While Los Angeles has a rich and diverse cultural heritage and a remarkable architectural legacy, 85 percent of the city has never been surveyed to identify these important historic places.

On April 4, 2009, the Getty Conservation Institute joined the City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles to help kick off the city's first-ever comprehensive program to identify significant historic resources. SurveyLA marks a coming-of-age for Los Angeles's historic preservation movement, and will serve as a centerpiece for the city's first truly comprehensive preservation program. The groundwork for the citywide survey was laid by the GCI, with the project coordinated by the City of Los Angeles's Office of Historic Resources.

Historic preservation professionals will be conducting the survey between 2009 and 2011 in communities throughout the city. The citywide rollout of SurveyLA is scheduled to begin summer 2009, and city officials are asking for the public's help to identify historic places that might otherwise be overlooked. (For more information on how you can help, visit SurveyLA.)

As part of the day's activities, Larry Mantle, host of KPCC-FM's Air Talk, led a lively panel discussion at the Los Angeles Central Library with city officials, preservationists, community organizers, and developers about key issues surrounding the citywide survey.

Watch the video of the panel discussion.

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April 4, 2009
Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium
(01:35)

Panelists

Ken Bernstein is the Manager of the Office of Historic Resources for the City of Los Angeles' Department of City Planning, where he directs the city's historic preservation policies. In this capacity, he is the lead staff member for the city's Cultural Heritage Commission, which is launching the citywide survey of historic resources, and is working to create a comprehensive historic preservation program for Los Angeles. Ken previously served as Director of Preservation Issues for the Los Angeles Conservancy, where he directed the Conservancy's public policy and advocacy activities.

Adriene Biondo is the Commercial Chair Emeritus, and Residential Chair Emeritus of the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee (Modcom). Adriene is working to establish a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone for the Granada Hills Eichler tract where she resides, and participated in writing National Register nominations that were unanimously approved for two Bay Area Eichler tracts. She helped pave the way for the Modcom program to nominate the remaining Case Study Houses for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and leads a number of preservation efforts.

William Deverell is an American historian with a focus on the nineteenth- and twentieth-century American West. He has written works on political, social, ethnic, and environmental history. He is currently working on a book exploring the history of the post–Civil War American West. With David Igler of UC Irvine, he is co-editing The Blackwell Companion to California and with Greg Hise of USC, The Blackwell Companion to Los Angeles. William is the director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West.

Michael Diaz is the chairperson of the Lincoln Heights HPOZ Board and is the founder of the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood and Preservation Association. His civic involvement has included serving as a board member of the Los Angeles Conservancy, a commissioner of the Los Angeles Historical Records & Landmarks Commission, a member of the Northeast Community Plan Advisory Committee and the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council Steering Committee, and is the founding president of the Latin-American Cinemateca of Los Angeles.

Larry Mantle, the panel moderator, is the host of KPCC's AirTalk, the longest continuously airing daily radio talk program in Southern California. A fourth-generation Angeleno, he has interviewed thousands of prominent guests on an extraordinary array of topics and is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards.

Mott Smith has built his career crafting real estate solutions in both the private and public sectors. He co-founded Civic Enterprise in 2003 to plan and build innovative, replicable, socially-conscious projects in emerging neighborhoods. Prior to forming Civic Enterprise, Mott was Acting Director of Planning for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he helped launch the District's $1.6 billion Phase II school construction program. Before joining LAUSD, Mott developed affordable housing and served as founding Executive Director of New Schools-Better Neighborhoods, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that develops creative, community-based solutions for school and housing development.

Kathryn Welch Howe is a principal with KWH Associates, Inc., a firm specializing in historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and real estate development. She has worked as staff and consultant to the GCI on the Los Angeles Historic Resource Survey, where she developed the framework for the citywide survey and established the collaboration with the City of Los Angeles. She has held a variety of civic and board positions including the presidency of the Los Angeles Conservancy, the California Heritage Preservation Commission, the Preservation League of New York State, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, the Urban Land Institute, and Lambda Alpha. She is a co-author of a textbook on historic preservation, A Richer Heritage.

 

Last updated: May 2009