News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.


by Joe Castillo

Pass/Fail  ….   The Los Angeles Conservancy is a non-profit organization which recognizes preserves and revitalizes historic resources throughout Los Angeles County. The county has over 4,000 square miles of rich architectural works which themselves are governed by 89 local governments, 88 local cities and a number of County government entities for unincorporated areas. Each jurisdiction operates independently to preserve the historic resources within its boundaries. The most effective enforcement of preservation lies within the ability of local government to pass and enforce preservation ordinances and programs. In 2003, the L.A. Conservancy began to evaluate preservation efforts by local cities in Southern California and issued a report card grading the efforts of each city. The process was repeated in 2008, and this month the conservancy issued their third report card. Whereas improved scores were noted it was also alarming to see how many cities, especially San Gabriel Valley cities, failed the graded review. There were 17 cities receiving an A, A- or A+ grade for historic preservation including Pasadena, Monrovia and South Pasadena. Four cities received a B, B-, B+ grade including San Gabriel and Glendora. Ten cities received a C, C- or C+ grade. These included Azusa, Baldwin Park and West Covina. But the largest groups of cities were clustered in the ‘F’ grade category. Fifty-one cities failed to meet basic historical preservation standards. Included in this group were Alhambra, Arcadia, Duarte, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Marino and Temple City. Nearly 60% of Southern California cities failed to organize, recognize and establish programs to preserve historical resources within their cities. The next time you see a turn of the 19th – century house being torn down to build a new mansion, you are probably in one of the failing cities above. Ask your council persons what the city is doing to preserve historical resources in your city, the statistics say it won’t be much…. Pioneer …. Fielding W. Gibson was one of the early pioneers who came into the El Monte area. He traveled west to try and find farming land to purchase and through strong determination found a seller in Henry Dalton. Purchasing 250 acres, Gibson began his general farming business. From 1861 to 1863 he was a Los Angeles County Supervisor and was one of 30 members on a committee to identify railroad interests for a southern route from San Francisco through Los Angeles and onto the Mississippi River. In honor of his work with the county and in bringing new commerce to Southern California, Gibson Road in El Monte and Rosemead was named in his honor. Gibson and his family are buried in Savannah Memorial Cemetery in Rosemead and his family plot is currently being restored in a joint effort between the Native Sons of the Golden West and Savannah Cemetery …..

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