Upcoming Santa Monica Mosaic Program to
Feature Historian Nina Fresco Telling the Inspiring
Origin Story of the Church in Ocean Park
As part of the Santa Monica Conservancy’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, Santa Monica Mosaic will present, An Enduring Spirit: the Church in Ocean Park on Sunday, August 28 at 5 p.m. 
The following historical overview is adapted from Nina Fresco's deeply researched "History of the Church in Ocean Park." Fresco will open the live virtual program with a fully illustrated review of the church’s origins. Other speakers include Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen, Roger Gawne, and Julie Ginsberg.
Photo: A 1926 newspaper article
Nearly one hundred years ago the Ocean Park Methodist Church completed a new building at Hill and 2nd Streets in Ocean Park. The Italianate and Gothic revival structure was designed by congregant James T. Peasgood and funded by the church community.
By the late 1930s, Ocean Park had become a culturally rich, mixed-race and immigrant working-class neighborhood. Because of these demographics, the Home Owners’ Loan Association redlined the area, deeming it too risky for bank loan investment. 
Deferred maintenance became a way of life. To eradicate the blight that inevitably followed, the Ocean Park Redevelopment Project displaced more than 1500 people in the 1950s, breaking apart the area’s social structures. Ocean Park Methodist Church pastors began providing services to support the displaced and at-risk teens.
Photo: Rev. Conn conducting Sunday service in the 1970s
In 1972, fledgling minister Rev. James Conn came to Ocean Park with new energy and a vision. Under his leadership, the church changed its name to the Church in Ocean Park and began to serve the community in a way that forever changed how people in crisis are supported in the city and the region. Over the next decade, Santa Monica also became a national leader among progressive cities for its social justice housing, and environmental policies. 
In 1995, Rev. Conn left the Church in Ocean Park after more than 20 years. Today, the position is held by Rev. Janet McKeithen, who, along with the church and community, continues to stand for social justice, caring and inclusiveness.
To hear more of this inspiring story, including how the CIOP community developed a network of pioneering services that overlapped with Santa Monica’s trend towards progressive politics, please join us on August 28th.

An Enduring Spirit: the Church in Ocean Park is free for Santa Monica Conservancy members and $10 for the general public. Donate $45 or more and you'll receive a one-year membership and free admission to this and future Mosaic lectures.
Longtime Santa Monica Conservancy Staffer Moves
from Historic to Environmental Preservation
For the past eight years, Robin Tung has been a key member of the Conservancy staff. A published author and teacher, with an MFA in creative writing, Robin joined the Conservancy as an administrative coordinator and grew into the role of communications and database manager. One of her many accomplishments is the development of the biweekly e-news. When covid shut everything down, Robin began combing the Conservancy’s own resources as well as the internet to share preservation-related materials with readers.
This past June, Robin left the Conservancy for a new position as California communications manager for the Building Decarbonization Coalition. Although she will miss the Conservancy, especially the members and volunteers who form the heart of the organization, Robin’s new role presents opportunities to work in the political landscape and sharpen her communication skills in media advocacy. She will also continue her creative writing practice, with stories forthcoming in Literary Matters and The Notre Dame Review.
The Conservancy will miss Robin and wishes her the best in future endeavors. Her versatility as a writer, and her resourcefulness and innate sense of organization have made a lasting impact. 
The Conservancy has hired Catherine Azimi as its new communications and database manager. Catherine comes to the organization with a background in historic site and project management as manager of the Eames House and project coordinator for the historic preservation firm Kelly Sutherlin McLeod Architecture. Like Robin, Catherine has a an MFA in studio art and keeps a studio practice in drawing and painting.
Catherine is excited to join the organization as it enters a new phase of growth with new co-executive directors and 20th Anniversary Celebration.
Conservancy Tours & Events
Free Guided Tours
Every Fri., Sat. & Sun. in August
Open from 12-2 p.m.
Enjoy a free tour led by Conservancy docents and learn about the rich history of the Marion Davies Guest House, which was built by William Randolph Hearst for actress Marion Davies. The hottest spot on Santa Monica’s Gold Coast during the 1920s, guests included Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo. The 20-minute tours are available on a walk-up basis. Learn more
Every Saturday in August
Tour starts at 10 a.m.
1436 2nd Street
Members Free / $10 General Public
Discover the architectural gems and rich history of Downtown Santa Monica on our highly-rated guided tour. From Art Deco to Victorian and Romanesque Revival, you’ll explore the various styles that fill the streets of our city. Tours are approx. 2 hours and cover 6 blocks. Free for members and $10 for the general public. Register
PRC Stephen Schafer shotgun house
Free In-person Tours:
Wed. August 17,
Sat. & Sun., August 20 & 21 
from 12-2 p.m.
2520 2nd Street
Come and visit the last intact shotgun house in Santa Monica! Discover the journey of this incredible little house, which was saved from demolition and moved–on wheels–three times before being adapted into our modern-day Center. Reservations are not required. Learn more
Community News & Events
Richard's Tales of Ocean Park, Santa Monica and other magic places
Long-time member and activist Richard Orton channels his enthusiasm for Santa Monica's history into a monthly newsletter. His issues focus on topics like the Gold Coast, Pacific Ocean Park, Samohi and the Golden Age of LA Department Stores. Click here to explore his archive and/or email Richard to be put on his mailing list.
LA’s Historic-Cultural Monuments and the Women They Leave Out
A short film from SciArc and Carla Magazine
With only 3% of monuments in Los Angeles devoted to women, the need to preserve their histories is a crucial feat. In this film, writer Neyat Yohannes reflects on the trailblazing women whose influence has helped shape the city that millions call home, and the erasure that is at stake if their legacies remain unprotected. Watch
How SoCal's Automobile Club Paved the Way For Road Development in the Name of Historic Preservation
A story from KCET's Lost LA series
This story is part of a series about the Automobile Club of Southern California's role in road development and the club's relationship with environmental and historic preservation. Story by Shane Reiner-Roth. Read
PastForward 2022 National Conference
National Trust for Historic Preservation
November 1-4, 2022
Registration is open for the annual PastForward National Preservation Conference, to be held November 1-4, 2022. This year’s virtual program will explore three themes; Historic Preservation is Climate Action, Encouraging Inclusion and Diversity Through Preservation, and Understanding Preservation’s Role in Real Estate Development. Register
Santa Monica History Museum
Exhibit open through December 23
1350 7th Street
Learn how residents built Broadway into a flourishing community of color – and how the Interstate 10 freeway destroyed it in the 1960s. Explore the advertisements, oral histories, photographs, and songs from archival materials collected by the Quinn Research Center. Visit 
We Thank Our Downtown Walking Tour Sponsor
Santa Monica Conservancy

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