2023 Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards Honors Six Recipients for Preserving the State’s Diverse Heritage

Contact: Newsroom@parks.ca.gov

From preserving cultural knowledge of tribes to using technology to make historic places accessible to all, California State Parks’ Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) honored six recipients with a Governor’s Historic Preservation Award. Held on Tuesday, February 27, at the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building in Sacramento, the award ceremony recognized projects representing exemplary achievements for preserving California’s richly diverse heritage through increased public awareness, appreciation, and support for historic preservation.

“Preservation’s greatest strengths and successes come from citizens of all backgrounds, joining together to protect, sustain, and share California’s rich heritage,” said State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “It is an honor to provide recognition to the spirit of these organizations and individuals for their efforts to ensure that our collective history continues to be celebrated and commemorated.”

In recognizing these award recipients, Governor Gavin Newsom continues a tradition that has taken place annually since the awards program was established in 1986. The Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards Program is distinguished from other preservation awards in two important respects: It emphasizes involvement by community groups, and it recognizes a broad array of preservation activities, from building rehabilitation to archaeology, education and preservation planning.

“Whether a traditional cultural landscape, a building rehabilitated into a new use, or the site of a historic event, cultural heritage is a powerful force that shapes all of our lives and binds us through storytelling and shared experiences,” said State Historic Preservation Officer Julianne Polanco. “It is a privilege to recognize the efforts of our neighbors and friends, to appreciate the rich and layered history of our great state.”  

These awards are designed to honor the accomplishments of individuals and community-based groups throughout California, each of which has worked to preserve the aspects of heritage it most values. Below is a brief description of the 2023 award recipients:

  • Ah-Ha’ Mut-ta-ti' e Traditional Cultural Landscape Evaluation Report, Mount Laguna, represents a highly successful collaboration between public agencies, scientists and California Indian communities that went beyond agency mandates. Preserved within the report’s pages lies cultural knowledge invaluable to present and future generations of the Kumeyaay people and other tribes of the Laguna Mountain region.
  • California Garden and Landscape History Society, Newhall, is impressive for the scope of work it has accomplished in highlighting, preserving and educating about California’s many and diverse cultural landscapes and gardens. The Society’s journal Eden is recognized as a go-to source for knowledge about California’s garden heritage and is accessible to the public for free.
  • Historic Shipyard at Pier 70 Rehabilitation, San Francisco, represents a successful public-private partnership that employed Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives credits to preserve and adaptively reuse historic buildings for modern uses while maintaining tangible links to San Francisco’s waterfront heritage.
  • Palm Springs Preservation Foundation,Palm Springs, is recognized for over 20 years of exceptional work preserving and educating about the history and architectural resources of the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley region, while extending free membership to ensure access for all citizens.
  • Rooted in Richmond Tour App,Richmond, innovatively employs the latest smart-device and web technology to make a community’s history and historic places accessible to all, while inclusively focusing on populations and neighborhoods not usually addressed.
  • Save Our Heritage Organisation, San Diego, is impressive for 54 years of preserving and educating, through inclusive programing, about the historic, architectural, cultural and archaeological heritage of the San Diego region.

OHP is currently accepting nominations through April 24, 2024, for the 2024 Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards. Nominees can include, among others, resource restoration and preservation; civic efforts to preserve, interpret and educate about community history; and companies and public agencies that have exceeded expectations and contractual obligations in preserving the heritage of California. Efforts to address the challenges of climate change will be considered as well. Individuals whose passion for preservation has made a difference and saved numerous cultural, historical and archaeological treasures may also be nominated.

For more information about the awards program or to download a nomination form, please visit the OHP website at ohp.parks.ca.gov/GovernorsAwards.

2023 Governors Historic Preservation Awards
Top left: Representatives from the city of Richmond join State Parks Director Armando Quintero and State Historic Preservation Officer Julianne Polanco to receive their award for the Rooted In Richmond Tour App. Top right: Present to receive the award for the Ah Ha’ Mut-ta-ti’ e TCP Evaluation Report are: Rachel Ruston, La Posta Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Gwendolyn Parada, Ed Mercado, Deputy Secretary for Tribal Affairs of the Governor’s Office Loretta Miranda, Carmen Lucas, Nick Doose, Courtney Ann Coyle, Brian Williams. Bottom: State Parks Director Quintero provides remarks to those in attendance at the Stanely Mosk Library and Courts Building in Sacramento.

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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.