City Designates May as “Historic Preservation Month”

Notes From Your City Historian
by Julie Lugo Cerra

Historic Preservation Month (May) was filled with activities to reflect the city’s interest in our history. The City website was updated to include the Historic Preservation document, for example. The Cultural Affairs Commission offered a presentation at their May meeting showcasing all of the city’s Landmark structures.

For those who served on the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee (HPAC) so many years ago, you should be pleased to see the plaques going up on the Landmark structures, followed soon by the Significant structures.

DESIGNATION PLAQUES UNVEILED
May 27th marked the unveiling of the city’s first two historic designation plaques. One was on the “Colonnade Entrance” at Sony Studios (on Washington Blvd. at Jasmine Ave.) which was built as the entry to Thomas Ince’s first studio in Culver City. The new marker was mounted just below the one placed many years ago by the Native Daughters of the Golden West.

Of course, our Madrina, Clarita Young, organized that marking before our historical society was even formed. Mayor Steven Rose uncovered the city plaque with assistance from Sony Pictures Studios’ VP April Dmytrenko.

Councilmember Carol Gross joined Sony Pictures Entertainment VP Government Relations Keith Weaver and Assoc. Director Gov. Affairs Jonathan Cowen at the festivities along with Kristin Cavanaugh and Colleen Brooks of April’s Staff. Paul Pitti attended the event as a primer to the ceremony of his family home that afternoon. Cultural Affairs Staff Christine Byers coordinated the events.

PITTI FAMILY HOME HONORED
The Pitti family was pleased to be the choice of the first residential plaque installation. Mikey Pitti, Carl’s widow, came in from Hemet for the event and was joined by family members, along with Society friends, Syd Kronenthal, Ross Hawkins and Jackie McCandless. Mayor Steven Rose officiated at the ceremony, with Councilmember Carol Gross and Cultural Affairs staff Christine Byers on hand. As your city historian and as a Cultural Affairs Commissioner, I was glad to be on hand to see the validation of the importance of historic preservation.

AROUND THE TOWN
Speaking of Cultural Affairs, Kim Langbecker retired from the Cultural Affairs Commission and in July. Ronnie Jayne Camarella, who was appointed by the City Council on June 28, will be installed in July.

Coming up in August …. It’s Fiesta Time! Anita Shapiro is scheduling the Society’s annual walking tours for Tuesday evening, the 24th, and we will also have booth space at the weekend event at Vet’s Park.

On the Fiesta weekend of Aug. 28/29, the new owners of The Culver Studios have graciously offered to hold one of the CCRA and Cultural Affairs Commission’s “The Art of…” series at the studio. As the presenter of “The Art of Historic Preservation,” I am working on a slide show and short tour to display the structures on the lot with both Landmark and Significant status. Reservations are a must, so please contact Elaine Gerety at 310.253.5777 for more information.

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