LB Heritage awards benefit to honor preservationists’ work

Long Beach Heritage will host its 2012 awards benefit and gala on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 5:30pm in the Grand Salon on the historic Queen Mary, celebrating a number of notable restoration efforts and the remarkable achievements of longtime preservationists. The fundraiser will help support Long Beach Heritage’s preservation efforts, and attendees will also be served dinner and have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction full of unique and antique items and gift certificates.
The Preservationist of the Year Award will be presented to John Thomas for his significant contributions and dedication to historic preservation. He has held the positions of president and vice president of advocacy on the Long Beach Heritage Board of Directors, and he was instrumental in persuading city officials to adopt a Historic Preservation Element into the General Plan. More recently, he encouraged the adoption of the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, which allows historic buildings being considered for demolition to be red-flagged for reuse projects.
Thomas also chaired the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency, and he is president of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and the Bluff Heights Neighborhood Association. He has previously been on the board of directors of the Long Beach Historical Society and a consultant to the Queen Mary. In addition, he co-authored Images of America: RMS Queen Mary, and Long Beach Art Deco with Suzanne Tarbel Cooper and J. Christopher Launi.
Other honorees will include:
• The Lafayette Homeowners Association, for the repainting of the exterior of the Art Deco hotel built in 1928-1929.
• Claudia Jurmain, for the book Rancho Los Alamitos: Ever Changing, Always the Same, which details the history of the ranch and its residents from the Native American Povuu’nga tribe to the Bixby family.
• Craig and Christine Bouma, for the complete restoration of both the exterior and interior of their 1936 Spanish Revival home.
• Todd and Ranae Saunders, for the meticulous restoration of their 1958-59 mid-century modern home.
• Matt and Krysta Leaver for the restoration of their mid-century ranch style home built in 1953, a well-preserved example of the modest structures in the Cliff May Rancho’s area of Long Beach.
• The architecture firm Hugh Gibbs & Donald Gibbs Architects, FAIA, for producing a number of landmarks and commercial and residential structures throughout Long Beach and the Southern California area.
• Linc Housing for the refurbishing of the neglected Palace Hotel, built in 1929 on East Anaheim. The building is now a commercial property with stores on the ground floor and rooms for rent above.
• The California Heights Neighborhood Association, for its restoration of 136 lampposts in its historic district to complement the historic homes.
• The Long Beach Symphony will also receive a heritage award for its Concerts in Long Beach Historic Sites program, which brings music and architecture together for the benefit of Long Beach residents.
A no-host bar and silent auction will begin at 5:30pm. and the dinner and awards ceremony will take place at 7pm. Parking is hosted. Tickets are $115 per person (tables of 10 are $1150). To order tickets, call (562) 493-7019 or visit to pay via PayPal.

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