2021 Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation

 In Press


San Francisco, CA: The Darling Hotel will be presented with a prestigious Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation at the 38th Annual California Preservation Awards. The winning projects and teams will be formally recognized at both in-person events and online during a free, public ceremony to be scheduled for October 2021. The jury selected 20 winners this year, each highlighting innovative approaches to preservation. The annual California Preservation Awards recognizes significant achievements in architecture, history, design, and engineering, and showcases the leading people and patrons who make it all possible.

The Darling Hotel Project Description

This project sought to respectfully revitalize a significant but forgotten piece of Visalia’s vibrant history with a strategy to celebrate existing elements at all scales, while honestly rehabilitating the building for modern purposes. Exterior facades were carefully restored and a seamlessly designed stair tower was the only required exterior addition. Original interior fixtures and details were meticulously preserved and, if lost, were replicated by innovatively reusing other original building components and employing modern building techniques. The hotel’s rooftop restaurant “The Elderwood” which, like the hotel, is named to honor the owner’s family, celebrates the existing building by showcasing the concrete negative of the primary facade’s Art Deco frieze as a dramatic backdrop to its bar. A dynamic, generational story of family and community reverberates through all facets of the building, making The Darling Hotel a tangible promise to continue that story for generations to come.

About the California Preservation Foundation and the Preservation Design Awards

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.

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 20,000 members and supporters. CPF provides educational programs to a worldwide audience through online and in-person events, responds to hundreds of requests for assistance each year, and is at the forefront of preservation advocacy, from the state legislature to city halls across California.

About the 2021 Winning Projects: 

  • The Darling Hotel, Visalia. Rehabilitation. Realized by a deeply-rooted Visalia family, The Darling Hotel celebrates local heritage and introduces an exciting new place to experience the heart of Visalia by rejuvenating the city’s neglected historic courthouse with elegant, authentic architecture preserving and amplifying its legacy.
  • Angelus Funeral Home/Paul R. Williams Family Apartments, Los Angeles. Rehabilitation. Adaptive reuse of the Black-owned Angelus Funeral Home, designed by prominent African American master architect Paul R. Williams, FAIA to preserve a community icon and to provide 41 units of low- to very low-income housing.
  • Annenberg Community Beach House Pool Repair and Rehabilitation, Santa Monica. Craftsmanship/Preservation Technology. The project successfully preserved and maintained the distinctive historic materials and craftsmanship of the Julia Morgan designed, beachfront public pool. Treatments included repair and select replacement of deteriorated marble tiles and conservation of hand-painted decorative tiles at the pool bottom.
  • Balboa Park Pool, San Francisco. Rehabilitation. This beloved 1958 community natatorium was degraded, unwelcoming, and seismically unsafe. Careful interventions preserved historic integrity of the concrete structure and wood-beamed ceiling alongside upgraded structural and environmental systems. This local icon improves wellness and recreational equity among underserved communities.
  • First Congregational Church of Long Beach, Long Beach. Craftsmanship/Preservation Technology. Multi-year, ingenious, multidisciplinary, $2.4m project to preserve, repair and restore seismic and other damage to facade brickwork and terra cotta Rose Window and other features of the First Congregational Church of Long Beach.
  • FORT: LA – Trails, Los Angeles. Cultural Resource Studies, Reports. FORT Trails is an endlessly accessible, remarkably curated, and deeply researched architectural discovery project that tells the story of “home” in Los Angeles through our city’s renowned residential architecture. It provides monthly self-guided architectural tours for free to the public.
  • Geneva Car Barn & Powerhouse, San Francisco. Rehabilitation. The adaptive reuse of the Geneva Car Barn & Powerhouse transforms a dilapidated historic landmark into a cultural hub. The design highlights the interplay of new and old, creating a revitalized building that serves the community while honoring its past.
  • Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) Munk Lab, La Jolla. Preservation or Restoration. Situated on a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, architect Lloyd Ruocco’s seminal design for IGPP Munk Lab has been an incubator of scientific and geophysical exploration and advancement since its original construction in 1963.
  • Los Angeles Union Station, Los Angeles. Craftsmanship/Preservation Technology. Since 2017, we have completed a variety of projects to restore the Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS). Our work ranges from assessment surveys and cleaning tests to the repair and replication of plaster elements and the original decorative paint scheme.
  • Mills College Lisser Hall, Oakland. Rehabilitation. Renovated Lisser Hall is located at the heart of the historic Mills College campus. Seismically strengthened and fully accessible, the interdisciplinary center provides collaborative performance and exhibit space for the Dance, Theater, Music and Digital Arts departments.
  • Oakland Monster, Oakland. Preservation or Restoration. The Monster, an abstract children’s play sculpture located on Oakland’s Lake Merritt, had deteriorated to the point of being unsafe. To bring this almost extinct Monster back from the brink, local community groups initiated a low-cost restoration project.
  • Old Orange County Courthouse Rehabilitation, Santa Ana. Preservation or Restoration. The project addressed critical deferred maintenance priorities at the exterior of the iconic Old Orange County Courthouse. Safety, performance and aesthetics were achieved in a multi-phase project to repair this treasured public building for future generations.
  • Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, San Diego. Craftsmanship/Preservation Technology. Restoration of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in San Diego, California’s Little Italy neighborhood brings back the original 1924 decoration, including replication of the historic decorative scheme and conservation of original murals by renowned Venetian painter, Fausto Tasca.
  • Preserving Los Angeles – How Historic Places Can Transform America’s Cities, Los Angeles. Cultural Resource Studies, Reports. Preserving Los Angeles is an authoritative chronicle of urban transformation, a guide for citizens and urban practitioners alike who hope to preserve the unique culture of their own cities. Author Ken Bernstein, who oversees Los Angeles’s Office of Historic Resources, tells the comprehensive story of how historic preservation has revived Los Angeles neighborhoods, created a Downtown renaissance, and guided the future of the city.
  • Restoration of Gregory Ain’s 1952 Greene Residence, Los Angeles. Reconstruction or Contextual Infill. The project is the restoration of house designed by architect Gregory Ain in collaboration with Joseph Johnson and Alfred Day, originally built in 1952, severely damaged by fire in 2018, and rebuilt through research, and recreation of construction documents.
  • San Francisco Animal Care and Control, San Francisco. Rehabilitation. The San Francisco Animal Care & Control project is an adaptive reuse of a historic unreinforced masonry building. The design fulfills ACC’s mission of providing housing and care to all species, serving the public and remaining operational during major emergencies.
  • Sonoma Train District and Maysonnave Train Cottage, Sonoma. Cultural Resource Studies, Reports. Researching the historic context of a Sonoma cottage slated for demolition, an architectural historian discovered a Victorian neighborhood – and Train Depot – surrounding it and concluded the “Train District” was quite significant.  Upon review, the Historical Commission requested the City designate the Train District.
  • The Picture Bridge at the Langham Huntington Hotel, Pasadena. Preservation or Restoration.  Originally constructed in 1913, the 224-foot-long heavy timber Picture Bridge at the Langham Huntington Hotel connects the main tower to other buildings and amenities. In 2020, the Picture Bridge underwent a multi-million-dollar structural rehabilitation to meet current seismic codes.
  • The Presidio Theatre, San Francisco. Rehabilitation. The Presidio Theatre was recently rehabilitated and expanded to serve as a 600-seat multipurpose community theater that is suitable for a wide range of live performances, educational programs and as an events venue, with on-site facilities for backstage functions and visitor amenities. A full seismic and systems upgrade as well as site work and landscaping was completed in order to bring the building and site up to current fire, life-safety, and accessibility codes and to address Presidio Trust standards.”
  • The Tioga, Merced. Rehabilitation. The Tioga, built in 1928 as the Hotel Tioga, was rehabilitated as a 70-unit apartment building for professionals and UC Merced graduate students. A catalyst to reinvigorate downtown Merced, it is attracting new residents and restoring vitality to Main Street.
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