Grant Opportunity Provides Chance to Preserve L.A. County’s Historic Transportation Corridors

10_50_09_image.jpgPalms Depot

The National Trust For Historic Preservation announced last week that
it would be creating a fund dedicated to supporting historic
preservation projects across Los Angeles County. For those of us
who work tirelessly to dispel the myth that preservation is the domain
of grey-haired old ladies and the historic house museums they love; it
seems like a fantastic opportunity to once again point out the many
links between preserving historic structures and neighborhoods and
increasing the pedestrian, cyclist, and transit-rider friendliness of
our communities.

Coming on the heels of a September 9th meeting in
which the Planning Commission voted to approve amendments to the city’s
Cultural Heritage Monument that increase the size and power of the
Cultural Heritage Commission, the grants, which can be applied for
until November 6th, point to preservation’s increasingly proactive role
in city planning.

According to the Trust, the grants will go to local government agencies and nonprofit groups interested in:

  • Providing consulting services in areas such as architecture,
    archaeology, engineering, preservation or land-use planning, economics,
    fundraising, organizational development, media relations, education,
    and law
  • Sponsoring workshops or community forums
  • Designing, producing, and marketing printed materials or other media communications to advance historic preservation
  • Bricks-and-mortar construction activities at designated historic sites and structures
  • Surveys and inventories of historic resources

Transportation-related
historic sites are represented in almost all sections of Los Angeles
county–Travel Town, the Angels Flight Railway, and the Palms-Southern
Pacific Railroad Depot are just a few of the sites that benefit from
preservation dollars at the local, state, and federal level. Add to
that places like Olvera Street and Downtown Eagle Rock, both of which
are important historic resources enhanced by walkability and convenient
transit access.

Unused transit stations, downtown or Main Street areas
with a historic component, pocket parks, bike and pedestrian trails
along the Los Angeles River–the potential for possible project ideas
is endless, and will hopefully be yet another example of preservation
as a crucial tool in the responsible redevelopment and growth of
metropolitan areas.

For more information on the grants and how to go about getting one, visit the National Trust’s website for L.A. County.

To read The Returning City: Historic Preservation and Transit in the
Age of Civic Revival
, a report on transit and urban preservation
produced by the National Trust with assistance from the Federal Transit
Administration go here.

  • I agree on a strong link between historic preservation and bike, walk, and livability. Preserving the historic scale of our streets keeps the walkability of these neighborhoods intact.

    As a creek freak, one of my pet peeves in this field is the city’s push to demolish wonderful historic bridges, so that the roadway can be widened. It irritates me to no end when I hear city staff justify these projects as needed for adding bike lanes. I’ve heard things like this (more-or-less actual figures for the 1927 North Spring Street Bridge – still very much threatened as the city moves forward with this project): “We’re going to tear down this 50-foot roadway bridge and replace it with a 90-foot roadway bridge, so we can make things safe for bicyclists by adding two 5-foot bike lanes” Grrrrr! No thanks!

  • Evan

    Nitpick: it’s Historic-Cultural Monument, not Cultural Heritage Monument.

    And FYI, one of the pilot studies of SurveyLA, the very first city-wide survey of historic resources led by the Office of Historic Resources, is Streetcar Commercial Development from 1910 to the 1940s, focused on “Vermont Avenue between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Manchester Boulevard, and Pico Boulevard from the 110 Freeway to Crenshaw Blvd.”

    http://preservation.lacity.org/node/410

  • You’re right, Evan–I’m forever making incorrect combinations out of Cultural Heritate Commission and Historic Cultural Monument.

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