HUNTINGTON BEACH — Mary Adams Urashima will be presented with the prestigious President’s Award at the 2018 California Preservation Awards.

Mary Adams Urashima

Urashima is a tireless – and effective – advocate for the preservation of the Historic Wintersburg and the historic Furuta Gold Fish Farm and Wintersburg Japanese Mission Complex in Huntington Beach. This site was listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “11 Most Endangered Places” and was designated a “National Treasure.”

The California Preservation Awards showcase the best in historic preservation architecture and advocacy. President’s Award nominations are received and selected by the California Preservation Foundation’s Board of Directors, and Urashima’s work to preserve Historic Wintersburg made her a clear frontrunner.

The award will be presented on Friday, Oct. 19, at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Tickets and sponsorship options are available at Funds raised at the awards program provide crucial support for the California Preservation Foundation’s work year round.

The California Preservation Foundation (CPF) exists to ensure that the rich diversity of California’s historic resources are identified, protected and celebrated for their history and for their valuable role in California’s economy, environment and quality of life. Incorporated in 1978, CPF has grown from a small band of advocates to a statewide network of more than 15,000 members and supporters. CPF is a leader in preservation education and advocacy, responding to hundreds of requests for assistance and training more than 1,500 people each year.

About the Honoree

Mary Adams Urashima chairs the grassroots preservation effort to save Historic Wintersburg and is the author of “Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach.” She identified and named the historic property, which was designated one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2014 and one of America’s National Treasures in 2015. Her advocacy has helped to stave off demolition of the historic site and enabled discussions between the property owner and the City of Huntington Beach that are working toward its full preservation as a heritage site.

Named after the Wintersburg Village, the site is a rare, pre-Alien Land Law of 1913 Japanese-owned property. A California civil rights “site of conscience,” its history traces the remarkable stories of Japanese pioneers and the struggle for civil liberties. Building on oral history research done by Professor Emeritus Art Hansen at the Center for Oral History at CSU Fullerton in the 1980s, Urashima has been researching and working to save Historic Wintersburg for almost nine years.

A former journalist with 30 years in media, governmental and public affairs, she has served on multiple local and international boards and as a political appointee for various humanitarian and preservation efforts. She has received significant recognition, including the Civil Rights Leadership Award from the California Association of Human Relations Organizations, the Community Hero award from the Japanese American Citizens League Pacific Southwest District, and being named one of the “Women Who Make a Difference” by the Orange County Community Forum.

Urashima is an advocate for historic preservation on the statewide California Preservation Foundation’s Advocacy Committee, and a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the American Historical Association, and the Organization of American Historians. She writes with a goal of furthering the understanding of America’s diverse history, in particular the history of Japanese Americans in Southern California.

Her hope is that Historic Wintersburg will become a place where the history of Japanese American pioneers and their West Coast civil rights story will be remembered and taught to future generations.

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California Preservation Awards

The California Preservation Awards are a statewide hallmark, showcasing the best in historic preservation. The awards ceremony includes the presentation of the Preservation Design Awards and the President’s Awards, bringing together more than 300 people each year to share and celebrate excellence in preservation.

Since 1983, over 500 projects have been recognized with a prestigious Preservation Design Award. Winning projects are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. The jury selects projects that have furthered, to a notable degree, the purposes of the profession, consistent with the California Preservation Foundation’s mission.

President’s Awards honor people deserving of special recognition for their outstanding preservation efforts. Since its inception in 1991, this program has recognized more than 150 individuals and organizations whose work allows others to gain a deeper appreciation of historic resources and their value to California’s economy, environment and quality of life.

A complete list of recipients:

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award — Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, Elk Grove

2018 President’s Award — Janet Hansen, Los Angeles; Mary Adams Urashima, Huntington Beach; KFA Architects, Santa Monica

2018 Preservation Design Awards

Trustee’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation — Bing Kong Tong Stabilization and Exterior Restoration, Isleton

Contextual Infill — Evanston Court, Pasadena

Craftsmanship/Preservation Technology — Grace Cathedral: Stained & Leaded Glass Condition Survey & Subsequent Conservation in 3 Phases, San Francisco

Cultural Resource Studies — City of San Gabriel Historic Preservation and Cultural Resources Ordinance Update, San Gabriel; Cultural Landscape Report for Forts Baker, Barry, and Cronkhite, Sausalito; West Hollywood Commercial Survey & Preservation Website, West Hollywood

Rehabilitation — Commercial Exchange Building, Los Angeles; Gilmore Gas Station, Los Angeles; Monrovia Santa Fe Depot Rehabilitation, Monrovia; Roble Gymnasium Rehabilitation, Stanford; Rose Bowl, Pasadena; The Francis House, Calistoga; The Hindry House Cultural Landscape Report and Landscape Rehabilitation, Pasadena; Uber Advanced Technologies Group R&D Center, San Francisco; Villa Carlotta, Los Angeles; UCLA’s William Andrews Clark Memorial Library Seismic Retrofit and Entry Pavilion, Los Angeles

Restoration — Historic Goodman Library, Napa; John K. Van de Kamp Bridge Seismic Retrofit and Rehabilitation, Pasadena

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