this new option will enable some of us to give at a higher level than might be practical with our traditional single-payment method.

Of course, for those who are most comfortable writing a single check, that option still remains. As in years past, simply choose your membership level or donation amount, fill in the Membership Return Card and send it back along with your payment.

So, please check your mailboxes for our annual mailed appeal and give as generously as you are able. To those of you who are not yet members, we promise you a year of fun, interesting, and educational opportunities for learning more about Alhambra’s rich history, architectural and cultural assets—even about your own home. To our many longtime supporters, we are honored by your commitment to historic preservation and by the confidence that you have placed in Alhambra Preservation Group to give voice to that commitment. In either case, we promise to work hard on your behalf and on behalf of our city and the proud heritage that is embodied in its remaining architectural treasures. For, once lost, these cannot be recovered. Please join us!

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colorful-mailboxBy Christine Olson, APG President

The days are getting noticeably shorter, but the weather is still plenty toasty – it must be fall again! Alhambra Preservation Group’s annual fall membership campaign is now underway, and I hope that I can count upon you to support our work of preserving one of Alhambra’s most important cultural assets – its architectural heritage – to ensure its future vitality and liveability.

Of all the elements that go into planning and managing a community’s growth and development, historic preservation is probably one of the most misunderstood, even joked about. I’m sure you recognize the many stereotypes that exist of preservation zealots: the gray-haired lady who places her body in the path of the oncoming bulldozer; the guy who tells everyone who’ll listen that there’s really only one historically-appropriate palette of colors for that Craftsman bungalow; and the “not in my backyard” folks who reflexively oppose any change or economic development opportunity. This limited – and inaccurate – view of historic preservation mischaracterizes and discredits our movement.

My recent visit to one of the homes that is to be honored with this year’s APG Heritage Home Award offered a perfect example of the inaccuracy of the stereotypical view of historic preservation and its proponents. This very well-preserved 107-year-old residence displays nothing so much as flexibility and vitality – and a very modern view of environmental sustainability. Solar panels on the roof of a Victorian bungalow and an electric vehicle charging station installed along its driveway speak to the fact that the home’s owner is focused on the future at least as much as she appreciates the refinements of the past.

In fact, the most common issue faced by preservation advocates across the country is not how to prevent change, but how to manage it more effectively. As we move forward into the 21st Century, that issue only becomes more critical. An increasing population, combined with diminishing natural resources and a precarious energy future demand that we employ new development strategies in communities like Alhambra. We advocate for the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings, not simply because they are beautiful and well-built, or because important people once lived in them; but because they have the power to generate local tax assets, stimulate investment, minimize construction debris and decrease environmental costs. They also provide a tangible connection to our shared history.

These are connections that people of all cultures value. Most of us, if we are lucky, have items that we cherish and protect because someone we care about – an ancestor, mentor, family member or friend – gave them to us. Just as a ring or a painting or a precious family heirloom that is treasured and passed down from one generation to the next gives meaning to our individual lives, so does the preservation of historic buildings and local landmarks help to maintain our collective ties to our shared cultural past. More than preserving the outward appearance of a community, historic preservation is about protecting and cherishing the places that give our community life meaning and context.

Union.Station.Exterior.TowerWith your annual membership contribution to Alhambra Preservation Group, you will be investing in the future of our community; and your investment will pay both immediate and long-term benefits. As an APG member, you will be invited to participate in many events, activities and learning opportunities throughout the year. Our popular fall field trip, for example, is scheduled for Saturday morning, November 8, and is open only to members of APG. In celebration of the 75th birthday of Los Angeles Union Station, our members will enjoy a special 2-hour walking tour of the art and architecture of this National Historic Landmark, conducted by docents from our sister organization, the Los Angeles Conservancy. Our fall field trip always fills up fast, because it is offered free of charge to members. Give us a call at (626) 755-3467 or send us an email at info@alhambrapreservation.org so that we can reserve space for you.

I volunteer my time to do this work because I believe strongly that Alhambra’s past is one worth saving – and celebrating. By contributing to APG’s annual fall membership campaign, you’ll be joining me and our Board of Directors in helping to preserve a priceless cultural heritage that, once lost, cannot be reclaimed. Please don’t delay. Visit us online and give as generously as you can. In return for your support, we promise you a full calendar of fun and educational activities, opportunities to meet some of your Alhambra neighbors, perhaps to make some new friends and, most importantly, to make a lasting difference by helping to preserve Alhambra’s past for its future.

Photos courtesy of stackedbooks.org and Los Angeles Union Station.

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Mailboxes.taylor.aIn your mailbox last week, you probably noticed a letter from Alhambra Preservation Group (APG) containing information about our 2014 membership campaign.

If you haven’t done so already, we invite you to take a moment, read the letter and consider joining Alhambra Preservation Group. Established in 2003 and incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization in 2006, APG is uniting a growing number of Alhambra households, business and community leaders in a forward-thinking mission of protecting and celebrating Alhambra’s historical, architectural and cultural resources.

Alhambra Preservation Group offers membership opportunities at three levels, each with its own associated benefits. We invite your participation and welcome your support.  In exchange, we can promise you a full calendar of fun and educational activities, opportunities to meet neighbors, discover new friendships and, most importantly, to deepen and “grow” your investment in Alhambra—our shared “home town.”

If you didn’t receive our membership information, please give us a call at (626) 755-3467 or send us an e-mail at info@alhambrapreservation.org!

Photo courtesy of taylor.a via flickr.com.

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In your mailbox last week, you probably noticed a letter from Alhambra Preservation Group containing information about Alhambra Preservation Group’s (APG) 2013 membership campaign.

If you haven’t done so already, we invite you to take a moment, read the letter and consider joining Alhambra Preservation Group. Established in 2003 and incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization in 2006, APG is uniting a growing number of Alhambra households, business and community leaders in a forward-thinking mission of protecting and celebrating Alhambra’s historical, architectural and cultural resources.

Alhambra Preservation Group offers membership opportunities at three levels, each with its own associated benefits. We invite your participation and welcome your support.  In exchange, we can promise you a full calendar of fun and educational activities, opportunities to meet neighbors, discover new friendships and, most importantly, to deepen and “grow” your investment in Alhambra—our shared “home town.”

If for some reason you didn’t receive our membership information, please give us a call at (626) 755-3467 or send us an e-mail at info@alhambrapreservation.org!

Photo courtesy of slgckgc.

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