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World Heritage in California

 
 
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Author winterkjm
Partaker
#16 | Posted: 8 May 2014 10:52 | Edited by: winterkjm 
meltwaterfalls:
In terms of heritage assets its strongest cards are selected 20th century residential buildings

Does anyone think the Village Green (Wiki Link) Housing might have a niche alongside a WHS like the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates. Or is that too far of a stretch? It was inspired and envisioned in the "garden city" style. The Village was built in 1942 and is listed as a National Historic Landmark. I've visited the site, the design and green space within the complex are quite special. But I often have no bearing when it comes to judging modern architecture and world heritage potential.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#17 | Posted: 8 May 2014 11:11 
winterkjm:
Does anyone think the Village Green (Wiki Link) Housing might have a niche alongside a WHS like the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates. Or is that too far of a stretch?

I guess it could shuffle into an underwhelming spot below the not exactly earth shattering Berlin Sites. They could play the planing around cars as its unique selling point in the same way that Natural Landscapes of dubious merit find some hitherto unrepresented tree/ fungus species to sneak them onto the list. There are other sites that have had more impact in regards to planning around the use of cars, but if they get there quick enough I guess they could nab that spot.

Throw enough time, money and effort at anything and you could probably get it on the list. But in missing this site on my visit last year I don't feel I missed anything of Outstanding Universal Value.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#18 | Posted: 8 May 2014 11:37 | Edited by: winterkjm 
meltwaterfalls:
not exactly earth shattering Berlin Sites
Is the Berlin Housing Estates that underwhelming?

Potential tentative list for Los Angeles (highly speculative!)

Top tier
1) Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings - Hollyhock House (Ennis House/Millard House?)
2) Greene & Greene Homes - Pasadena
3) Hollywood Golden Age - Movie Palaces & Historic Studios

Middle Tier
4) Watts Towers
5) Art Deco Monuments - Downtown Los Angeles & Wilshire
6) Village Green - Baldwin Hills
7) Case Study Houses (18 components)
8) NASA serial nomination (JPA - Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Low Tier
9) Neutra Buildings - Silver Lake
10) Great Wall of Los Angeles
11) Missions of California (serial nomination)
12) Huntington Library and Gardens

As Meltwaterfalls and Solivagant have indicated, there are perhaps 2-3 nominations in Los Angeles that could really add something to the world heritage list. Some of the other examples illustrated here, are perhaps at best able to moderately meet the criteria of world heritage and would struggle to demonstrate OUV. Perfectly summed up by this spectacular statement!

meltwaterfalls:
In the same way that Natural Landscapes of dubious merit find some hitherto unrepresented tree/ fungus species to sneak them onto the list

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#19 | Posted: 8 May 2014 12:18 
winterkjm:
Is the Berlin Housing Estates that underwhelming?

It is more that they are fairly ubiquitous, which I would actually regard as part of its triumph. I've lived in/ been to so many places that are like them that visiting doesn't really feel that special. They are after all just everyday housing estates and it is pretty tough to get really excited about them, even if you go with a keen eye for architectural details and social history.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#20 | Posted: 8 May 2014 14:03 | Edited by: Solivagant 
It occurs to me that another way of looking at the contribution of LA to "World Heritage" is to accept that tangible and immovable heritage is not the most appropriate area to look for it.

The very nature of LA has been fast changing and related to the production of intangibles. These are about novelty, experimentation, ideas, new cultural syntheses etc etc (and of course "MONEY"!!) but rarely do these produce buildings and landscapes of lasting value. So we should not expect to shoe-horn the City into a scheme designed primarily to help preserve such tangible creations.

I note that UNESCO's "Memory of the World Register" contains the "Wizard of Oz". Where is the best "place" to look for the contribution of MGM to world culture - in some ersatz "Studio" Park or in the output of the original studios?

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#21 | Posted: 8 May 2014 17:37 
Solivagant:
So we should not expect to shoe-horn the City into a scheme designed primarily to help preserve such tangible creations.

Solivagant:
Where is the best "place" to look for the contribution of MGM to world culture - in some ersatz "Studio" Park or in the output of the original studios?

Very good point, there are other frameworks to pursue preservation or recognition.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#22 | Posted: 5 Sep 2016 14:38 | Edited by: winterkjm 
All 3 nominations have been rumored as potential additions to the 2016 tentative list.



California Current Conservation Complex


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park


Camino Real de las Californias

Author Colvin
Partaker
#23 | Posted: 5 Sep 2016 22:28 
Those look promising -- particularly the California Triple C. I'm hoping for some good natural or mixed sites from across the US to make the updated tentative list later this year.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#24 | Posted: 6 Sep 2016 00:56 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Colvin:
Those look promising

While I would like to see Sequoia/Kings Canyon, Coso Rock Art District, Carrizo Plain, Greene & Greene: Gamble House, and Bodie Historic District; realistically they are all long shots based on interest, management, and in some cases OUV. California really should have more than 2 WHS, so if at least 1 or 2 of the above mentioned sites make it on the Tentative List I will be pleased.

Author vantcj1
Partaker
#25 | Posted: 6 Sep 2016 11:49 | Edited by: vantcj1 
winterkjm:
California really should have more than 2 WHS

I agree with that list and with the sites which could be included this year on the USA's T List. Or the Death Valley NP, or San Simeon, or the Golden Gate Bridge & Park with Alcatraz and Angel islands, or Joshua Tree NP or so many others. I think California has been blessed with so many different natural features, so many different climates and so many historical periods and influences, that it could easily have more than 10 WHS.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#26 | Posted: 11 Sep 2016 14:02 | Edited by: winterkjm 
vantcj1:
it could easily have more than 10 WHS.

After reading your comment, I started thinking about what 10 (or more) WHS would best represent CA and could potentially demonstrate OUV. When I write (potential for extension), Anza-Borrego could easily be part of a larger Mojave and Colorado Desert nomination including Joshua Tree and Death Valley.

Current WHS (2)
Yosemite National Park N
Redwoods National Park N

Current TWHS (1)
Key Works of Modern Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright C

Potential Additions to the 2016 Tentative List
(3)
California Current Conservation Complex N
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (potential for extension) M
Camino Real de las Californias (potential for extension) C

My Additional Choices for WHS Candidates (4)
Sequioa & Kings Canyon National Park N
Bodie Historic District C
Coso Rock Art District CL
Carrizo Plain National Monument M

Honorable Mentions in LA
(Potential, but difficult to argue OUV)
Bradbury Building C
Greene & Greene: The Gamble House C
Watts Tower C

Author tsunami
Partaker
#27 | Posted: 11 Sep 2016 21:33 | Edited by: tsunami 
I have not finished reading this forum thread, but some notes so far:

Having lived in California for 35 years (and in LA for 30 years) and worked in Hollywood for 20 years, I have been to all the places mentioned in the post #26 and actually every single corner of the state. :) (Indeed after being unable to find where else to go in California and the USA, I moved to Europe 2 years ago.)

I was very impressed with Point Lobos State Natural Reserve when I first visited there in 1983. But I believe it is not part of California Current Conservation Complex. And I'm not sure if this Complex is something comparable to the other WHSs of Papahānaumokuākea off Hawaii or the Gulf of California or Archipiélago de Revillagigedo in Mexico.

As to Carrizo Plain, I have even lived in Taft for 2 years in the 1980s. I used to go to Soda Lake to get some free natural salt. Some people in Taft have been doing so for decades, but probably not after it became a National Monument in 2001. Yes, oil is blood of Taft, as seen in the movie "There Will Be Blood."

But my point is:

What seems to be missing from the list in #26 is the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains District of the Inyo National Forest. This is the location of the world's oldest trees: Ancient Bristlecone Pine. They say this is where Radiocarbon Dating was developed by measuring these trees by a UC Professor who later received a Nobel Prize for it. This may give it even more OUV.

Well, actually, there is probably no other places in California where they want less visitors than here, so they would hate me for mentioning it here. :) They know where the Methuselah Tree (the single oldest of the oldest trees back when I visited, but now the 2nd oldest) is but never tell the public where it is.

And how about Manzanar National Historic Site?

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#28 | Posted: 11 Sep 2016 22:28 | Edited by: winterkjm 
tsunami:
What seems to be missing from the list in #26 is the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest at the White Mountain District of the Inyo National Forest (I'm not sure if this is mentioned elsewhere on this thread). This is the location of the world's oldest trees: Ancient Bristlecone Pine. Well, actually, there is probably no other places in California where they want less visitors than here, so they would hate me for mentioning it here. :) They know where the Methuselah Tree (the (2nd) oldest of the oldest trees) is but never tell the public where it is.

And how about Manzanar National Historic Site?

I love the Eastern Sierra region in general, so I am inclined to agree to your proposals! Ancient Bristlecone would be great. Manzanar is tough for OUV since much of the remains are gone. It would be a complicated nomination, since preferably you would include several other Internment Camps across the country. Lastly, the US has shown a tendency to steer away from such nominations, for the so-called negative connection regarding the World Heritage movement. I think the NPS prefers the story told within the context of the American story. The US UNESCO delegation felt the same way about the Hiroshima Dome and other sites connected with crimes against humanity or genocide.

tsunami:
I was very impressed with Point Lobos State Natural Reserve when I first visited there in 1983. But I believe it is not part of California Current Conservation Complex.

Yes, I am not sure about this either. Its a bit South of Monterey Bay, but it would be a shame if it was not included!

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#29 | Posted: 12 Sep 2016 05:25 
winterkjm:
meltwaterfalls:
not exactly earth shattering Berlin Sites
Is the Berlin Housing Estates that underwhelming?

meltwaterfalls:
It is more that they are fairly ubiquitous

Victims of their own success ... I have to say, though, that the original buildings have an artistic quality sorely lacking from what was built later.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#30 | Posted: 12 Sep 2016 05:34 
Re sites to add for California. Obviously, primary reason is the US (un)willingness to submit sites in the first place.

Taking a top down approach, I would see the following themes for California:

* Natural. Plenty. Sequoia is great. John Muir is great. Plenty of deserts ...
* Pre Columbian. No idea, but some native sites must remain in California, too.
* Spanish: Missions? Anything else? Obviously, this has to be aligned with what you find in Mexico.
* 20th Century Architecture: Art Deco, Modern, ...
* Themes: Movies

Last but not least: Most popular theme ever, Wine in Napa :)

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