Sharing the Conservancy's
Top Twenty Achievements
In celebration of the Conservancy’s 20th Anniversary, we have taken a moment to reflect on the organization’s top twenty achievements. We will share these stories a few at a time in this new e-news series.
The Preservation Resource Center

Back in 2002, the last remaining intact Shotgun House in Santa Monica was about to be destroyed. The building had served as both a permanent home and seaside rental since 1897. A community coalition, including members of the newly formed Santa Monica Conservancy, quickly convened to save the house. They purchased it from the owner for $1 and raised funds to move it into storage. Through a competitive City process, the Conservancy won the right to rehabilitate the Shotgun House and adaptively reuse it as a Preservation Resource Center (PRC). Conservancy volunteers developed detailed refurbishment plans, secured the required approvals from the City, raised funds for the rehabilitation and assembled a team of experts to complete the project. 
Since its grand opening in January 2016, the PRC has welcomed over 7,000 visitors. The LEED Gold Certified building offers docent-led tours and opportunities to discover local historic resources as well as the tools necessary to preserve the places people love.
Photos: (Top) The Shotgun House in 2000 at its original location at 2712 2nd Street. Credit: Tom Zimmerman (Bottom) Grand opening of the Preservation Resource Center in 2016 at its new location just blocks away at 2520 2nd Street.
The Annenberg Community
Beach House

In 2006 Wallis Annenberg offered the City of Santa Monica a grant of over $27M to convert the former Marion Davies Beach Estate to a public beach club. Several of the site's close neighbors built support for the offer’s rejection fearing that either the club would be so successful the traffic would be unbearable or that it would fail and be occupied by the homeless.
Members of the Conservancy saw a great public benefit in the proposal. They recruited a broad coalition of community groups and residents to form “Friends of 415 PCH” to create awareness and support for the beach club. Among other events, Friends of 415 threw a party on the grounds of City Hall on the evening that City Council was to make their decision about the Annenberg grant. At least 125 people attended, and the names of 1,000 supporters were displayed on a surfboard. Needless to say, Council approved the grant and the Annenberg Community Beach House (ACBH) opened to the public in 2009.

The Conservancy also proposed and developed the docent-led interpretive program at the ACBH, which has been supported by a City Contract since 2009. These free tours, as well as the popular Marion’s Birthday and Julia Morgan Legacy Day events, serve thousands of visitors annually. The Conservancy’s docent training program for volunteers has been active since 2009, with a group of energetic and dedicated new recruits graduating this year.
Photos: (Top) A historic view of the Marion Davies Estate. Credit: Annenberg Community Beach House (Bottom) Friends of 415 PCH build sand castles at beach party in support of the project in July of 2006. Credit: Gene Williams for the LookOut News
PRC Repainting Complete
Last month, a crew from John Merchek Painting returned to the Shotgun House to give it a fresh coat for its 5th Anniversary as
the Preservation Resource Center.
The Annenberg Community Beach House in the News
In a recent article, the BBC recognized the historic swimming pool at the Beach House as one of the world's best public pools. Read the full story here.
Join us for Coastal Cleanup Day
on Saturday, September 17!
Due to my lengthy service as the City Attorney advising the Landmarks Commission
and my recent tenure as a Landmarks Commissioner, I have witnessed first-hand the amazing work of the Santa Monica Conservancy. The City has a long history of protecting resources that represent its cultural, social, economic, political, aesthetic, and architectural history, thereby preserving the stories of past generations. This track record simply would not have been possible without the tireless work of the Conservancy. The organization’s expertise and dedication are essential in today’s changing world. This is why I continue to support the Conservancy as a member. Barry Rosenbaum
, your generosity sustains the Santa Monica Conservancy! Join, renew or become a monthly donor and receive the benefits of membership. Your gift helps protect historic places in Santa Monica and enables us to develop new and exciting programs for our community. Thank you!
Conservancy Tours & Events
Fri.-Mon., from 12-2 p.m.
Sept. 2-5; 9-12; 16, 17 & 19; 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. 3, 10, 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 approx. 2 hours and cover 6 blocks. Free for members and $10 for the general public. Register
PRC Stephen Schafer shotgun house
Free Virtual and In-person Tours:
Check our website on 9/9/22
for September dates
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
NextGen Heritage Conservation
Award-winning Podcast
Co-hosted by Cindy Olnick and Trudi Sandmeier. Produced by
Willa Seidenberg
Why do we save historic places? For whom? How can heritage conservation advance equity, justice, and climate adaptation?
This podcast explores these and other issues with students at the University of Southern California,
for a glimpse of the future of the field. Listen
LA Conservancy Announces
2022 Preservation Award Winners
The Los Angeles Conservancy recently announced the winners of their 2022 Preservation Awards (including the SAVE AS podcast), recognizing exceptional achievement in the field of historic preservation in Los Angeles County.
(Image from AGBANY by Sydney
Andrea Landers)

Visualizing the History of Place Through Comics and
Graphic Novels
Article by Sydney Andrea Landers
Sydney Andrea Landers is an emerging historic preservationist, architectural historian and artist based in Los Angeles. In this article published by the National Trust, she explores the concept of graphic novels as stewardship. Read
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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