The Conservancy's
Top Twenty Achievements, Part Two
The Stanton Macdonald-Wright Murals at City Hall
The historic murals created inside our landmarked City Hall were attacked recently as reflecting racist and elitist content. This led to a City Council vote in May 2021 to remove them from public view by installing a metal screen cover-up. City staff declined to refer this matter to the Landmarks Commission, so it was up to the Conservancy to address the situation. Our role became one of educating the public about the actual intent of the artist in the WPA period, as well as advocating against censorship and for recontextualizing them with new interpretive materials that reflect current attitudes about racial equity and social justice.

We reached out to affected constituencies such as the Gabrieleno Tongva and descendants of the Reyes-Marquez Rancho families. We led a multifaceted education and advocacy campaign, culminating in a webinar
in January 2022 to explore the layers of cultural history embodied in the murals. In February, City Council voted to rescind the action to cover the murals and instead proceed with a new initiative for community engagement and recontextualization. This outcome aligns with the Conservancy's deep commitment to racial equity and inclusion of our diverse communities in our historic preservation programs.
The City's Department of Cultural Affairs was given the charge to lead this process, with an initiative called Acknowledge + Reframe Together.
Reframe: City Hall Murals Update
The City of Santa Monica's Cultural Affairs Manager Shannon Daut has just announced that indigenous based arts and culture collaborative Metzli Projects will serve as the City's Reframe: City Hall Murals consulting team.

Daut writes, "In their proposal, Metzli proposed building a process that will address complex histories by engaging creativity and art, leading to stories that more accurately reflect the diverse experiences and histories of Santa Monica through a broad array of community engagement strategies. Metzli shares our vision of this project as a historic opportunity for Santa Monica to reckon with its past and foster a civic dialogue that strengthens the social fabric of Santa Monica while adding new tools and perspectives to our shared understanding of our past. Please join me in welcoming Metzli to this project!"

Read the full announcement here.
Visit Us on Coastal Cleanup Day
Saturday, September 17, from 9 a.m. to noon
Bay Street & Ocean Front Walk
During this year's event, the Conservancy will team up with historian Alison Rose Jefferson to host an exhibit at the historic Bay Street Beach landmark monument. Come hear the stories of those who challenged racism and class structures to help keep public beach spaces available to everyone.

Recently, Juliet Lamar of Yo! Venice interviewed both Dr. Jefferson and Conservancy Co-Executive Director Kaitlin Drisko about stewardship and the significance of Coastal Cleanup Day and Bay Street Beach.
Heal the Bay’s Coastal Cleanup Day in Los Angeles County is in its 33rd year! The annual community cleanup is an official event for California’s statewide Coastal Cleanup and the International Coastal Cleanup movement. Register for the cleanup here. (Registration is not necessary to visit us at the Bay Street Beach landmark.)
Volunteer Opportunity
The Santa Monica Conservancy is seeking gardener volunteers for
the Shotgun House Coastal Garden at the Preservation Resource Center.
In addition to regular upkeep and design management, the gardening team
will also work together to address irrigation issues and to prep the
garden to be included in future Theodore Payne Foundation Native Plant

This opportunity is a good fit for someone who is a self-starter with a collaborative spirit and a strong interest in native California plants. If you are interested, please send an email to [email protected]
Conservancy Tours & Events
Fri.-Mon., from 12-2 p.m.
Sept. 16, 17 & 19; Sept. 23-26
*Please note there are no tours on Sept. 18*
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
Saturdays at 10 a.m.
Sept. 17 & 24
1436 2nd Street
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
Free In-person Tours this Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon to 2 pm:
Virtual Tours offered Sunday Sept. 25th at 12 noon and 1 p.m.
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. Learn more
Community News & Events
California Water Color Society The The First 50 Years (1921-1971)
Open through October 30, 2022
Wed.-Sun. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2612 Main Street
Curated by Gordon T. McClelland, this exhibition focuses on a group of artists who worked to establish Southern California as a center for the advancement of the watercolor medium. Artists include Marion Kavanaugh Wachtel, Phil Dike, Millard Sheets and Rex Brandt, among others. Learn more
Photo Credit: Gensler
Mission + City + Architecture:
ASU and the Revitalized Herald Examiner Building
Panel Discussion and Tour
Monday, October 3, 2022
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
146 W. 11th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Julia Morgan's 1913 Harold Examiner Building in downtown Los Angeles will be open for tours and panel discussion to explore a variety of themes surrounding the newly revitalized building. The project has recently been awarded a 2022 Preservation Award by the LA Conservancy. 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 the archival material collected by the Quinn Research Center. Visit
We Thank Our Downtown Walking Tour Sponsor
Santa Monica Conservancy

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