Remembering Doris Sosin
A year ago this month, the Santa Monica Conservancy lost its founder with the passing of Doris Sosin.

Her vision laid the foundation for our organization now celebrating its 20th Anniversary with a string of accomplishments. She would surely be proud. 

Doris Sosin was a renaissance woman who, as her daughter Leah Fischer noted, “loved being in the world.” She wanted to try everything and go everywhere, confident in the belief that she could do anything. Her strengths were her artful aesthetic, her ability to see a need and figure out how to address it, and then to make change. She was expert at starting projects and then turning them over to those she knew could carry her ideas forward. She was a delegator, a connector of people, a force of nature. It was hard to say no to Doris. Her enthusiasm was contagious. Leah described her mother's ability to find delight in something as “the most fabulous ever,” and each day thereafter identifying something new to attach to this description.

In 2002 after witnessing the beginning of the wholesale destruction of historic homes in her North of Montana neighborhood, Doris drew a map of historic homes for sale to demonstrate what the city would stand to lose if these were demolished. She provided the direction and inspiration for the formation of the Conservancy, the first and only local preservation nonprofit in Santa Monica.

We often receive messages from people who want to share their lasting affection for Doris. Recently Julia Paras of the Broad State in Santa Monica made a donation in her memory. “I got to see Doris 'work the room',” commented Julia. “Building a community was of the upmost importance to her. My life is personally richer and better for having known her,” she added. 

"If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased,” said poet and author Maya Angelou. Doris made an indelible mark on our city in so many ways and enabled the Conservancy to continue saving its historic authenticity. Her presence is still at work within our community, as we carry her legacy forward for the benefit of future generations.
Happy Birthday Marion title graphic
at the Annenberg Community Beach House
Sunday, January 29, 1-3 pm
Join us on the Garden Terrace at the Annenberg Community Beach House as we celebrate the life and times of Marion Davies — silent film actress, famed party hostess and the original Beach House resident.

We are excited to announce an exciting lineup of performers as we return to an in person event this year. Natalie Jacob and The Vintage Trio kick off the festivities followed by a 1920s Dance Showcase with James Zimmer & Cynthia Harper. Stay for bedazzling slight of hand by magician Tom Frank, a courtyard Cake Walk and to be immortalized in our annual Group Photo. For extra panache, come in your favorite Gold Coast era attire!

Happy Birthday Marion! is a free, all ages event. Reservations are recommended so please follow the link below. If you have any questions, email [email protected]
Launched in 2019, Preservation Next is one of the Conservancy’s most recent achievements. Board member Catherine Conkle developed the affinity group citing the need to create space to cultivate the next generation of local preservationists. Members come from a wide variety of backgrounds including design, studio art, law, marketing and architectural history to name a few. The only prerequisite is that they be between 21 and 45 years of age. The group meets for architectural tours, receptions, lectures, and to volunteer. These opportunities allow them to connect, listen, brainstorm and organize around the stories, issues and places they care about.

Preservation Next resumed its in-person events last year with a tour of the Eames House and visit to Gehry Partners' studio to see their model for the Ocean Avenue Project. And more events are in the works for 2023! Click here to sign up for the group mailing list and/or email [email protected] for more information! 

Photo: Members of Preservation Next pose next to Gehry Partners' model of the Ocean Avenue Project with architect and partner Tensho Takemori in November, 2022.
Our December 2022 print newsletter is available online! Read about how the Shotgun House contributes to water conservation, look back at many of last year’s programs and stay informed with the Landmarks Commission Report. Click here to access the pdf.
Conservancy Tours & Events
Friday-Monday, from 12-2 p.m.
Jan 20-23; Jan 27, 28 & 30
(closed Jan 29 for Happy Birthday Marion!)
Feb 3-6; 10, 12 & 13; 17-20 and 24-27
(closed Feb 11)
415 Pacific Coast Highway
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
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 approximately two hours and cover six blocks. Free for members and $10 for the general public. Register
PRC Stephen Schafer shotgun house
2520 2nd Street
Sat & Sun, Feb 25 & 26
Open from 12-2 p.m.
Live Virtual Tour
Sunday, Feb 19 at noon
Come and visit the last intact shotgun house in Santa Monica this weekend! 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. Learn more
Community News & Events
Santa Monica City Hall
City of Santa Monica Landmarks Commission Meeting
Monday, February 13, 7 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall,
1685 Main Street, Santa Monica
Mark your calendar for the city’s first Landmarks Commission meeting of 2023. (Meetings typically take place the second Tuesday of every month.) The agenda is posted here, usually on the Thursday prior to the meeting, in this case February 9.
*Exhibit extended through April, 2023!*
Santa Monica History Museum
1350 7th Street, Santa Monica
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 the archival material collected by the Quinn Research Center. Visit
Lunar New Year at
Santa Monica Place
January 28, 2023, 2:00 pm to  5:00 pm
After a two-year hiatus, Santa Monica Place’s Lunar New Year program returns with traditional Chinese lion dance performances, balloon and dough artists, and cherry blossom Wishing Trees. Visit
watts towers elevation drawing
I Wanted to do Something Big
Watts Towers Arts Center
1727 East 107th St, Los Angeles
A retrospective on the conservation of the Watts Towers; curated by Mark Gilberg, Rosie Lee Hooks, and Rebeca Guerrero. Since 1961, the Watts Towers Arts Center, located in the heart of Watts on a campus that includes Simon Rodia’s landmark Watts Towers, has served as a beacon of light for arts education and a conduit for social change. Visit
Frieze Los Angeles
Art Fair
February 16-19
Santa Monica Airport
The renowned international art fair will take place in its new location at the Santa Monica Airport. Over 120 international galleries will have work on display as well as a host of programming related to the dynamic culture of Los Angeles and its global contributions to the visual arts. Tickets
Santa Monica Conservancy