FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation Selected as 2020-21 Preservation Award Recipient
The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Planning and Development Agency has won a prestigious 2021 Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Award. The Conservancy has honored outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation since 1982. Awards are selected by an independent jury of experts in architecture, historic preservation, and community development. Through the work of Ms. Ansley Davies of the Planning and Development Agency and Sapphos Environmental, Inc., LA County Park’s Cultural Resource Assessment Project surveyed 60 facilities including park, golf course, and arboreta facilities in the County park system.
The L.A. Conservancy Preservation Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation. Every winning project showcases the power of historic preservation as a beacon of the past and the future. The stories brought to the forefront, places renewed with new purpose, communities unified to preserve history, architectural and cultural icons revitalized to meet the needs of today and tomorrow—every project a part of Los Angeles history awaiting a new chapter.
Per project lead, Ansley Davis,
“The evaluation efforts for this project have resulted in the identification of eligible multicomponent historic districts where resources include Native American acorn gathering sites; projects constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA); Mid-Century Modern community centers; individually eligible buildings and structures; individually eligible objects, including a 1930 obelisk to commemorate veterans of all American wars and murals; and significant sites demonstrating trends in landscape reclamation.
Important histories were discovered during the identification and evaluation of the parks, including the following:
- Val Verde Park, the “African American Palm Springs” near Santa Clarita Valley. The community of Val Verde was established as a weekend getaway resort as a result of redlining policies. It was one of the few places where African Americans could recreate, vacation, and relax. Many former residents continue to make annual pilgrimages to this park for Father’s Day and Memorial Day celebrations.
- Buildings designed by noted architects, such as the community center designed by Stiles O. Clements, located in Jesse Owens Park in South Los Angeles, and the forward-thinking radical redesign of buildings and structures in concrete at City Terrace Park.
- Many parks have associations with significant persons or events such as Maggie Hathaway, for whom Maggie Hathaway Golf Course is named. Ms. Hathaway was an African American civil rights activist who made great strides in promoting the sport of golf to both women and the African American communities. Many parks were also associated with the 1970 Chicano National Moratorium March, a significant event that is being commemorated by being recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places.”
Be sure to explore our website for more information on these and other historically significant sites at bit.ly/39t0c4S