California Heritage Council

JULY, 2009, NEWSLETTER and NOTICE of July 30, 2009 Board of Directors & Members Meeting

NEXT MEETING: 4:00 PM-6:30 PM, THURSDAY, JULY 30TH at the home of Board Member, Marsha Calegari, 3679 Sacramento Street, San Francisco. Prospective members and guests welcome. Please bring contributions for the reception that will follow the meeting.

President’s Message - Bill Applegate:

"The golden threads that make up the fabric of CHC’s 50 year history were evident throughout a wonderful and truly enjoyable evening on June 25th at the St. Francis Yacht Club.

  • It was our Golden Anniversary in the Golden State, with a Letter of Recognition from Governor Schwarzenegger.
  • We remembered the CHC’s original raison d’être to protect historical landmarks in the Gold Country from a super highway (49) that would have destroyed countless historical buildings.
  • We celebrated the revival from a long and safe hibernation of our Golden Bear, with special recognition awards to Ron Kaufman, John Ritchie, and to Redmond Kernan in his memory.
  • Our guest speaker, Ron Kaufman, was superb, and his phenomenal legacy truly set a “gold standard” for vision and accomplishment.

"CHC’s rich leadership history was well represented by a record number of seven past CHC presidents :

"John Hodges, Herbert Hoover, Herb Konkoff, Jules Levaggi, Bob McMahon, John Ritchie, Gary Widman; plus a history-filled letter from past president, Jim Lenhoff.

"John Ritchie’s generous loaning of his restored classic cars to the PHA for showing at the Presidio’s Concours d’Elegance July 19 was a surprise bonus (see Chairman’s remarks).

"Over the years the CHC has taken on protective roles for other cause celebres, such as saving San Francisco by the Bay from a grotesque, wrap around, elevated expressway in the 60's; and more recently, supporting joint efforts led by the PHA to protect the historical integrity and defend the hallowed ground of the Presidio, which finally saw success in a respectable decision by Don Fisher to withdraw his modern museum proposal.

"Over the past 50 years the CHC has recognized hundreds of deserving heritage preservation projects including gold mines, sea and land transport, military facilities, cultural, commercial, and education buildings, courthouses, firehouses, mansions and chateaus, and many more.

"Our rich and diverse gathering of awardees was a testimony to the breadth and depth of the CHC mission to educate the public and recognize excellence in preservation and re-purposing undertakings. The benefits to communities, the environment, the economy, and to our historical legacy are in many ways beyond measure and unique in each project which has its own champions, character and vibrancy. In the end our heritage is relived and re-purposed through the passion, vision, focus and perseverance of its champions. We particularly thank all of the awardees for their notable achievements and awesome inspiration.

"To start the next 50 years the CHC aims to cultivate succeeding generations of visionaries who can bring our mission to even greater levels of involvement and achievement. Thus, in moving forward, the golden thread of our heritage links past accomplishments to present needs and future visions.

"To that end we are actively exploring the support of ongoing projects through the sponsorship of internships for students of architecture and urban planning. We look forward to our membership growing with another generation of new and innovative leaders. I am asking your help to make this happen. So please, bring you time, friends, talent and ideas to the table.

"Thank you again to all who attended , participated in and supported the CHC 50th Anniversary celebration. How nicely our family has grown! A special thanks to Betty Anne Prien, Dianne Rowe, Conchita Applegate, and Barbara Kaufman of The California Governor’s Office. "

Chair of the Board Remarks - John Hodges:

"Thank you to all who attended the Awards Dinner and a special welcome to the Award winners who will be receiving the CHC Newsletter for the first time (as a one year membership goes along with the Award). And of course a special thank you for a lifetime of work to Ron Kaufman, John Ritchie, and a heartfelt salute to Sharon Gadberry who accepted for husband and CHC Board Member Redmond Kernan.

"At the Award's Dinner Sharon announced that Redmond would be honored by the awarding of a perpetual trophy in his name at the upcoming 2009 Presidio of San Francisco Concours d'Elegance held at the Presidio on July 19. This display of classic and distinctive motorcars will also be a benefit for the Presidio Historical Association. And our hats are off to John and Sue Ritchie who announced the showing of two of their classic cars (a 1933 Cadillac and a 1937 Buick Towncar) in CHC'c name as a further tribute Redmond. All gracious gestures for a man we loved.

"Those of you wanting tickets can order them through the web at and pick them up at the gate will call. By advance purchase only. No tickets will be sold at the door.

"This has been an extraordinary time for CHC. Not only did we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, we have learned Don Fisher has withdrawn his proposal to build his white marble monument on the historic Presidio Parade Ground, and this year's Awards were extraordinary in quality. Let me explain.

"Our culture is changing at a rapid rate. There was a time when we all felt that our culture should stand on a firm granite foundation of shared beliefs. We knew what good music was, what good architecture looked like, what reason was, and we were full of just plain old horse sense. We absorbed wave after wave of new citizens from all over this earth. But sometime five or six years ago by my recollection things started to change. Multiculturalism became the vogue, as well as victimhood. And the reverence for order, balance, quality, reason, and just plain old honesty started crumbling. Our political leaders just can not seem to balance a budget or pay their personal income tax for example. Confidence in tradition is evaporating and that granite base of culture is melting, at least in the eyes of many.

"Or is it really? I look at this years Award's and the folks who are the leaders in our shared passion for the buildings and historic sites we hold dear and it occurs to me that these structures have seen it all change, and then, change again several times. These buildings are like statues in the park. They are iconic, not novel. They stand out as we drive by and they quietly testify and reassert that, after we are gone, they will be there waiting to be rediscovered again and again.

"And that is why this year's selection is so confidence building. This year's picks are significant. They are projects which define our culture and lets make no mistake about it - there is only a thin sheet of glass on the door between order, tradition, and quality; push on that glass hard enough and it will shatter. Will Durant tells us that culture begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos. These old buildings do not represent fatigue, but granite strength and dignity. In a way they act as small hinges to the greater door of culture. And this year's list of Awards attached will hold firm!

"As a closing comment, thank you to Dianne Rowe for the logistics of our Dinner and to Betty Ann Prien acting as our host for the reception and the Saint Francis Yacht Club."

Summary of June 25, 2009 50th Anniversary Awards’ Dinner:

The 2009-2010 Slate of Officers was announced by President Applegate. Officers and Board Members remain the same as 2008-2009. (See slate on left-hand column of page 1.)

The following Awards were presented by John Hodges, Board Chair, William Applegate, President, and Chris Layton, Executive Vice-President

Robert Courland. Historian and Author of The Old North Waterfront. The History and Rebirth if a San Francisco Neighborhood.

Cavallo Point, Fort Baker, Sausalito. A $100 million restoration has created a lodge with 142 guest rooms, many in the tastefully renovated Colonial Revival red-roofed Army barracks. 45 acres of landscaping was also rehabilitated. Tom Sargent accepted the Award.

Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, 2555 Main Street, St. Helena. The stone castle was built in 1888 and was the former site of the Christian Brothers Winery for 50 years. Robert Graham accepting.

La Petite Baleen Swim Club, Building 933 (circa 1921), The Presidio of San Francisco. Originally used by the Army as a WW II airplane hanger, it was later used as a Dope Shop facility for small children. Architect, Michael Stanton, accepted the Award.

North Star Historic Conservancy. This non-profit organization was formed in 2007 to oversee ongoing rehabilitation and operations of the North Star House (circa 1905), designed by Julia Morgan. It will become a place where civic, educational and private groups can meet and conduct programs, musicals, theatre, etc. Peggy Swan, President of the Conservancy accepted the Award.

Old Engine House No. 2 (circa 1908), 460 Bush Street, San Francisco. It functioned as a firehouse until it was de-commissioned in 1970. Carey & Co., architects, purchased the firehouse in 1999 and embarked upon a major rehabilitation, reconstructing many of the building’s original features based on physical and documentary evidence. Architect, Alice Carey, accepted the Award.

San Francisco Bay-Delta Model, Sausalito. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the scale model to study water flow, navigation and environmental impact, complete with buildings, bridges, wharves, etc. Chris Gallagher accepted the Award.

West Point Inn (circa 1904) and Gravity Car, Mt. Tamalpais, Mill Valley. The Inn is the sole surviving structures of a once famous and vibrant scenic railway where steam trains met a stagecoach for the beach. The Association has paid excellent attention to detail, retention of building design integrity, and creative resolution of ADA accessibility concerns. Today it operates as a hostel. Fred Runner, historian and author, accepting.

Gravity Car, Mt. Tamalpais, Mill Valley. The Gravity Car carried passengers down the mountain, a bit like a mountain roller coaster, to Mill Valley. The Mt. Tamalpais Interpretive Association constructed an exact replica of the gravity rail car and built a barn and museum to house it. Arlene Halligan accepted the Award.

Woodside Store, 3300 Tripp Road, Woodside. Built in 1854 among sawmills and redwood groves by Dr. R.O. Tripp and M.A. Parkhurst, it was operated by Dr. Tripp who also served as dentist, librarian, postmaster, and community leader until his death in 1909. Purchased by the County of San Mateo in 1940, it opened as a museum in 1947. Mitch Postel, President of the San Mateo Historical Association accepted the Award.

GOLDEN BEAR AWARDS: This prestigious Award recognizes a lifetime of community service.

Presented to Sharon Gadberry in honor of Redmond Kernan

Presented to Ron Kaufman

Presented to John Ritchie

CALENDAR OF FUTURE MEETINGS & EVENTS (Please mark your calendar):

July 19: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM:
Concours d'Elegance at the Presidio of San Francisco – MAIN POST
Enter the Presidio through the Lombard Gate and follow signage to event site. Tickets are $50.00 and must be purchased in advance via No tickets will be sold at the door. Limited parking available for a fee.
CHC does not hold a meeting this month
Sept. 24: 4:00 PM:
CHC Board of Directors and Members’ Meeting. Location to be announced.
Oct. 29: 4:00 PM:
CHC Board of Directors and Members’ Meeting. Location to be announced.
Nov. 19: 4:00 PM:
CHC Board of Directors and Members’ Meeting. Location to be announced.
Dec. 9: 6:00-10:00 PM:
CHC Annual Holiday Dinner. Presidio Golf Club, San Francisco.

Jefferson Street Mansion in Benicia, CA Jefferson Street Mansion
   in Benicia, CA

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