About the Report Card

This section offers background on the Conservancy's Preservation Report Card, including:

Why a Report Card? (below) - The reasons behind it; the basics of what the Report Card is and isn't

Methodology - Our research process and new scoring system, designed to clarify how grades are determined and help communities spot areas of improvement

Digital Report Card - A quick overview of this exciting new microsite and powerful Report Card tool

A Note on Vocabulary

Since the County government is not a city, we do not use the term “city” when referring to the eighty-nine jurisdictions in L.A. County. For the purposes of the Report Card and this website, we use the terms “jurisdiction” and “community” instead of “city” to refer to these entities.

Why a Report Card?

The Conservancy created our countywide Preservation Report Card in 2003 to help improve historic preservation at the local level. 

In Los Angeles County, the most effective preservation protections for historic places often lie in the hands of local government, which can create and enforce substantive laws and incentives to foster historic preservation. 

L.A. County spans more than 4,000 square miles and contains eighty-nine local governments: eighty-eight cities, plus the County government with jurisdiction over the unincorporated areas of the County. Each of these jurisdictions operates independently and has its own protections—or lack thereof—for preserving its historic resources.

It's important to understand how preservation works in each of the county’s different jurisdictions, help governments create or improve preservation programs, and recognize those with strong protections in place. That's why we created the Preservation Report Card in 2003.

The Report Card “grades” each of the county’s eighty-nine jurisdictions on the elements they have in place at the local level, such as ordinances and incentive programs, to help preserve historic places. 

Beyond just researching and reporting, the Conservancy serves as a resource for communities that want to create or enhance a preservation program. 

The Report Card has been very well received, spurring some communities to take long overdue action to protect their historic resources and offering models from other cities. 

We issued the first edition of the Report Card in 2003 and the second in 2008, both of which provided snapshots of preservation in L.A. County at a specific point in time.

The 2014 edition reflects some exciting changes and a more proactive approach to helping communities succeed in their preservation efforts.

What the Report Card Is NOT

The Preservation Report Card is not intended as a comprehensive assessment of all preservation efforts in L.A. County.

It does not assess the general state of preservation of the cultural resources of Los Angeles County; the stewardship of publicly held cultural or historic resources; or the commitment, drive, and influence of local advocacy organizations.

All these factors are of great importance to preservation in Los Angeles County. We applaud the heroic efforts of the many groups and individuals across the county who tirelessly advocate for, and carry out, the preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. 

The Report Card does assess local governments’ current efforts to ensure the preservation of historic and cultural resources. It simply seeks to recognize those jurisdictions that actively foster preservation and encourage them to keep up the good work, as well as to offer practical models, best practices, and motivation to those jurisdictions that have fewer protections in place.