The Santa Monica Conservancy has announced a $1.6 million capital campaign to create a new professionally staffed preservation resource center in a rehabilitated “shotgun” house.
The “Connecting with Our Historic Places” campaign will also expand programming, including an innovative local history curriculum, according to the conservancy.
The organization has raised more than $860,000 in contributions so far from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the National Trust of Historic Preservation, the Friends of Heritage Preservation and the city of Santa Monica, as well as from Morley Builders, the Minardos Group, and other businesses and individuals. The campaign will enter its public phase as the conservancy begins a yearlong celebration of its 10-year anniversary.
“We have accomplished a great deal in 10 years as an all-volunteer organization,” said Carol Lemlein, president of the Santa Monica Conservancy. “The time has come to hire professional staff and secure a site easily accessible to those who want to learn more about historic preservation.”
After a successful bid to lease the landmark 1890s shotgun house owned by the city, the conservancy agreed to rehabilitate the house and relocate it to city property across from the Ocean Park Library at Second Street and Norman Place. The historic houses got their name from the idea that a shotgun could fire a bullet straight through the front door and out the back.
“By establishing our preservation resource center in this historic house, we will provide an instructive model of the adaptive reuse of a structure that many might have thought had long outlived its usefulness,” Lemlein said.

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