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Getty's Preserve L.A. Initiative Awards Nearly $1.3 Million in Grants to 18 Local Projects

Grant application deadline for next award cycle is August 20, 2002

April 11, 2002

Los Angeles--A 19th-century landmark in Little Tokyo, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, the Rose Garden at Exposition Park, and icons of the movie industry are among the 18 Los Angeles County projects that will benefit from a total of nearly $1.3 million in grants announced today by the J. Paul Getty Trust as part of its Preserve L.A. initiative. Currently in its second cycle of grantmaking, the initiative provides funds to conserve landmark buildings of architectural, cultural, and historical significance. The 2002 grantees represent the broad array of structures and sites that have shaped the unique cultural heritage of Los Angeles County, including museums, places of worship, and historical residences that have played pivotal roles in defining the identities of local communities ranging from San Fernando to San Pedro to the San Gabriel Valley to Los Feliz. (Note to editors: A complete list of grants awarded is below.)

“The 2002 Preserve L.A. grants represent our ongoing commitment to helping Los Angeles protect its diverse architectural heritage,” said Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Grant Program and dean for external relations of the J. Paul Getty Trust. “Historic buildings are the most visible and tangible symbol of our past. We learn a great deal about the history of Los Angeles and its surrounding communities as we work to preserve these buildings.”

Nonprofit, charitable, or government organizations that own historic buildings or sites in Los Angeles County are eligible to apply for Preserve L.A. funding. Two types of grants are available. Planning grants of up to $75,000 support the preparation of conservation plans, including research and materials analysis. Implementation grants of up to $250,000 are awarded to a select number of model projects for actual stabilization and conservation of a site. All projects are considered for architectural, historical, and cultural significance, and the potential to serve as a model for the preservation and conservation of other historic buildings and sites.

Application Deadline for Next Cycle of Grants is August 20, 2002

The application deadline for Preserve L.A.’s next grant cycle is August 20, 2002. Interested applicants—including government and nonprofit organizations responsible for managing historic sites of all types, such as schools, religious structures, and public buildings—are encouraged to apply. Applications may be obtained through the Getty’s Web site,, or by contacting the Getty Grant Program office at 310-440-7320.

The Getty Grant Program will host a free workshop for potential applicants to help guide them through the application process. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 at the Getty Center. For more information about this opportunity, contact the Getty Grant Program at 310-440-7320.

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Preserve L.A. Grants Awarded - 2002

Planning Grants

Bembridge House (Long Beach)
Long Beach Heritage, $72,000

The 1904 Bembridge House, an ornate Queen Anne residence, is a prominent Victorian house in Long Beach. Maintained as a private residence until 1999, the house contains original architectural features such as gas and electric chandeliers, elaborate woodwork, and stained and leaded glass. Grant funds will be used to create a historic structures report on the main house, the carriage house, and aviary. This report will guide the conservation and transition of the house into a publicly used property.

Doheny Mansion (University Park)
Mount St. Mary’s College, $100,000

Purchased by oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny in 1901 two years after its construction, the Doheny Mansion is considered one of the grandest and most well preserved of the late Victorian-era residences still standing in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. The three-story French Gothic residence has 22 rooms including a ballroom (which was later converted into a private chapel) highlighted by Siena marble and a glass dome created by Louise Comfort Tiffany. The Getty grant funds will result in a comprehensive report that will direct the future care of the property.

Ennis House (Los Feliz)
Trust for Preservation of Cultural Heritage, $100,000

The Ennis House, built in 1924, is the largest of Frank Lloyd Wright’s four textile-block houses in Los Angeles. Built for businessman Charles Ennis, the house is constructed of geometrically patterned concrete blocks and is dramatically perched on the top of a hill overlooking Los Angeles. Preserve L.A. funding will support the stabilization of the building and the site, as well as necessary engineering and geotechnical studies.

Exposition Park Rose Garden
Exposition Park Intergenerational Community Center, $73,000

Considered the first municipally operated public rose garden and still one of the largest rose gardens in the nation, the Exposition Park Rose Garden opened to the public in 1928. The rectangular-shaped garden is composed of bordered flowerbeds separated by grass and walking paths. In 1932, in connection with the Olympics, the park was decorated with benches and walls with Olympic figures in relief, as well as Art Deco-style light posts. Getty funds will allow a multidisciplinary group of conservation experts to develop a thorough report on the conservation needs of the entire site.

Historic Buildings on the KCET lot (Los Angeles/Hollywood)
KCET/Community Television of Southern California, $75,000

As the owner of the oldest continuously operated movie lot in Hollywood, KCET celebrates the 90th anniversary of filmmaking on its historic property in 2002. The site, which is part of the original El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, was occupied by many studios and filmmakers over the years and was the location for filming many classic movies such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). KCET will use the Preserve L.A. grant to assess the conditions of the soundstages, office buildings, and a film screening room to develop a conservation master plan to guide stewardship and use.

Historic Fountains in Pasadena
City of Pasadena, $8,000

Dating from 1927 to 1932, four public fountains in the Pasadena Civic Center Historic District will be studied in order to develop a long-term maintenance plan. The fountains include an ornate, three-tier Spanish Baroque-inspired fountain in the courtyard of the Pasadena City Hall; a Spanish Colonial Revival-style fountain in the courtyard of the Pasadena Central Library; and two freestanding fountains clad in tiles from the Batchelder-Wilson Tile Company, a leading producer of arts and crafts tiles in Southern California between 1909 and 1949.

The Hugo Reid Adobe/Queen Anne Cottage and Coach Barn (Arcadia)
California Arboretum Foundation, $63,500

The Arboretum’s historic Baldwin Ranch section contains several buildings that were once owned by prominent businessman Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin. The Adobe, constructed of sun-dried adobe blocks, was built in 1840 by Hugo Reid, Los Angeles’ first justice of the peace. Baldwin later constructed the ornate Victorian-era Queen Anne Cottage and its affiliated coach barn in 1885-86 for his fourth wife, who divorced him before construction was completed. The cottage was then converted into a memorial to Baldwin’s third wife, who had died in 1881. Getty grant funds will help develop a conservation plan for the three historic buildings.

Lopez Adobe (San Fernando)
City of San Fernando, $75,000

Built in 1882 for Mexican army officer Don Geronimo Lopez, the Lopez Adobe is an important example of California architecture during the transitional period following the decline of the missions and the extensive development of the Gold Rush era. Over the years, the Lopez Adobe has become a cultural icon for the city, and is one of the few historic structures to survive the earthquakes of 1971 (Sylmar) and 1994 (Northridge). This grant will support the continuation of the investigation and planning of the conservation needs of the building begun in 2001.

McCarty Memorial Christian Church (West Adams)
General Assembly of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ, $64,800

The McCarty Memorial Christian Church was built in 1932 in the English Gothic Revival style. Among the Church’s notable features are stained-glass windows with intricate Gothic tracery, arcaded ambulatories, and a 130-foot landmark tower with an elaborate open belfry. The Preserve L.A. funds will contribute to reviewing historical documentation of the church, assessing current materials and condition, and developing a maintenance plan and schedule.

Mount Wilson Observatory
Mount Wilson Institute, $24,400

Since its founding in 1904, the Mount Wilson Observatory has been considered one of the premiere astronomical observation points in the world. Located in the San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena, the observatory is home to several telescopes, including the historic 1908 60-inch telescope and the 1917 100-inch telescope. Both telescopes have been used to make important discoveries in the history of astronomy and the latter is renowned for having been used to confirm the Big Bang and Expanding Universe theories. Grant funds will help assess the conservation needs and treatment of the domes and structures housing these telescopes.

Point Fermin Light House (San Pedro)
City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, $36,000

One of the oldest in California, the Point Fermin Lighthouse was built in 1874 at the request of General Phineas Banning to promote the development of Los Angeles’ sea commerce. Situated on a coastal bluff at the tip of San Pedro Harbor, 100 feet above sea level, the wooden lighthouse also comprises a residence for the keeper and a 30-foot tower. The City of Los Angeles will use the funds to create a historic structures report of the interior of the lighthouse and the surrounding landscape, complementing its report on the exterior of the structure. These reports will be used as the basis to plan the preservation of the lighthouse and its eventual use as a maritime museum.

R.M. Schindler House (West Hollywood)
Friends of the Schindler House, $75,000

A prime example of early 20th-century modernist architecture, the R. M. Schindler House served as the architect Rudolf Schindler’s residence and studio for more than three decades. Constructed in 1921, the house expresses Schindler’s experiments with inexpensive and impermanent material, integration of indoor and outdoor spaces, and the reworking of public and private areas. The house also served as a social epicenter for European émigrés in Los Angeles who were interested in the arts and politics. The Preserve L.A. planning grant will fund surveys, materials testing, and research in the context of a conservation master plan.

Richard and Dion Neutra VDL Research House (Silver Lake)
Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, $75,000

The Richard and Dion Neutra VDL Research House in Silver Lake was the residence and studio of noted architect Richard Neutra. Originally constructed in 1932, the house was destroyed in a 1963 fire and was rebuilt by the architect and his son, Dion, to be a reworking of the original house. Representing both 1930s and 1940s International Style and 1960s California Modernism, the house was designed to demonstrate the possibilities of modern building materials as well as integration of interior space and exterior landscaping. Planning funds will support a historic structures report, which will serve as the primary guide for the future treatment and use of the house.

Santa Monica City Hall
City of Santa Monica, $70,000

The Streamline Moderne Santa Monica City Hall dates from 1938. It incorporates original ceramic tiles throughout the building and historic murals by Stanton MacDonald Wright in the entry lobby. These murals document the history of Santa Monica and the State of California. This project will result in a historic structures report, taking into account the conservation needs of the building as well as the tiles and murals.

Walker House (San Dimas)
City of San Dimas, $75,000

Originally known as the San Dimas Hotel, the Walker House is one of the few remaining examples of the railroad hotels built in Southern California during the land boom of the 1880s. The Queen Anne-style hotel was bought by James W. Walker as a private residence in 1889, two years after construction was completed. The house remained in the Walker family’s hands until 2000, when the City of San Dimas purchased the property with the intent to transform it into an art gallery and cultural center for western art. Preserve L.A. funds will allow a comprehensive study of the conservation needs of the Walker House to take place.

Temple Mishkon Tephilo (Venice)
Temple Mishkon Tephilo, $58,000

Temple Mishkon Tephilo is home to one of two surviving congregations of a once thriving Jewish community in Venice dating to the early 20th century. Constructed between the years 1941 and 1948, the temple was designed with simplified Greek and Gothic Revival architectural vocabulary, a style common to synagogue architecture through the 1940s. A historic structures report forming the basis of future conservation efforts will be produced from the planning process supported by the Getty grant.

Preserve L.A. Grants Awarded - 2002

Implementation Grants

Far East Building (Little Tokyo)
Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation, $200,000

Located in the heart of Little Tokyo, the Far East Building is recognized as one of Los Angeles’ most important community icons for Japanese-Americans. The 1894 building housed the Far East Cafe, a Chinese restaurant that became a central institution in the period during and after the Japanese internment because of its hospitable treatment toward Japanese-Americans. The Preserve L.A. grant will help preserve and revive existing spaces in the building including the restaurant and residential apartments on the second and third floors, which will be transformed into affordable housing units.

Garnier Building (El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument)
Friends of the Museum of Chinese American History, $25,600

The Garnier Building, constructed in 1890 by prominent French businessman Phillipe Garnier, is one of Los Angeles’s most significant structures related to the history of the Chinese-American community. Leased to businessman Chong Kee before construction was complete, the building housed Chinese merchants on the ground floor and mezzanine level, and Chinese fraternal and social organizations, schools, and religious institutions on the second floor until 1952. This grant will aid in the restoration of a Chinese-style balcony on the second floor of the Garnier Building, which will open next year as the home of the Chinese American Museum.

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The Getty Foundation fulfills the philanthropic mission of the Getty Trust by supporting individuals and institutions committed to advancing the understanding and preservation of the visual arts locally and throughout the world. Through strategic grants and programs, the Foundation strengthens art history as a global discipline, promotes the interdisciplinary practice of conservation, increases access to museum and archival collections, and develops current and future leaders in the visual arts. The Foundation carries out its work in collaboration with the Getty Museum, Research Institute, and Conservation Institute to ensure the Getty programs achieve maximum impact. Additional information is available at To learn more, subscribe to the Foundation's e-newsletter by visiting