Friday, February 9, 2018

Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board votes to support preservation of Historic Wintersburg

ABOVE: Kanji Sahara speaks before the City of Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board and City Council liaisons on February 7 at Huntington Beach city hall.  Sahara is a member of the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, the Japanese American Citizens League, a board member for the Tuna Canyon Coalition, and an advisor for the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force. A California public radio reporter recorded the public comments for an upcoming feature. (Photo, M. Urashima, February 7, 2018) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   The City of Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board voted unanimously on February 7 (member Charles Epting absent) to support the preservation of Historic Wintersburg and send a letter to the City Council regarding their recommendation.

RIGHT: Phil Chinn, member of the Orange County Historical Commission, spoke in support of the preservation of Historic Wintersburg to the Historic Resources board. The Orange County Historical Commission was established by the Board of Supervisors in 1973 and is an advisory commission to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. (Photo, M. Urashima, February 7, 2018) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

      The mission of the Historic Resources Board is "to encourage and promote programs and activities that enhance public awareness of historic resources. The Historic Resources Board acts as an advisory body to City Council as well as a liaison to Council for local, state and federal groups and agencies whose interest involves historic issues."The Board's role is to advise on "issues of preservation of historic, commercial, and residential structures and insure that historic preservation and services are considered in the planning for future development of the community."

LEFT: One of the letters received by the Historic Resources Board, advocating the preservation of Historic Wintersburg. Preserve Orange County's mission is "to work through education and advocacy to promote conservation of our county’s architectural and cultural heritage. We believe that historic resources are essential to maintaining and improving the livability, diversity, sustainability and economic vitality of our communities." 

   Speaker Steve Nagano, a board member with the Little Tokyo Historical Society in Los Angeles, spoke regarding the loss of Japanese American heritage, "California had more than 40 'Japan towns' at one time but is now down to three."  

    Nancy Oda, president of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition, advocated for preservation, stating, "I think you want to leave a legacy for your children." (Huntington Beach advisory panel pledges support for preserving Wintersburg, Los Angeles Times, February 8, 2018)

  Other speakers and supporters at the meeting included Huntington Beach residents, and local and regional historical organizations, some driving two hours or more to attend the meeting. 

  The board listened to an overview of the history and communications with Republic Services regarding the purchase of the property, as well as participated in a discussion regarding Republic's communications to City officials that they plan to sell the Historic Wintersburg property to Public Storage for self storage development.  City Council liaisons Lyn Semeta and Erik Peterson also were in attendance.

RIGHT: A letter receive by the City of Huntington Beach from the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California. Historic Wintersburg screened the national premier of "Our American Family: The Furutas" at the Museum in February 2015, before the PBS program aired nationwide and has been part of presentations at the Museum on the history of Historic Wintersburg, Orange County's Japanese American community, and the history of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station.

   The statement with recommendation to support the preservation of Historic Wintersburg by the Historic Resources Board to the Huntington Beach City Council is forthcoming and will be published here.

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The Historic Wintersburg blog focuses on an overlooked history in Huntington Beach, Orange County, California, in the interest of saving a historic property from demolition. The author and publisher reserves the right not to publish comments. Please no promotional or political commentary. Zero tolerance for hate rhetoric. Comments with embedded commercial / advertising links or promoting other projects, books, or publications may not be published. If you have an interesting anecdote, question or comment about one of our features, it will be published.