For Immediate Release: 4/22/2022
California State Historical Resources Commission to Consider Eight Properties for Federal Historic Designation
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The California State Historical Resources Commission (Commission) will consider eight nominations for federal historic designation on Friday, April 29. The Commission meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at the California Natural Resources Agency building in Sacramento and will also be streamed on CAL-SPAN.
Some of the nominations being considered by the Commission include the Patsiata Historic District, encompassing approximately 186 square miles in Inyo County’s southern Owens Valley. The traditional cultural property is associated with the creation of the world and the lifeways and history of the Nüümü and Newe (Owens Valley Paiute and Western Shoshone Indigenous People). Other properties include the Hogan House in the Laurel Canyon neighborhood in Los Angeles, constructed for actor Jack Hogan and designed by notable local architect Douglas Rucker, and the Wednesday Club, a wood-framed, stucco-clad Mediterranean Revival style building in Suisun that served as a clubhouse and event center for this locally influential women's organization.
Here are the National Register of Historic Places nominees:
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County
The Mid-Century Modern/post and beam style residence in the Laurel Canyon neighborhood was constructed in 1964 for television actor Jack Hogan. The topography of the area is characterized by steep hills, canyons and winding roads. Laurel Canyon first became popular among members of the Hollywood film industry in the 1920s. Like most of Los Angeles, Laurel Canyon experienced another wave of residential development during the post-World War II era, characterized by the construction of modern homes that took advantage of new technologies and methods of engineering that enabled construction in such steeply sloped sites. Designed by notable local architect Douglas Rucker, best known for his work in and around Malibu, Hogan House appears to be one of few buildings designed by Rucker in the City of Los Angeles.
Old Farmdale School
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County
Constructed in 1894, the building is located on the campus of El Sereno Middle School in northeastern Los Angeles. Local architects Bradbeer and Ferris designed the 1,870 square foot Queen Anne style schoolhouse to serve the small, rural community of Farmdale, later known as El Sereno. A four-sided open bell tower with arched openings contains the building’s original cast metal bell. Historically set within a 19th century agrarian community, the schoolhouse occupies a small portion of the 27.7-acre middle school campus in a major city. Significant for its association with the founding years of Los Angeles’ public educational system, the building is an excellent and rare remaining example of a late-19th century rural schoolhouse in Los Angeles—one of only three extant examples of the property type in the city.
St. Francis Wood Historic District
San Francisco, San Francisco County
The residence park on the western face of Mount Davidson is situated on land that gradually slopes down from east to west. Olmsted Brothers landscape architects created a plan that responds to this topography. The district is associated with the establishment of designed and planned residence parks in streetcar suburbs in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fire, and lots in St. Francis Wood went on the market in 1912. The district is also significant as the representative work of a substantial collection of architects and landscape architects within a unified plan. St. Francis Wood is representative of the overall planning components of a residence park, possessing a significant concentration, linkage and continuity of landscaped streets and boulevards, community parks and other open spaces, and architect-designed single-family residences of varying architectural styles. All are united historically and aesthetically by a cohesive plan and built in a relatively compressed period of physical development.
Patsiata Historic District
Restricted, Inyo County
Encompassing approximately 186 square miles in Inyo County’s southern Owens Valley, the district includes Patsiata (Owens Lake) and the many shorelines formed as lake levels fluctuated over the past 14,000 years. The traditional cultural property is associated with the creation of the world and the lifeways and history of the Nüümü and Newe (Owens Valley Paiute and Western Shoshone Indigenous People). A unique cultural landscape that includes many features related to creation and to the continued maintenance and restoration of balance in the world, the district is also a physical, place-based manifestation of the United States’ genocidal policies toward the Indigenous inhabitants of the American West and the colonization of Indigenous homelands in what became the United States of America. The district’s significance includes its focus for passing on culture and history to younger generations, and for sharing ecologically relevant traditional knowledge with agencies responsible for land stewardship.
Richmond, Contra Costa County
The 117-foot hydrographic research vessel was intended originally for hydrographic surveys of the Columbia River by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Completed in 1936 and first designated Heavy Tug LT666, the Robert Gray featured a new method of hybrid propulsion like that used on submarines and engaged in operations, including supply of the Aleutian Island chain during World War II. After the war, the vessel was overhauled by the Army Corps of Engineers in San Francisco and transferred to the United States Geological Survey in 1970. Its dual diesel-electric propulsion with specially designed propeller and hull are significant for their engineering, intended for slow-speed operation best suited for hydrographic survey work.
San Carlos, San Mateo County
The 1940 Modern Ranch style home was designed by William Wurster in collaboration with landscape architect Thomas Church. An addition constructed in 1950 was designed by Theodore Bernardi, Wurster's business partner. The one-and two-story wood-framed residence has a “bi-nuclear” plan intended to avoid damaging the oak trees adjacent to the home, integrating the natural setting into a flat-roofed Modernist interpretation of a California ranch home.
United States Maritime Service Officers School
Alameda, Alameda County
The district consists of the remaining buildings associated with the officers' training facility established for the U.S. Merchant Marine and Maritime Service constructed during World War II on the island of Alameda. The buildings are significant for their role in training Merchant Marine officers during World War II and the Korean War, and their architecture, based on institutional examples of Second Bay Tradition and International Style architecture. In addition to the simple, rectangular barracks building, one contributor, the Glory of the Seas, was designed to resemble the prow of a Liberty Ship, intended to teach deck officers to use flag signals on a curved “flying bridge.”
Suisun, Solano County
The wood-framed, stucco-clad Mediterranean Revival style building was completed in 1925 to replace an earlier 1911 clubhouse. The Wednesday Club was designed by San Francisco master architect William Henry Crim Jr. and served as a clubhouse and event center for this locally influential women's organization.
The National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program that coordinates and supports public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect America’s historic and archaeological resources. The California Register of Historical Resources is a program designed by the Commission in 1992 for use by state and local government agencies, private groups and citizens to identify, evaluate, register and protect California’s historical resources. California Historical Landmarks are sites, buildings, features or events of statewide significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific, technical, religious or experimental value. California Points of Historical Interest are sites, buildings, features or events of local (city or county) significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific, technical, religious or experimental value.
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.
All nominations and photographs of properties under consideration are available online.
This Commission meeting will occur in person and through video and teleconference on Friday, April 29 at 9 a.m. Commissioners will meet in person, and the meeting is open to the public at the Natural Resources Agency’s Auditorium located at 715 P Street, Sacramento. The public may also view the meeting via CAL-SPAN or participate in the meeting by registering for attendance via the Zoom link posted on the SHRC Meeting Schedule and Notices page of the OHP website at ohp.parks.ca.gov/SHRCnotices.
Those who wish to watch the meeting but not provide comments do not need to register, and may watch a live webcast, with archived video provided post-meeting at www.cal-span.org.
Notices and agendas for Commission meetings are available online 10 days before a meeting at parks.ca.gov/Commissions. The public may present oral statements at the hearing at the appropriate time. Inquiries and written comments on the agenda may also be emailed to the Office of Historic Preservation at firstname.lastname@example.org 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: Patsiata Historic District in Inyo County. Photo 2: Hogan House in Los Angeles County.
Photo 3: Wednesday Club in Solano County. Photo 4: Robert Gray in Contra Costa County.
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