Preserving Whittier’s history

Whittier Conservancy bestows preservation awards

By Maria Claver


WHITTIER– Whittier Conservancy members gathered on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 at the Rusty Monk restaurant to celebrate some historic accomplishments over the past year and hand out grants from Edison International for creating a curricular development project to bring Whittier’s rich history into the classroom and to recognize local residents and business owners for their “historic” contributions.

Part of the Whittier Conservancy’s mission is to, “Promote awareness and appreciation of Whittier’s historic, aesthetic and natural resources.” In the past year, its accomplishments include defending the code against incompatible development on West Road, coordinating efforts of a developer – Heritage Housing of Pasadena – with the city’s Re-Development Successor Agency to result in a project at Penn
/Comstock that will include Guilford Hall, and participating in hearings that addressed the city’s ongoing efforts to develop a list of homes worthy of being placed on the local register.

One of the highlights of the past year has been recognition by the state through the California Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation for the saving and rehabilitation efforts on the California Domestic Office building on Whittier Boulevard.

Another highlight of the past year has been completion of a grant through Edison International that funded the development of third-grade local history curriculum. The Whittier history curricular grant aims to ensure that third-grade teachers throughout Whittier have the materials necessary to adequately incorporate Whittier’s rich history into their social studies lesson.

Three Whittier educators, Raul Almada, Kathie Kivi, and Kay Webb, collaborated to produce a curriculum that incorporates Common Core State Standards and California Social Studies Standards.

The Conservancy is looking ahead to goals for next year, which include a recently-awarded $20,000 grant from Edison International, which will be used to buy landscaping for a green space that will include a Dorothea Boyd Memorial Parkway.

Regarding Earlham Hall at Whittier College, the Conservancy is exploring ways to help develop a solution that will serve the needs of the college, the neighborhood, as well as honor the landmark structure, which was home to the college’s first president.

An additional project involving Whittier College is a joint sustainability program with professors at the college to provide student internships that connect community service with hands-on green projects.

Conservancy Preservation Awards, which recognize the efforts of residents and business owners regarding the protection and rehabilitation of Whittier’s historic resources, were presented to Kyle and Marie Koestner for Commercial Restoration of the Rusty Monk on Greenleaf Avenue, the Pryor family for Paint, Design and Color for work completed at their residence on Painter Avenue, the Fullerton family for Historic Restoration at their home on Bright and Camilla, Robert Parminter for Community Enhancement for his new dental building on La Entrada, and the residents of the Earlham Neighborhood Historic District for Community Activism for their continued participation in saving Earlham and Guilford halls.


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