Children of the '70s: Preservation on the Rise | Los Angeles Conservancy
The Los Angeles Central Library, Parsons House, the Lasky-DeMille Barn

Children of the '70s: Preservation on the Rise

Children of the '70s: Preservation on the Rise

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In the 1970s, Southern California saw the formation of its first organizations devoted to preserving its historic structure, such as Pasadena Heritage, Hollywood Heritage, and the Los Angeles Conservancy, among others. Hear from the leaders of these institutions about the sea-change that shaped the preservation movement, and learn how the ‘70s informed how we feel about architecture and preservation.


Explore the 1970s architecture of ArtCenter College of Design's original campus on this brief, virtual walking tour, led by a Conservancy docent. The impressive main building, designed by Craig Ellwood and Associates, is a designated landmark by the City of Pasadena. Thanks to an innovative steel-and-glass bridge structure, the building spans an arroyo on the campus's hilly site.

Ellwood said of the building, “It is the favorite among my non-residential completed buildings, and the one about which I feel most proud, most proprietary.” 

Margaret Bach, Founding President of the Los Angeles Conservancy

Ms. Bach has a longstanding engagement with the built environment, as a designer, writer, documentary filmmaker, historian, and preservation advocate. She served as the founding president of the Los Angeles Conservancy, editor of L.A. Architect magazine, and manager of KCET’s award-winning public television series, L.A. History Project. She also led the restoration of Irving Gill’s Horatio West Court in Santa Monica. Ms. Bach has written extensively about Los Angeles’ built environment and now devotes her time to her interior design practice, her family and grandchildren, her art practice, and community work. She formerly served on the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission, and is currently a member of the Kitchen Cabinet of Food Forward, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit pioneering produce recovery and distribution to those in need.

Christy Johnson McAvoy, Founding Principal of Historic Resources Group; co-founder of Hollywood Heritage

Ms. McAvoy has been at the forefront of historic preservation since the late 1970s. An expert in many facets of historic preservation, including planning, regulation, incentives, identification and evaluation, reuse, and education, Ms. McAvoy has concentrated her practice in complex multi-disciplinary projects which preserve the historic built environment. Prior to her retirement in 2015, Ms. McAvoy completed over 150 projects in California, including CBS Columbia Square, the Egyptian Theatre, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and the Coliseum. Her work has received recognition from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the American Institute of Architects, the California Preservation Foundation, the Cultural Heritage Commission of the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Conservancy; the Governor of California and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Susan N. Mossman, Executive Director of Pasadena Heritage

Ms. Mossman has been a preservation professional for more than 40 years, since joining the staff of the fledgling Pasadena Heritage organization in 1978. She has served as Pasadena Heritage’s Executive Director since 1994, and previously served as the organization’s program director for 15 years. She first joined Pasadena Heritage as a volunteer. She was the second employee hired when the organization was in its infancy, and has held every position on the staff. Under Ms. Mossman’s leadership, Pasadena Heritage has tackled such major advocacy issues as saving the Stuart Pharmaceutical Company building from demolition, and working tirelessly with others to defeat the 710 Freeway extension through Pasadena’s oldest neighborhoods. A major milestone for the organization was the creation of a supporting affiliate, Heritage Housing Partners (HHP), to acquire, rehabilitate, and resell older homes as affordable housing.

Panel Moderator
Julianne Polanco, State Historic Preservation Office 
Julianne Polanco has served as a commissioner on the California State Historical Resources Commission since 2005 (for the last three years as Chair), and as Director of Cultural Resources for Lend Lease since 2006. She was Senior Preservation Specialist at the Presidio Trust from 1999 to 2006, and Assistant to the Vice President for programs at the World Monuments Fund from 1998 to 1999. Her professional work has also included serving as Advisor to the Chairman of California Integrated Waste Management Board, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Trustee Emeritus of the California Preservation Foundation, member of the Board of Directors of San Francisco Architectural Heritage, and a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
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Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

ArtCenter College of Design

Often described as designer Craig Ellwood's swansong, the ArtCenter bridge, an economical solution to the school's hilly canyon site, was one of the final commissions for his firm.