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Posts Tagged ‘preservation ordinance’

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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Alhambra.SignIt’s time to stand up for historic preservation! Alhambra needs your help on Monday, May 11, 2015. All you have to do is show up at the City Council meeting scheduled that evening to show your support for historic preservation in Alhambra.

Alhambra Preservation Group has been working hard for a very long time to move our city’s elected leadership toward a preservation ordinance that will:

• Protect the character of our neighborhoods;
• Increase and maintain the value of our homes; and
• Conserve our precious historic and architectural resources.

So far, we have been disappointed by Alhambra’s leaders’ lack of initiative in adopting a preservation ordinance. We are ready to show them that a significant number of Alhambrans believe that now is the time to move forward with adopting a preservation ordinance.

Since May is National Preservation Month, we’re using the occasion of the May 11 City Council meeting to show them—in an unmistakable, visual way—that their neighbors and constituents want to see historic preservation included in our city’s planning policy. We plan on taking advantage of the public comment period at the end of the meeting when APG’s President, Christine Olson will address the Council, offering a variety of planning materials and resources, and asking them to conduct a “study session” on how historic preservation might be incorporated into city planning here in Alhambra. Your presence in the audience will demonstrate that you stand in support of historic preservation.

Won’t you join us? Alhambra needs you! Here are the specifics regarding the City Council meeting:

Date:  Monday, May 11, 2015
Time:  7:00 p.m.
Place:  Alhambra City Hall, Council chamber, upstairs, 111 South First Street, Alhambra, CA

APG’s goal is to pack the Council chamber with supporters and to create a powerful visual display for our elected leaders. This is one of those times when numbers matter! It’s all about showing up. We don’t know how long the meeting will last, but it’s important that we all stay until the end.

This is the most important thing we’ve ever asked of you and we hope that you’ll be willing to answer this call. Can Alhambra count on you?

If you’d like more information, please feel free to contact us at info@alhambrapreservation.org.

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