Notes From Your City Historian: Spring 2010

Julie Lugo Cerra - Culver City Historical Societyby Julie Lugo Cerra

CELEBRATING OUR FIRST 30 YEARS

As we celebrate our first thirty years as the Culver City Historical Society in April, it brings back a lot of memories. I am so proud to be a part of this august group of people!

Everyone brings something to the table and you see evidence of that in our “stage of life,” as an organization. We started in a living room – and we have occupied space in a variety of sites thanks to the generosity of many. Our collection has grown and so have we.

ALWAYS “HISTORICALLY-MOTIVATED”

And when people ask me how I became the council-appointed “City Historian” (in 1996), it always brings a smile to my face as I tell them “I think I just answered too many questions.”

It was my mother who urged me to take Daddy (Charles Reyes Lugo) to the Society’s formation meeting – because it was a natural fit, with his family history, and since he had “flunked” retirement three times, he was a bit underfoot at home!

As we enjoyed our roles amongst the founding members, I learned a lot and yearned to know more. Researching historic sites was just the tip of the iceberg.

CCHS RAISED AWARENESS OF LOCAL HISTORY

Today, we are planning our twelfth site marking, which means some great bronze plaques offer “painless education” in Culver City. And we, as an organization, have the opportunity to facilitate lifelong learning in many ways – including our tours, displays and Living History programs.

We not only have an active historical society, but I think our presence has raised the awareness of local history. Culver City has surveyed its cultural resources, adopted a preservation ordinance, and finally established a Cultural Affairs Commission – which is a wonderful opportunity to deal with historic preservation and public art.

RUFUS HARRINGTON COLLECTION

A recent example of our usefulness to the city is this photo of the Gateway Station Post Office (c. 1940s). Because of the Rufus Harrington Collection in our archives, we were able to help the city verify some information about its architectural elements.

I hope the next thirty years brings more fun, laughter, and insight as we facilitate reasonable historic preservation.

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