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Santa Monica Conservancy's 'Shotgun House' Restoration Receives Governor's Award
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
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Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Lookout Staff

November 23, 2016 -- The Santa Monica Conservancy has received a prestigious
Governor's Historic Preservation Award for turning a dilapidated "shotgun house" into its new Preservation Resource Center.

One of this year's 12 winners, the project was deemed “an outstanding example of community participation in the preservation of a treasured California resource," award officials said.

"Unlike other preservation awards, this one emphasizes involvement by community groups; and it recognizes a broad array of preservation activities, from building rehabilitation to archaeology, education, and preservation planning," officials said in a statement.

Picture of the Santa Monica Conservancy Preservation Resource Center
Preservation Resource Center (Photo by Stephen Schafer)

The Governor's Award is presented every year to projects, individuals and the organizations whose contributions demonstrate "exception achievements in historic preservation."

It is the second award given to the Conservancy for its work to preserve the city's last remaining "shotgun house," which was recognized with a Preservation Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation (CPF).

It took an 18-year battle and $278,000 to salvage and preserve the small worn-out structure, which had a price tag of $100 when it was built on 2nd Street in the 1890s.

The effort began when its owner applied for a demolition permit in 1998 and culminated with its opening as a resource center in January ("Saga of Santa Monica's Shotgun House Ends Back on Second Street," January 19, 2016).

The shotgun house typifies the style of house Santa Monica's early tourists and settlers occupied more than 125 years ago, Conservancy officials said.

It earned its name because it was said that a shotgun bullet fired from the front door would fly through the house and out the back door unobstructed. This, according to folklore, makes it attractive to ghosts and spirits.

The shotgun house became a symbol of poverty in the South, where it is ingrained in the region's culture.

In addition to providing a first-hand look at the unique housing type, the Conservancy's resource center also provides information about the methods and benefits of preservation, which has resulted in at least two local homeowners applying to designate their properties as historic, officials said.

The Governor's Historic Preservation Awards are presented under the sponsorship of the California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) and California State Parks.

The awards represent "the belief that the history of California is embodied in its buildings, structures, sites, and objects that provide tangible links to the people and events that shaped the state’s growth and development. Since its inception.

More than 200 projects have been recognized since the awards were established in 1986.

For information on Santa Monica Conservancy programs, membership and the Conservancy's Preservation Resource Center, visit

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