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Natural History Museum, 'Mad Men' among winners of L.A. Conservancy's Preservation Awards

April 5, 2011 |  8:15 am


Each year, the Los Angeles Conservancy hands out its Preservation Awards to organizations and individuals that have made exceptional contributions to the historic preservation of architecture around Southern California. Now in their 30th year, the awards will be handed out at a ceremony on May 12 at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown L.A.

Among this year's recipients are the Natural History Museum of L.A. County, the Emmy-winning AMC drama series "Mad Men" and the Community Redevelopment Agency, city of Los Angeles.

The award for "Mad Men" may seem slightly strange because, while the series shoots in L.A., the action is set in New York.  In its citation, the L.A. Conservancy noted that the series "is produced in Los Angeles and has used local midcentury sites as filming locations." The group also noted that the show's creator, Matthew Weiner, has supported preservation efforts in the past.

The Natural History Museum is being honored for the seismic retrofit of the original 1913 building. The seismic retrofit, which the museum said began in 2006 and was completed in 2009, is part of a larger, $135-million upgrade of its campus. 

For its President's Award, the L.A. Conservancy is honoring the Community Redevelopment Agency, city of Los Angeles. CRA / LA is primarily responsible for making investments to create economic opportunities around the city, but the L.A. Conservancy noted that the organization has been involved with "more than fifty projects" dealing with historic preservation. Some of those projects include the 28th Street YMCA building in South L.A. and the Central Plaza Gateways in Chinatown.

Other award recipients this year include: the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park, the city of Los Angeles 2010 HPOZ Preservation Plan Program, the Downtown Women’s Center, Security First National Bank of Los Angeles / Comerica Bank in South Pasadena, the Villa Riviera in Long Beach and developer Murray Burns for his work in the preservation of Angelino Heights.


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-- David Ng

Photos: Top, a scene from "Mad Men" with, from left, John Slattery, Jon Hamm and Robert Morse.  Credit: Carin Baer / AMC. Bottom, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times