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Preservation projects praised

March 30, 2003|Christopher Reynolds

Ever on the alert for chances to celebrate architectural preservation in a county of false fronts and constant reinvention, the Los Angeles Conservancy will bestow several of its annual awards this year on adaptive reuse projects and city-sponsored restoration efforts.

The awards, to be presented at a luncheon May 1, include a President's Award for the HPOZ movement -- "a quiet revolution," in the phrase of conservancy preservation issues director Ken Bernstein -- under which more than a dozen Los Angeles neighborhoods in recent years have been granted protected city status as Historic Preservation Overlay Zones. (Most of the awards, but not all, recognize work completed in 2002.)

Among other honorees:

* Archer School for Girls in Brentwood, which recently took over a former retirement and convalescent facility in a 1931 Spanish Colonial Revival building on Sunset Boulevard.

* The Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse in San Pedro, another Spanish Colonial Revival structure, this one from 1932, which was rehabilitated by the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department after decades of idleness and deterioration.

* Downtown Standard Hotel, which opened last year in the former Superior Oil Co. building, bringing a youthful buzz to a 1955 modernist skyscraper on Flower Street downtown.

* Amelia M. Earhart Regional Branch Library, a 1929 Spanish Colonial Revival building in North Hollywood that has been expanded and restored through a citywide library upgrade program.

* The Whitter Train Depot, an 1888 Victorian structure that has been relocated and rehabilitated as a public transportation hub by Whittier city officials after a residents' campaign to rescue the building.

-- Christopher Reynolds

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