California Preservation Foundation
26th Annual Conference 2001
By Vonn Marie May
It's all over! The statewide preservation conference, which brought 400 or so preservationists to town, is now history. Whew! What an effort, SOHO planners and volunteers went well beyond the call of duty.
Featured this year was keynote speaker, Huell Howser, producer and host of the PBS series, California's Gold. What a treat it was for attendees at the Plenary Session held in the exquisitely restored Irving Gill 1st Church of Christ Scientist in Hillcrest, to listen to a real preservationist share his stories and personal mission with us.
The Opening Reception at the newly reconstructed House of Hospitality was followed with the first ever nighttime Neon/Martini tour. SOHO hosted additional tours; Old Town, Balboa Park, Rancho Santa Fe, Irving Gill, Coronado, Gaslamp, La Jolla, Modernism, and California Ranchos. We plan to reprise many of the conference tours in the near future for those who couldn't attend them.
The Three Minute Success Stories event, held on the Berkeley, was raucous and an absolute blast. The skits on how different Californians fought their preservation battles and won, were, at points, hysterical, poignant, and astonishingly similar to what we go through here in San Diego. It truly was a night of bonding for people of like minds who are up against the same odds, and at times...prevail!
Special thanks to the San Diego Historical Society for hosting us at the fundraising sessions and for running the conference bookstore. Another special thanks to the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society for underwriting our lunch and transportation while escorting us about their wonderful village. The thanks could go on forever and when we have finally debriefed ourselves, and can reflect better, we will list those for you.
The CES certified educational tracks and sessions were very well received. I was lucky enough to catch a few. My favorites were; Parker Jackson showing films shot by architect Richard Requa of his design preferences; John English's comprehensive look at Tiki Revival architecture; Tony Ciani's history of surfing and Andrew Johnston's cultural landscape documentation of the Colorado Aqueduct. It doesn't get any better than that for great learning experiences.
Drop us a line if you had a chance to attend any or all of the conference and let us know what you thought. We will take your compliments and constructive criticisms to the CPF board for their consideration as they plan the 27th annual conference to be held in Santa Rosa in the middle of California's wine country. Thanks to all.
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