Unsung Advocates of Mid-Century Modern

Saluting those who strive to preserve our California homes and neighborhoods
Unsung Advocates 
of Mid-Century Modern

California's mid-20th century architects produced some of the most innovative architectural housing. Distinctively different, these truly 'modern' homes were inspired by the West Coast's natural beauty, temperate climate, and relaxed lifestyle.

Miraculously, many of these architectural treasures remain standing today, despite being under constant threat from profit-driven developers, insensitive remodelers, and soaring land values.

Who are the professionals, over the past several decades, who've worked behind the scenes to protect California's mid-century modern homes— surveying, landmarking, and advocating on their behalf?

We'd like to introduce you to a handful from that special breed—men and women who create initiatives for positive change, like city planner Ken Bernstein; champion buildings slated for demolition, like historian Alan Hess; and restore historic residential gardens, like landscape architect JC Miller. Recognizing these individuals and others is an important way of thanking them for their vision and proactive stance on preserving our modern past.

Though 'historic preservation' is a term that is often misunderstood, it's a valuable tool that can transform communities, assess the integrity of existing structures, and engage those who are seeking to preserve their own neighborhood's history and character. Without the energy and laser-like focus of historians and preservationists, many important buildings would remain unprotected, become blighted over time, and perhaps even vanish.

It is our hope that the tireless advocates we profile here will continue to pave the way for California's next wave of preservation-minded individuals—like Monique (Lombardelli) Anton (who works in the real estate field), Hannah Simonson (in architecture), and so many others—who've taken up the torch to ensure that the best of California's residential architecture remains a tangible piece of modernist history.

Let's applaud California's preservationists of residential mid-century modern. For starters, here are ten longtime advocates who have made a mark and a difference.


Unsung Advocates 
of Mid-Century Modern

Without the dedication of Bernstein, Los Angeles, the 'City of the Future,' would be a far different place. Bernstein led the creation and completion of one of the most comprehensive historic preservation programs undertaken, 'Survey LA,' an award-winning citywide survey that identified Los Angeles' significant historic resources over a ten-year period. Currently overseeing the Office of Historic Resources and Urban Design Studio, Bernstein directs the department's planning and community initiatives. Former Director of Preservation Issues for the Los Angeles Conservancy, Bernstein authored the best-selling book Preserving Los Angeles: How Historic Places Can Transform America's Cities.



Unsung Advocates 
of Mid-Century Modern

A prolific journalist with a winning way of connecting with people, Weinstein has made an indelible mark on the Eichler world. Prior to joining the Eichler Network in 2004, he worked for the Contra Costa Times, and wrote on architecture for the San Francisco Chronicle. Considered an authority on residential architecture, the steadfast advocate for the preservation of mid-century homes also focuses his preservation efforts on El Cerrito, his home. Weinstein's 20 years of extensive feature writing for CA-Modern include roles as features editor and 'CA-Modernist' blogger. He is author of the book Signature Architects of the San Francisco Bay Area.


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