The former post office in Beverly Hills gained new life as the centerpiece of a performing arts complex, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by John Linden)

Of all the deserving submissions for the 34th Annual Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Awards, seven L.A. County projects were awarded the decorated honor: two Richard Neutra designs (Hafley House in Long Beach and Kun House in Hollywood), Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House (pictured below), the Pacific Electric Railway in Torrance, Downtown L.A.’s Rosslyn Hotel Apartments, the Lincoln Place Apartment Homes in Venice, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, and the LAUSD earned recognition for its Historic Context Statement.

(Photo by Brandi Andres)

Architect, historian, educator, and Dwell on Design speaker Alan Hess received the highest honor for his continued dedication to the preservation of midcentury buildings throughout Los Angeles County, and stretching beyond to Palm Springs and Las Vegas. Hess has consistently defended architecture’s underdogs, such as the coffee shops, ranch houses, and suburbs of postwar living, arguing they are a part of American culture.


(Richard Neutra-designed Hafley House in Long Beach, California. Courtesy of John Ellis Photo.)

This year, Hess has actively fought for the preservation of Norms La Cienega, a Googie-style coffee shop that recently earned a unanimous vote by the Cultural Heritage Commission to designate it a Historic-Cultural Monument. A long process is still ahead for the building, but recently more have spoke out in support of the cause, such as Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, who publicly stated, “I made Mad Men with one agenda early on: Stop tearing stuff down. You’re gonna miss it.”

On Sunday, May 31, Hess will join the Conservancy’s Director of Advocacy, Adrian Scott Fine, to discuss Googie architecture and the battle over Norms La Cienega, at Dwell on Design. For more, read our post on

Originally submitted by Brandi Andres