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California Office of Historic Preservation


August 2015 Preservation ePost                               

In This Issue

  • Preserving Voices from the Past
  • WPA Painting Rediscovered
  • News & Updates 
  • Events & Education

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The mission of the Office of Historic Preservation and the State Historical Resources Commission is to provide leadership and promote the preservation of California's irreplaceable and diverse cultural heritage.




State Historical Resources Commission (SHRC) 

The Commission meets at least four times per year to give citizens an opportunity to participate in public hearings regarding the identification, registration, and preservation of California's cultural heritage.


Remaining Meetings for 2015:

Aug.  7 - Sacramento

Nov.  6 - Sacramento

For meeting and

general information, please visit the SHRC webpage.


Preserving Important Voices from the Past


With funding from the National Park Service, multiple campuses of the California State University (CSU) System  have embarked on a project to catalog and digitize oral histories and original documents related to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The wealth of materials drawn from the various archives and libraries of the CSU System will make up the collections of the CSU Japanese American Digitization Project. The collections will be available to schools and the public via a website, teaching guide, and traveling exhibit. Visit the project website to learn more about this important preservation effort and view the ongoing progress.

(photo: A Japanese American shop owner in Oakland, California, asserts his citizenship in the days following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He later was forced to close the store and enter an internment camp for the duration of the war. Dorothea Lange, 1942, courtesy of the Library of Congress)

WPA Artwork Rediscovered

WPA PaintingA painting created as part of the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) Federal Arts Project has been rediscovered at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Mountain View, California. The painting, a colorful depiction of Mission San Juan Bautista, is the work of former Monterey artist Eugenia “Gene” McComas, who completed it in 1942 for the WPA, which then loaned the painting to Moffett Field Naval Station. Over the decades, as ownership and occupancy of the former naval station changed, the painting was moved about, stored away, and at times forgotten. Recently, NASA Ames staff rediscovered the artwork. NASA Ames archivist April Gage, and Historic Preservation Officer Keith Venter took charge of transferring the painting to the General Services Administration (GSA) which holds ownership of WPA art. Excited about the recovery of this historic artwork, Ms. Gage contacted our office about an article she and Mr. Venter wrote detailing the discovery.

OHP staff recommended that Ms. Gage contact the San Juan Bautista Historical Society, believing that the story of the painting, and the painting itself, would be of interest to the San Juan Bautista community. That contact resulted in the article's publication in the local San Juan Bautista newspaper, "Mission Village Voice," and arrangements being made with the GSA for the painting’s long-term loan to the Monterey Museum of Art. The foresight of Moffett Field and NASA Ames staff, past and present, and successful connections with the San Juan Bautista community ensured that this painting was not lost to history and soon will be available for all the public to enjoy.

(photo courtesy April Gage, NASA Ames/Mission Village Voice)


State Historical Resources Commission to Hear New Nominations - August 7, 2015

The State Historical Resources Commission (SHRC) is scheduled to hear nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and to the California Register of Historical Resources at their August 7, 2015 meeting. The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 9 a.m. at Sacramento Historic City Hall, 915 I Street, Sacramento. Please see our Pending Nominations webpage for a list of the properties being nominated. A copy of the meeting agenda may be downloaded from the Meeting Schedule and Notices page.  

Preservation Fellowship Opportunity

The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) is accepting applications for the NTHP Rockefeller Brothers Fund Pocantico Center Fellowship (the Pocantico Center Preservation Fellowship). The two-week fellowship provides preservation professionals the opportunity to reside and work in the historic Marcel Breuer House at Pocantico Hills, New York, focusing on a defined project with significant benefit to the preservation field.

The fellowship runs from October 5-18, 2015. Application deadline is Monday, August 17, 2015. Fellowship information and application forms can be found on the NTHP website.

California Indian Conference 2015 Now Accepting Presentation Proposals

The California Indian Conference (CIC) marks its 30th anniversary in 2015. The CIC started at University of California Berkeley in 1985, as a means by which to share knowledge, scholarship, and issues related to California Indians, past and present. This year's conference will be held at UC Berkeley, October 15-17, 2015. Proposals for papers and presentations are due August 31, 2015. For details about the conference and proposal submissions, visit the CIC website.

OHP Receives Technology Grant

On July 15, 2015, the Office of Historic Preservation received one of twelve grants awarded nationwide by the National Park Service's National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). The NCPTT grants program, established in 1994, provides funding to develop new technologies or adapt existing technologies to aid in the preservation of cultural resources. The grant awarded to the OHP will fund development of a mobile application that will provide an efficient, cost-effective solution for recording historic resources in electronic format, securely storing the data, and electronically submitting the resource information to the California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS).

Visit the NCPTT Grants website to see a list of all twelve grant recipients for 2015.   

Museum Grant Program Accepting Applications Through September 1, 2015

The California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) is accepting applications for their Museum Grant Program. The grant deadline is September 1, 2015. Download a copy of the Guidelines and Application for the 2014-2015 Museum Grant Program. Since its establishment in 2002, the CCHE has granted more than $122 million to projects for the acquisition, restoration, preservation, and interpretation of historical and cultural resources.


California Preservation Foundation (CPF) Workshops and Webinars:


August 18: Stemming the Damage: Applying Lessons Learned from the Napa Earthquake

September 29: Fundamentals of Mid-Century Landscapes: Modern Settings


September 10: Commissions, Surveys, and Certified Local Governments

September 11: Materials Conservation

Visit the CPF website for registration information and a full listing of webinars and workshops scheduled for 2015.

My Uuyow: the Cosmology of the Kumeyaay - Lecture, August 14, 2015

The San Diego Archaeological Center will host a lecture and star-gazing program by Kumeyaay scholar and Campo Kumeyaay Nation member Michael Connolly Miskwish. Mr. Miskwish will discuss the major seasonal and lunar cycles observed by the Kumeyaay people and the importance such cycles continue to hold for Kumeyaay life. Click here for event details, location directions, and registration information.

Disaster Plan Workshop - October 29, 2015, Sacramento

The Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance Service (WESTPAS) and the California Preservation Program (CPP) are sponsoring a one-day workshop: "Are You Ready", to be held at the North Natomas Library, Sacramento. The scenario-based and collaborative workshop will help heritage institutions and local governments evaluate and improve their disaster plans and preparedness. The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.

OHP Webinars Available on the Web

Our office, in partnership with the California Preservation Foundation, just completed a series of free webinars for the 2014-2015 education cycle. If you were not able to attend the webinars at their initial presentation, you still have a chance! Visit our Training and Workshops webpage to access the YouTube videos of all four webinars. A new series of OHP webinars are under development now for the 2015-2016 cycle; stay tuned!

CEQA Case Studies

Studies in this series are drawn from environmental documents produced in California, and are intended to help further a better understanding of identification and evaluation processes as applied to historical and cultural resources.

Volume V: Understanding Identification of Historical Resources

Previous studies are available on our CEQA webpage. For questions or comments about the series, please contact Sean deCourcy, State Historian II, at, or 916-445-7042.

Banner Image: Japanese House and Garden at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. The house and garden have been favorite destinations for visitors since opening to the public in 1928, though the house, and much of the garden, was closed during World War II and did not reopen until 1957. A major restoration of the Japanese House and Garden beginning in 2011 earned the project a 2013 Governor's Historic Preservation Award.

(916) 445-7000 

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