For Immediate Release: 1/11/2022

California State Historical Resources Commission to Consider Nine Properties for Action

Contact: Jorge Moreno I Information Officer I Newsroom@parks.ca.gov

The California State Historical Resources Commission (Commission) will meet virtually on Friday, January 21, at 9 a.m., to consider eight nominations for federal historic designation and one nomination for state designation.

Placement on the National Register can help bring positive attention to a historic place and affords a property the honor of inclusion in the nation’s list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. This can provide a degree of protection from adverse effects resulting from federally funded or licensed projects. Registration also provides a number of incentives for preservation of historic properties, including special building codes to facilitate the restoration of historic structures, and certain tax advantages.

Some of the nominations being considered by the Commission include three properties associated with LGBTQ rights: the Morris Kight House and The Black Cat Tavern, which are both in Los Angeles, and Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. Other properties nominated include the Royal Theater as a property type located in the Japanese enclave of Guadalupe—owned, built and managed by Japanese Americans for both their immediate community and their neighbors.

All properties being considered at the meeting include:

National Register of Historic Places Nominations

Royal Theater

Guadalupe, Santa Barbara County

The theater features a blend of modernistic design elements, which include an Art Moderne curved corner and smooth stucco wall surface, paired with Art Deco geometric design elements on the triangular-shaped ornate marquee. The 1940 theater was one of several owned by Arthur Shogo Fukuda, who was forced to sell the building before internment at the Jerome Relocation Center in Arkansas. As a property type located in the Japanese enclave of Guadalupe—owned, built and managed by Japanese Americans for both their immediate community and their neighbors—the Royal Theater meets the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in California, 1850-1970 Multiple Property Submission registration requirements for property types associated with Community Serving Organizations.

 

The Woman’s Club of Bakersfield

Bakersfield, Kern County

The Georgian Revival-style, brick-clad building was constructed in 1921 and repaired in 1953, following the 1952 Bakersfield earthquake. During the early 1920s—a prosperous time for the oil and agricultural industries that dominated Bakersfield—downtown Bakersfield reflected its wealth in its buildings. In 1952, the Bakersfield earthquake devastated the unreinforced masonry building. Unlike many other building owners, members of The Woman’s Club elected to repair rather than raze the clubhouse. As a result, the building remains an early and intact example of a purpose-built women’s clubhouse from the 1920s and one of the few pre-war, pre-earthquake commercial buildings in Bakersfield. The Woman’s Club of Bakersfield is also the oldest, extant purpose-built clubhouse in Bakersfield and the earliest known example of a building designed by Charles H. Biggar in California.

 

Fullerton Union High School Auditorium

Fullerton, Orange County

The building was designed by master architect Carleton M. Winslow Sr., an early California proponent of Spanish-styled architecture, in 1930. The elaborately decorated Spanish Colonial Revival building includes Italian Florentine, Renaissance Revival, Mission, Greek and Moorish elements on both the interior and exterior. Situated on the west wall of the auditorium is the “Pastoral California” mural, dedicated in 1934. The mural was painted over in 1939 and restored in 1997, after the property had been listed on the National Register in 1993 as the Louis E. Plummer Auditorium. The vibrant 15-by-80-foot, 4-inch mural is sheltered by an expansive covered arched walkway that runs the length of the auditorium. Funded by the Federal Works of Art Project, the fresco depicts California’s mission and rancho periods from 1776 to 1846 in a series of scenes that feature animals, games and historical Mexican and Spanish figures from early California and Orange County.

 

Santiago Orange Growers Association Packing House

Orange, Orange County

The 1918 packing house, a contributor in the National Register-listed Old Towne Orange Historic District, represents a once-vital local industry and an increasingly rare property type in the region. Santiago Orange Growers Association operated the largest packing house in Orange in 1918 and was the world’s largest shipper of exclusively oranges after 1929. Two ancillary buildings, built by the association in approximately 1920, were relocated in 2018 to accommodate construction of a new dormitory building. The ancillary buildings remain on the packing house property, retain their historic orientation and maintain their clear visual relationship with each other, the railroad tracks, North Cypress Street and the packing house. The construction of the new residence hall altered without destroying the historic spatial relationships that characterize the property.

 

Freestone Store

Freestone, Sonoma County

The circa 1872 one- and two-story commercial building is located along the Bohemian Highway in Freestone, a rural community that has a long agricultural and recreational history in Sonoma County. The property played an integral role in the development of Freestone as an important hub for transportation and commerce in Sonoma County and Northern California. Despite “1876” in wooden numbers added to the façade after 1970, primary resources corroborate a construction date of circa 1872 as the building was in place prior to construction of the railroad, which began operations in 1876. Freestone Store continued to be of commercial significance in the community through the counterculture movement of the 1960s. A concerted effort to rehabilitate and restore Freestone’s historic buildings to help support the town’s economy in 1972 led to the town being identified in 1974 as Sonoma County’s first locally designated historic district.

 

Carthay Neighborhoods Historic District

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County

The district includes three subdivisions established between 1922 and 1933, including Carthay Center, Fairfax Park, and Olympic-Beverly Plaza. They tangibly express the practical application of key City Beautiful ideas to residential developments during a period of intense growth in Los Angeles and constitute an excellent collection of Period Revival residential architecture, including both single-family and multifamily residences.

 

Glide Memorial Church

San Francisco, San Francisco County

The 1931 church and adjacent apartment building is located in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. It was designed by James W. Plachek and built in the Mediterranean Revival style. The property is part of the existing Tenderloin Historic District. The property is nominated for its association with Social History as a women's residence in the 1930s-1950s and early LGBTQ history in the 1960s, Black and Asian ethnic heritage in the 1960s, and as a significant example of the work of architect James W. Plachek.

 

Morris Kight House

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County

The Craftsman bungalow, constructed in 1911, is significant for its association with Los Angeles gay activist Morris Kight, who moved into the house in 1967. Kight's home became a meeting place and organizing center associated with the creation of multiple gay rights organizations and events, including the Los Angeles chapter of the Gay Liberation Front, the Christopher Street West parade and the Gay Community Services Center (later the Los Angeles LGBT Center).

 

California Historical Landmark Nominations

The Black Cat Tavern

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County

This tavern on Sunset Boulevard was the site of the first LGBT civil rights demonstration in Southern California. Following arrests of 14 men on New Year's Eve 1966 at the Black Cat Bar for kissing, several hundred people protested at the Black Cat on Feb. 11, 1967. The legal battle resulting from the Black Cat arrest laid the groundwork for California LGBT rights organizations to overturn California's sodomy laws.

All nominations and photographs of properties under consideration are available online.

The Commission meeting will not be held at a publicly accessible location, but the public may view the meeting via CAL-SPAN (cal-span.org) or participate in the meeting by registering for attendance via the Zoom link posted on the Commission’s Meeting Schedule and Notices webpage.

Notices and agendas for Commission meetings are available online 10 days before a meeting at www.ohp.parks.ca.gov. The public may present oral statements at the meeting at the appropriate time. Inquiries and written comments on the agenda may also be emailed to the Office of Historic Preservation at calshpo@ohp.parks.ca.gov or submitted via mail to Julianne Polanco, State Historic Preservation Officer at Office of Historic Preservation, P.O. Box 942896, Sacramento, CA 94296-0001.

General inquiries on the Commission are handled by Twila Willis-Hunter. She may be contacted via phone at (916) 445-7052 or at the same mailing address listed above.

Photo 1: The Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Kyle Jarret. Photo 2: Morris Kight House in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Kate Eggert. Photo 3: Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Shayne Watson. Photo 4: Royal Theater in Guadalupe. Photo courtesy of Carole Denardo.
Photo 1: The Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Kyle Jarret. Photo 2: Morris Kight House in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Kate Eggert. Photo 3: Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Shayne Watson. Photo 4: Royal Theater in Guadalupe. Photo courtesy of Carole Denardo.




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