Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West Hosts the Fourth AIA Preservation Colloquium

Taliesin West will host the fourth AIA Preservation Colloquium from February 12-14, 2017. HRG Managing Principal Peyton Hall, FAIA, initiated this gathering of historic architects and members of other interested disciplines in 2013, and has continued as an organizer and participant each year.

The topic is “A New Paradigm for Architecture: The Convergence of Preservation, Environment, and Design.”  Architects are increasingly tasked with repurposing existing buildings of all types and ages for new uses. Current practice blurs the lines between design, resource conservation, and heritage conservation to extend the life of buildings by adapting them to new uses. Colloquium activities will include thought-provoking case studies and in-depth discussions of the architect’s role in shaping the use and reuse of existing buildings and their impact in an urban and community context.

Speakers include Aaron Betsky, Dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture; Will Bruder, FAIA; Theo Prudon, FAIA; Duke Reiter, FAIA, Arizona State University; Carl Elefante, FAIA, 2018 AIA President-Elect, Quinn Evans Architects; Robert Bruegmann, University of Illinois at Chicago; Brent Leggs, National Trust for Historic Preservation; David Fixler, FAIA, EYP; John Allan, Avanti Architects; and Les Shepherd, FAIA, GSA.

Please join these distinguished panelists at a National Historic Landmark in the desert! For more information, visit:

Image: Session at the 2015 AIA Colloquium at Taliesin West.


Tell Us About Your Favorite Historic Places in Santa Monica

Historic Resources Group is working with Architectural Resources Group and the City of Santa Monica to complete a comprehensive Citywide Historic Context Statement and Historic Resources Survey. The project is looking at resources constructed through 1977, and will evaluate properties for potential architectural, social, and cultural significance. As part of that effort, the project team would love to hear from you about historic places and neighborhoods in Santa Monica. Visit the project’s website at to learn more and tell us about your favorite historic places in the city!

Image: Santa Monica Historic Resources Inventory Update Website.


Holly Kane Joins the HRG Team

Historic Resources Group is very pleased to welcome Holly Kane to the HRG staff. Holly has a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Southern California, where she’s coordinated and lectured in the Summer Program in Heritage Conservation for the past five years. Previously, Holly served as the Development Coordinator at Pasadena Heritage, and has been a volunteer with the Los Angeles Conservancy and Pasadena Heritage for many years.

Prior to working in preservation, Holly enjoyed a long career as a gemologist and has over twenty years’ experience in most aspects of the jewelry and gemstone industry, including small business management, sales, gemstone identification, and trade show management. Holly’s new role as HRG’s Development Manager/Associate Historian will utilize her skills as a historian and her extensive business experience.  With a passion for meeting people and engaging in interesting, challenging projects, Holly brings a unique perspective to HRG.


Paul R. Williams Building Wins Prestigious National Award

Ground-breaking Los Angeles architect Paul Revere Williams, FAIA, (1894-1980) was the first African-American member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and in 1957 became the first African-American architect elevated to fellowship in the AIA. Renowned for his elegant and sophisticated designs, Williams continually met and exceeded the best of his profession throughout a long and prolific career.

Historic Resources Group has had the honor to be the historic preservation consultant for a number of projects involving Paul R. Williams-designed buildings, including the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the 28th Street YMCA; the rehabilitation of the Angelus Funeral Home utilizing federal rehabilitation tax credits; repairs to important character-defining features of the LAX Theme Building (with Pereira & Luckman); and the nomination of the Hunt Residence as a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

More recently, HRG worked on the rehabilitation of Paul R. Williams’ Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building, which has been recognized with an Award of Excellence as part of the 2016 DOCOMOMO Modernism in America Awards. As one of only four awards nationwide in the category, this distinction befits Paul R. Williams’ exemplary body of work. The rehabilitation of this significant building is another important example of continued community benefits through historic preservation.

Image: Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building. Photo credit: Paul Turang.

Historic Image: Architect Paul R. Williams, left of center, shows the model for the building to Golden State Mutual’s Corporate Secretary, Edgar J. Johnson, and co-founders Norman O. Houston and George A. Beavers, Jr. Photo credit: UCLA Library Special Collections.


HRG Projects Win Five 2016 California Preservation Foundation Design Awards

We are pleased to announce that the California Preservation Foundation has recognized five HRG projects for 2016 Preservation Design Awards. HRG worked closely with the project architects and clients to oversee the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of each of these important resources.

CBS-Columbia-Square-view-from-Sunset-Boulevard.jpgCBS Columbia Square opened in 1937 as the West Coast headquarters of Columbia Broadcasting. The complex’s striking International Style design symbolized the technical innovation and modernity of the broadcast industry during radio’s golden age. The recent rehabilitation removed a series of inappropriate alterations and returned the only West Coast design of pioneering modernist architect William Lescaze to its original state, while making a major contribution to the ongoing revitalization of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

Image: CBS Columbia Square, the iconic former West Coast headquarters of the Columbia Broadcasting System. Photo credit: Kilroy Realty.

DMAC-exterior-by-AC-Martin.jpgThe Digital Media Arts Center on the Chapman University campus, formerly the California Wire & Cable Company building, has been adapted to serve the needs of the university’s film school. The result is a tangible memory of the City of Orange’s industrial heritage in a district that is being reimagined for new academic and community uses.

Image: Chapman University’s Digital Media Arts Center. Photo credit: AC Martin.

GCAT-by-JL.jpgGrand Central Air Terminal, in Glendale, was Los Angeles’ official commercial air terminal when it was completed in 1929. Designed by Henry Gogerty in the Spanish Colonial Revival style with Zig-Zag Moderne influences, this dramatic building was a center of early aviation development in Southern California and served as the western terminus of the first regular transcontinental passenger service. This meticulous rehabilitation has adapted the building for new use as a corporate event space and offices.

Image: Grand Central Air Terminal. Photo credit: Historic Resources Group.

Shotgun-House-by-Stephen-Schafer.jpgA rare remaining Shotgun House has been reborn as the Santa Monica Conservancy’s Preservation Resource Center. Owned by the City of Santa Monica and funded and operated by the Santa Monica Conservancy, this modest wood-frame building is believed to be one of the last intact shotgun houses in Santa Monica. So named to reflect the “shotgun” linear arrangement of connecting rooms that characterize the building type, shotgun houses were once ubiquitous in Santa Monica, and representative of the city’s early development as a beach-side resort. Rescued from impending demolition and relocated twice, the preservation of this valuable resource has been a long-term labor of love for the community. The Shotgun House will wander no more, having found a permanent foundation very near its original site.

Image: The Santa Monica Conservancy’s Preservation Resource Center. Photo credit: Stephen Schafer,

Closeup-of-restored-fenestration-by-Paul-Turang.jpgThe Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building was designed by pioneering African-American architect Paul R. Williams, FAIA, in 1949 as the headquarters for the largest African-American-owned insurance company in the western United States. For much of the 20th century, Golden State Mutual was a pillar of the African-American community in Los Angeles. Successfully rehabilitated, the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building now houses the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center, providing much-needed services for the developmentally disabled and their families.

Image: Close-up of restored fenestration, which had been covered for most of the last 60 years. Photo credit: Paul Turang.