City Permit Specialist Linnea Henandez hands the building permit to Juan Padilla of the Minardos Group, Conservancy Architect Mario Fonda-Bonardi and Board President Carol Lemlein
The actual date has not yet been set, but as soon as it is, you will be invited to witness the house move on a flatbed truck from 14th and Colorado to the final destination at 2nd Street and Norman Place. We’ll tell you just as soon as we know!
The Preservation Resource Center
Fourteen years ago a largely unaltered 1890s shotgun house was nearly demolished and with it an important part of Santa Monica history. Due to the combined efforts of concerned residents, the former Ocean Park Community Organization (OPCO), the Santa Monica Conservancy, and the City of Santa Monica, the house was saved and designated a landmark. Now, after more than a decade in storage, the house will move to its permanent site on Second Street across from the Ocean Park Library where it will soon become the Conservancy’s Preservation Resource Center. It will take its place among a cluster of other historic buildings, including the California Heritage Museum, Merle Norman Cosmetics office, the Carnegie branch library, and the Third Street Neighborhood Historic District.
The transformation of the Shotgun House into a Preservation Resource Center is supported by a $1.6 million fundraising campaign that includes hiring the Conservancy’s first executive director and expanding programming and community education. The Resource Center will be a clearinghouse for practical, user-friendly information about historic resources in Santa Monica and the methods and benefits of preserving older buildings while serving as a model for how even the simplest older structure can serve contemporary needs.
Have you made a donation?
Those Who Have Helped Us Get This Far
Major funding partners of the project have included (in kind contributions in italics) the Ahmanson Foundation, The City of Santa Monica, Fonda-Bonardi and Hohman Architects, Friends of Heritage Preservation, Harding Larmore Kutcher and Kozal, The Minardos Group, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, as well as current and past board members of the Santa Monica Conservancy and many other generous businesses and individuals who will be recognized at the grand opening of the Preservation Resource Center.
Thank you all for your support!
|Shotgun Houses along the beach in Ocean Park|
The first shotgun houses in Santa Monica were built as vacation rentals, a more comfortable alternative than camping in tents or staying in more expensive hotel rooms. Eventually they became permanent residences. In Ocean Park’s first phase of development, shotgun houses were built on the site or brought in by rail. This shotgun house was originally located just two blocks from the Santa Fe railroad depot and within easy reach of the area’s tourist attractions. Because many shotgun houses were flimsily built, many did not stand up well to the passage of time. By the mid-twentieth century a number of them were deemed unsafe and bulldozed. Many others were destroyed due to development pressure over the last century. Yet, against all odds, this house persisted, and was occupied as a residence until 1996.
Historians debate the origins of the name “shotgun.” Some believe the word is a version of the Yoruba (African) word for house—“togun.” Others cite the simple floor plan of these dwellings. Shotgun houses are typically one room wide and two or three rooms deep. Lacking a hallway, the rooms are aligned with connecting doorways so that a shotgun’s bullet fired through the front door would exit cleanly through the back door.